The Mark of the Horse Lord

PDF EBook by Rosemary Sutcliff

EBook Description

The Mark of the Horse Lord is about a freed gladiator, Phaedrus, in second- PDFcentury Britain, whose accidental resemblance to the king of the northern tribe of Dalriada involves him in a plot to replace that king and enter into a war with a rival tribe, the Caledones. The Mark of the Horse Lord PDF EBook

As with many of Rosemary Sutcliff’s novels, The Mark of the Horse Lord is beautifully written, her characterization subtle, her sympathies even.Her respect is as great for the Roman fort commander, Titus Hilarius, as it is for Phaedrus.

The main conflict of the tale involves a clash of cultures, as it often does in Sutcliff’s fiction.This time, the clash arises between the patriarchal Dalriads and the matriarchal Caledones.The Dalriads have a monarchy in which kingship is inherited by the dead king’s eldest son; download; the Caledones have a queen, whose king is sacrificed every seven years.Into this cultural mix come the businesslike Romans, who just want peace on the frontier.

I don’t actually know if this story is historically accurate.Very little is known about this area at this time period, and it’s possible that Sutcliff has invented much of the cultural background to her tale.Most likely, she reconstructed it by comparing the Dalriads and Caledones (known historically as the Scotti and the Picts) to other tribes at a similar stage of cultural and technological development.

Ultimately, though, historical accuracy, even if this is possible in a book on this subject, is of very little importance.What is important is that Phaedrus is, like many of Sutcliff’s protagonists, on a journey.It is an inner journey, a journey that is as important to us today as it would have been in second-century Britain.When we first meet Phaedrus, he is dead inside, a slave to his animal passions to kill, preserve himself, and make love.The substitution thrusts him into a situation in which he has to act like a king, and it is not until the end—by a beautifully-handled piece of symbolism—that we see he has finally found the secret of what it means to be a king, and has internalized it to such an extent that he becomes capable of self-sacrifice.

Sutcliff proved, many years ago, that literature about the distant past can be not merely relevant, but important to the present.
Like this book? Read online this: B.B. King - The B.B. King Collection - Volume 3, Lord John and the Haunted Soldier (Lord John Grey, #2.5).

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