Saturday, September 26, 2015

Aslauga's Knights

Book: Aslauga's Knights
Author:   Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué
Edition:online from Gutenberg
Read: September 26, 2015
38 pages
Genre:  Fiction
Rated: 3 1/2  out of 5

Froda is a high Danish knight who discovers a book about a lady, Aslauga, who lived a hundred years before him. He decides to take to take a vow of faithfulness to this lady. He is called to a tournament in Germany to determine the best knight. The prize? The hand of the kings daughter, Hildergardis. Along the route, he meets another knight named Edward who becomes his brother-in-arms.

Froda wins the tournament, but says he is already pledged. Edward is number two, but the haute Hildergardis refuses the second best. That night Hildergardis is kidnapped. All the knights at the tournament search for her, but Froda and Edward find her, lead by Aslauga's light. They fight off the band of kidnappers and Froda is able to tell  Hildergardis a little about Edward and his heroic actions. This turns her mind to Edward.

But now Edward feels compelled to refuse because he did not win the tournament and does not want to receive her as someone elses prize.  Froda challenges Edward to a rematch, which Edward wins, because Froda's lady has him in a trance. A couple days later Froda dies.


Fouque, according to Charlotte M Yonge in her introduction to Undine, Undine is part of a quartet of stories based upon seasons:"Sintram", to winter; the tearful, smiling, fresh "Undine", to Spring; the torrid deserts of the "Two Captains", to summer; and the sunset gold of "Aslauga's Knight.

A few simple words of deep meaning sprang to his lips they seemed like a gift deserving of thanks (chp 2)  simple words put together well, what a gift! I can admire a person who can say things well, but without having to revert to words of great length or archaic meanings. I can babble on and eventually say something which someone will listen to. But to say it syncing and straightforward, that is good.

Somebody notes that in one of Louisa May Alcott's books,  "Jo's Boys" the character of Jo March Bhaer says this is her favorite book.


Not a noteworthy story, and it is a bit strange. Fouqué does pack a lot of action into his books. That makes it interesting. But how meaningful is this? At least in my case, there was not much which  caused me to ponder. So read it on a lazy afternoon, and enjoy.

New Words:
  • Bower (Chp 3): a pleasant shady place under trees or climbing plants in a garden or wood.
  • Mein (Chp 9):  bearing or appearance, particularly revealing ones inner spirit

Good Quotes:
  • First Line: Many years ago there lived in the island of Fuhnen a noble knight, called Froda, the friend of the Skalds, who was so named because he not only offered free hospitality in his fair castle to every renowned and noble bard, but likewise strove with all his might to discover those ancient songs, and tales, and legends which, in Runic writings or elsewhere, were still to be found; he had even made some voyages to Iceland in search of them, and had fought many a hard battle with the pirates of those seas—for he was also a right valiant knight, and he followed his great ancestors not  only in their love of song, but also in their bold deeds of arms.
  • Last Line: Send us from thy bower on high Many an angel-melody, Many a vision soft and bright, Aslauga's dear and faithful Knight!

No comments: