Page 3, 16th March 1962

16th March 1962
Page 3
Page 3, 16th March 1962 — HISTORY BROUGHT TO LIFE

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By J. J. Dwyer

LORD GEOFFREY'S FANCY, by Alfred Duggan (Faber and Faber, 18s.).

MR. DUGGAN has done much more than most writers to rescue the historical novel from the undeserved slur of artificiality, and he knows how to make it witty, vivid and resonant.

It is not often that a learned and versatile historian is possessed of the imaginative insight that enables nim to send a beam of light into some dark corner of history and turn it into a glowing picture. " Lord Geoffrey's Fancy has the very tang of reality.


THE reader, who may not remember very much about the Fourth Crusade or the Latin States of the Levant that were its sequel, will find himself held by the rapid flow of the narrative and the excitement' of the incidents.

To the landless knights from the West who carried Frankish feudalism into the Aegean, the overrun and pillaged Byzantine Empire was the land of opportunity. Sir William de Bruyere, eye-witness and companion. tells the tale with a verve that would have enchanted Maurice Hewlett. Best of all is the subtle skill with which the characters reveal and explain themselves, discuss their customs and their objects (which were as practical as ours) in the raciest modern speech.

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