The Seven Champions of Christendom, by W H G Kingston.
A most unusual book, especially from this author, erudite though he is.
The seven champions are the Patron Saints of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Italy and Spain. These rove about Europe and beyond, slaying Enchanters, Dragons, and other nuisances, accompanied by their Squires, who, although they put on weight and become obese, help as best they can, and carry their masters' trophies for them.
That they all knew one another and were living at the same time is a novel idea, but it all adds to quite a good story, however whimsical.
It is alleged that the book is no more than an edited transcription of a book written at the end of the fifteen hundreds. It may well be, but it stands quite well on its own for what it is -- an amusement for the children: that, and no more.
THE SEVEN CHAMPIONS OF CHRISTENDOM, BY W H G KINGSTON.
The following pages should not go forth into the world without due acknowledgment being made to that worthy old Dominie, Richard Johnson, to whose erudite but somewhat unreadable work the author is so largely indebted. As he flourished at the end of the sixteenth century, and the commencement of the seventeenth, great allowances should be made for his style, which is certainly not suited to the taste of this generation. It is to be hoped that the present version, while much of his vivid imagery is retained, may be free from his more glaring errors. And, thus quoting the Dominie's dedication: --
|To all courteous readers The Author wisheth encrease of vertuous knowledge.
|Gentle readers, in kindness accept my labours, and be not like the chattering cranes, nor Momus' mates, that carp at everything. What the simple say I care not; what the spightful speak I pass not; only the censure of the conceited I stand unto; that is the mark I aym at; whose good likings if I obtain, I have won my race; if not, I faint in the first attempt, and so lose the quiet of my happy goal.
|Yours in kindness and command, --