Only the old nurse and the two older children survive. The story centres on the problems faced by the family of a wealthy Protestant merchant called Merck in the Silesian town of Schweidnitz in the early period of the war.
Father and two sons are imprisoned, while mother and daughters take refuge in a hidden hermitage in the back garden. Eventually peasant forces led by the disguised Albert attack the Imperial soldiers, burn down a large house and release Merck and his companions from prison. The reunited Merck family then escape into the Giant Mountains and find refuge with other fugitive Protestants. Antagonism between the Imperialists and the Protestants focusses largely on the soldiery and peasants, whose actions are relentless and unrestrained.
Once the Imperialists have taken Schweidnitz the townspeople are given eight days to renounce their Protestantism or be killed. Merck of course refuses and is imprisoned. The cruelty of the war is further illustrated by the fact that the Protestant Albert turns out to be the son of the Imperialist and Catholic Colonel von Hardenfels, who demands, but does not receive, his recantation.
Obviously, the book attempts first and foremost to tell a story that will grip and also to some degree instruct its target readers, but within a small space it gives a good idea of major aspects of the Thirty Years War as viewed through the purported experiences of a single Protestant family. First we find J. It was followed by G.
This cluster may perhaps reflect increased British interest in the history of Germany following the unification of Germany under Prussia after the Franco-Prussian War. All the books of British origin engage their young readers through the simple device of having one or more of their leading characters British, more often Scottish than English. This is entirely plausible, since neither the Imperialist nor the Protestant side consisted solely of German stock.
Like all the other fictional works, it provides a good deal of background information and narrative of the progress of the war. This is articulated in relation to a love-story centred on Helena, the daughter of the Calvinist pastor Hermann, her would-be husband Theodore Wechter, son of a wealthy magistrate and later defector to the Imperialist side, and her gallant English admirer, Harry Wyndham, of whom Theodore is viciously jealous. He escapes with the help of a gipsy and rejoins the Swedish camp.
Telling Tales - The Thirty Years War - Open Book Publishers
Gustavus sends him with a despatch to Stralsund, and en route he fights a party of Croats, but prevents their officer from being killed. Some time later Wyndham learns that Helena and her father are in Magdeburg, now about to be besieged. Disguised as an Imperialist, Harry helps them to escape, rather implausibly aided by the Croat officer who coincidentally turns up. Equally implausibly they are helped to cross the Elbe by an Imperialist officer who turns out to be the turncoat Theodore Wechter. Later still, in the stand-off between Wallenstein and Gustavus at Nuremberg, Wyndham meets Wechter the father again.
He sends a message via a gipsy to Theodore, trying to induce him to join the Swedish army, but with no success. Wyndham marries Helena and takes her to England. In the gipsy figures who appear at several points in the story we have a minor diversion from the relentlessly middle and upper class characters who otherwise populate it. De Liefde points up the usual contrasts between Gustavus and Wallenstein, but he does not reproduce the grotesque picture of Tilly, treating him less emotively. The plot places the reader firmly on the Protestant side, and the defection of Theodore Wechter to the Imperialists may be read as a condemnation of the Imperialist position generally.
Good deeds, acts of generosity towards individuals, of which there are several in the course of the novel, are reciprocated in later incidents. But Wechter the father and Theodore the son, in political and religious opposition to each other, can only be united in death on the battlefield. The effects of the war are poignantly shown in the destruction of family relationships between the central characters. Thus, German womankind is rescued by the help of the doughty, honest Englishman. Henty was particularly keen on getting the historical context of his adventure stories correct, and he spent a lot of time reading source material.
This is quite apparent in The Lion of the North , which retails great slabs of factual information about the military operations and historical background.
His heroes fight for a cause they believe in and for a leader whom they can unreservedly admire. Gustavus fulfils this role perfectly. As Henty declares, he. Fearless himself of danger, he ever recognized bravery in others, and was ready to take his full share of every hardship as well as every peril. He had ever a word of commendation and encouragement for his troops, and was regarded by them as a comrade as well as a leader He had an air of majesty which enabled him to address his soldiers in terms of cheerful familiarity, without in the slightest degree diminishing their respect and reverence for him as their monarch p.
Malcolm manages to take Thekla with him, and at the end of the book he marries her and returns to England. The siege of Magdeburg is passed over quickly:. The ferocious Tilly had determined upon a deed which would, he believed, frighten Germany into submission: he ordered that no quarter should be given, and for five days the city was handed over to the troops.
History has no record since the days of Attila of so frightful a massacre p. Leslie, Gordon, Butler and Devereux are all named and their treachery against Wallenstein condemned. Wallenstein was no bigot, his views were broad and enlightened, and he was therefore viewed with the greatest hostility by the violent Catholics around the king, by Maximilian of Bavaria, by the Spaniards, and by the Jesuits, who were all powerful at court.
These had once before brought about his dismissal from the command, after he had rendered supreme services, and their intrigues against him were again at the point of success when Wallenstein determined to defy and dethrone the emperor. The coldness with which he was treated at court, the marked inattention to all his requests, the consciousness that while he was winning victories in the field his enemies were successfully plotting at court, angered the proud and haughty spirit of Wallenstein almost to madness, and it may truly be said that he was goaded into rebellion.
The verdict of posterity has certainly been favourable to him, and the dastardly murder which requited a lifetime of brilliant service has been held to more than counterbalance the faults which he committed p. However, after the death of Gustavus Henty turned to the French side in the war in order to find suitably worthy leaders for his new young hero to serve and emulate. Once more we have another young Scot as hero, one Hector Campbell, who is fifteen at the outset of his adventures. His father has been killed at the siege of La Rochelle, and he becomes a lieutenant in the household of Viscount Turenne, performing tireless deeds of fortitude and ingenuity, which always seem to involve swimming across icy rivers in the dark.
With each success he is promoted and eventually gains an estate and barony in Poitou, finally marrying the daughter of a widowed baroness and, because of hostility from the party of the Duke of Beaufort, departing for England. In the middle stage of his career Hector is involved with the Duke of Enghien, whose personal bravery is greatly admired, but whose impetuosity is not.
Turenne is the preferred model of military conduct, disciplined, thoughtful, fair-minded, considerate of those over whom he has charge. Won by the Sword is of lesser import for those interested in the depiction of Germany in the Thirty Years War, because its focus is on France during the period of Mazarin. It covers the same period as The Lion of the North and, as one would expect of a book published by the Religious Tract Society, treats its subject from an emphatically Evangelical viewpoint. I wanted to make sure the president had a chance to thoroughly consider what we should do before we did it.
It was really one of the high points of my tenure. It was a wide-ranging conversation about doctrinal analysis, about where society was now, about social change and whether it should go through the courts or through the majoritarian process, about the pace of social change, about the significance of the right at stake.
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He was incredibly impressive. We made the judgment to take a position on marriage equality, and the position we took two years later in the Obergefell v.
Hodges case followed from that. We ground both our arguments in this concept of equal dignity under the Equal Protection Clause. The difference is that in Perry , we were trying to offer the court a stepping-stone on the way to full marriage equality — because of a concern that the court might not be ready yet, in , to take the step all the way.
So we took an intermediate position: that in states that already recognized domestic partnerships, there was no valid justification left for denying marriage equality. This is a place where the concept of dignity really matters. His most ardent admirers and nemeses alike invoke the now-familiar litany: , dead and nearly 5 million refugees, whose flight northward has shaken the European Union and may yet sink it. They cite the snuff-film horrors of ISIS and its remorseless spread around the globe. And they pointedly compare it with Sarajevo, where similar war crimes came to an end during the s thanks to American power.
But even his most loyal defenders concede that he was too slow to make up his mind about Syria.
He seemed almost to resent it — as if the conflict were, like the American project in Iraq, an unwanted inheritance from his predecessor. And in fact, his impatience to get free of Iraq played a role in spawning the Syrian nightmare. As the U. But Syria was different. Decades of minority rule had built up enormous pressures, and the regime was more cunning and better prepared than those that fell in the Arab Spring.
Obama resisted but, after a round of strong lobbying by Israel and Jordan, eventually signed a secret order for the CIA to arm and train rebel groups. Obama continued to send mixed signals for more than a year. It was not until late August that events finally focused his mind. A poison-gas attack near Damascus left hundreds of Syrian civilians dead.
But then, with his finger on the trigger, he backed away under the guise of seeking authorization from a Congress he knew to be opposed. To domestic critics, including some in his own administration, it was an embarrassing flip-flop that would surely embolden dictators the world over. But most observers agree that it came about largely through luck. In the years since, the Syrian war has continued to absorb new players and damage everything in its path.
The Obama administration is in deeper, though only to fight isis. The Russians are fighting for Assad, the Turks against him; the Kurds are in the middle. One of his favorite foreign leaders, Angela Merkel, has shared his concerns about intervention all along. But she has balanced her wariness with a much more generous embrace of Syrian refugees.
EIGHT YEARS IN AMERICA
It is not too late for him to follow her example. The video is later seen by a friend of the victim.
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I meant what I said. But this was not a gaffe.