The title LEOPARDS AND LILIES, somewhat enigmatic as it is, offers a challenge to the reader. Actually, there is nothing mysterious about the title. One who remembers some of the lesser details of the history of the Middle Ages may recall the fact that in the period during which rebel barons forced King John of England to grant them the Magna Carta the leopard was the symbol of the House of Anjou, the side of John and his loyal supporters, while the lilies were the symbol of the rebels who received aid from the Dauphin of France. It is against the background of that confused struggle between Rebels and Loyalists in the years following the granting of the Great Charter in 1215 that this novel is laid.
The story is always absorbing and depicts the life of a young woman whose adventures begin when her father, a nobleman, marries her out of hand to the scion of the Count of Devon, to give some measure of safety to the girl in the troublous times of civil war. The girl, Margaret fitzGerold, is the daughter of Warin fitzGerold, chamberlain to the king. Lord Warin cannot take the girl to the court with him, for fear her chastity may be molested by the courtiers or by the king himself. Margaret, although less than fourteen years old, is calm and serene about marriage, being a child of her times; the thought of marriage means to her castles, servants, and overlordship, rather than the young lad, barely her senior, to whom she will be wed.
(The entire section is 1375 words.)
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