|08-19-2012, 04:41 AM||#1|
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Weyman, Stanley J.: My Lady Rotha - Illustrated, v1 19 Aug 2012
Stanley John Weyman was born at Ludlow in Shropshire in 1855, the second son of a solicitor. He went to Shrewsbury School, then to Christ Church, Oxford, graduating in 1877 with a degree in history. With this degree he was not able to make much of a living for himself and prospects were discouraging. He was called to the Bar in 1881 and practiced law for "eight wretched years" never making more than two hundred pounds in any given year, and frequently angering judges with his nervous incompetence in court.
Novelist and Cornhill Magazine editor James Payn convinced him to undertake fiction. Weyman began publishing in 1883 with his short story The Story of a Courtship for The English Illustrated Magazine. But not until his first novel 'The House of the Wolf', set in 16th Century France, was he catapulted to fame. From 1890 onwards he was the lion of a very special and elegant literary form. His best books, including From the Memoirs of a Minister of France (1893), A Gentleman of France (1893), Under the Red Robe (1894) and The Red Cockade (1895) are all but without parallel in excellence. He died in 1928.
My Lady Rotha was published in 1894, and is set in 1632 in the Protestant province of Thuringia during the Thirty Years War. It is unusual in that the narrator is a servant, not a noble, and that there are two intertwining romances. One of the themes in the story is the dangers which face the protagonist's lover since she is a Roman Catholic, and another is the waste and futility of war, and the suffering and degradation it causes. Martin recounts 'It was my first experience of the darker side of war, and it surpassed in horror anything I had imagined or thought possible.' Count Leuchtenstein says 'God forgive us who have to do with the making of war.'
As always please let me know of any errors so I can fix them. The text and images come from Project Gutenberg. I have made my first stumbling steps in learning GIMP to improve the images, and would appreciate feedback.
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