Item description for The Red Keep: A Story of Burgundy in 1165 (Adventure Library (Warsaw, N.D.).) by Allen French & Andrew Wyeth...
Overview Conan, a young squire in twelth-century Burgundy, is determined to find a way to defeat the fearsome Sauval brothers, a pair of robber barons who pillage and terrorize the local countryside.
Publishers Description In the country of Burgundy, the Sauval brothers have begun to terrorize the surrounding lands in an attempt to bring the area under their control. They raid the Red Keep, in hope of gaining it for themselves, only to be thwarted by Sir Roger and young Conan. Now they plot anew to steal the Keep from its rightful owner, Lady Anne. She, .with Conan and her loyal followers, sets out to bring justice upon the evil brothers. An action-filled tale with the authentic flavor of the twelfth century, by the author of "The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow.
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Studio: Bethlehem Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.75" Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 1997
Publisher Bethlehem books
Grade Level Multiple Grades
ISBN 1883937299 ISBN13 9781883937294
Availability 0 units.
More About Allen French & Andrew Wyeth
Allen French was born on November 28, 1870, in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard University in 1894 and for several years, beginning in 1908, taught English at his alma mater. His first interest, however, was history, and his contributions to historical writing are many and varied.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Red Keep: A Story of Burgundy in 1165 (Adventure Library (Warsaw, N.D.).)?
A Superb Adventure Story for "Boys" of All Ages Apr 22, 2008
As an enthusiast of period adventure stories by the likes of Dumas, Stevenson, Sabatini, etc., etc., I found myself immensely entertained by this well-paced swashbuckler of the Middle Ages. I had never heard of Allen French, but he is the real deal. How refreshing to read a book designed for young readers that does not in any way talk down to its intended audience. Better written than most current adventure stories for adults, "The Red Keep" does an expert job of making palpable the hard realities of the distant past, and does so in a manner which does not soften the sometimes explosive violence. In fact, the body count in this book is rather breathtaking. The first time young Conan leaped, without hesitation, upon an assailant with dagger drawn, it actually startled me, and the multiple skull-shatterings and throat-slashings do not lose their impact through repetition.
If from my description "The Red Keep" sounds like an excruciatingly gruesome book, I assure you it is not. In fact, for all the backstabbing (both literal and metaphorical), it remains a satisfyingly romantic tale. It is rather old-fashioned in its sensibility, and I mean that in the most positive sense. I sincerely doubt any book for young readers, written today, would -- or could -- explore the questions of violence, religion, political intrigue, gender and race in remotely the same way. And certainly, the whole thing wouldn't be handled quite so literately. This is an adventure story for all ages, which recalled for me Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Black Arrow," right down to the odiously deformed villain.
"The Red Keep" originally appeared back in the late 1930s. I first learned of French's books when I saw them displayed, about a year ago, in an art museum gift shop, in conjunction with an exhibit of Andrew Wyeth's paintings. (Wyeth provides the illustrations, and his father, the great N.C., offers the totemic cover art.) Intrigued, I went home and added them to my this site wishlist. A year or so later, "The Red Keep" turned up under the Christmas tree. And as you can probably tell, it turned out to be a marvelous acquisition. I will be ordering "The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow" in the very near future.
Transport yourself back to the Middle Ages Jun 3, 2007
The cover art for this book always intrigued me, so at last I decided to pick it up and read it. I was not disappointed. This is the story of the petty nobility of 12th century Burgundy. With the political system of the province in a state of flux thanks to the minority of the Duke, one family, the Sauval, amasses power and wealth by robbing travelers and raiding neighboring baronies. The Red Keep is the stronghold of one such barony. It is raided by the Sauval and the Baron is put to the sword--only his daughter, Anne, is rescued by the noble Baron Roger and his men, among them a young page named Conan. In the aftermath of the attack, the damaged keep is left abandoned--the bone of contention around which the story revolves.
The main character, Conan, is immediately sympathetic. He is strong, brave, and chivalrous to a fault, but young man that he is, he makes occasional bone-headed decisions that nearly cost him his life. As the story progresses, Conan's youthful naivete transforms into savvy adulthood as he carefully plans a strategy to thwart the Sauval.
The character of Anne is also appealing. Though she is presented in fighting trim throughout the book, she is not given unrealistic strength or the ability to strike down fighting men twice her size--a common but ludicrous feature of much modern literature. Anne's true strength lies in her courage, her determination to regain her father's fief and her willingness to step outside of the expected female role, even in the face of difficult odds, for the sake of justice. In this, I thought she resembled St. Joan of Arc.
Overall, I loved this book. The main characters were good and solid, and the antagonists were suitably detestable. The story itself and the writing are also first rate. Add to this the great black & white illustrations by Andrew Wyeth throughout, and you've got a real winner of a book, perfectly suited for kids 10 and up, but easily read and enjoyed by adults as well.
It's a Keeper Mar 27, 2002
Set in Burgundy in 1167, this novel combines excitement with a very real and deep knowledge of life in medieval France, especially in backwater areas. The rescue of the Red Keep involves learning about class differences, guilds, the treatment of Jews, and more, but the background is never forced, and neither are the moral lessons. It's all of a piece with the story. From another writer, it would've gotten 5 stars, but I wound up comparing this book to the same writers THE STORY OF ROLF AND THE VIKING BOW.
The Red Keep- a Suspenseful story Aug 23, 2000
I read this book after purchasing it for my children to help them learn of life in the middle ages. I found myself so involved in the story I did not realize how much I was learning! It is a wonderful story with excellent moral lessons. It has interesting battle information that would keep a boys interest yet a little romance to keep a girls. I found it a wonderful resource.
An excellent adventure story for both boys and girls Jul 21, 1999
The Red Keep has strong positive role models for both boys and girls. It has good historical accuracy. Allen French was a Harvard historian who was interested in the roots of modern government. He wrote a series of children's books each focusing on a different time period and a different form of government. The story is exciting, with real villians, intrigue, suspense and last minute rescues. The hero shows some ethnic and class sensitivity within the context of the historical times. It is never forced or overly moralistic. All the lessons fit well within the framework of a well crafted plot.