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 Post subject: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:35 am 
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Clan Fraser

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:09 pm
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Pawn in Frankincense
by Dorothy Dunnett

© 1966 - © 1994

Chapter 20: Constantinople: The Golden Road



This chapter is incredibly packed with scenes that are in some ways the culmination of long journeys and, possibly, set ups for things to come. Three major events occur; each one is filled with deep emotion and some difficult to stomach information. Most of the action is straight forward, however, the implications of all the scenes are staggering in intensity and in parts, very hard to read.

In the first section, Gaultier, Gilles, Marthe, and Jerott finally arrive in Constantinople after their long and arduous journey. As usual, Jerott has conflicted emotions about Marthe while she seems cheerful.

What do you think she means by the quoting the lines from a poem to him?
Where are you going, my pretty fair maid?' said he;
With your pretty white face and your yellow hair?'

The rest of the stanza is:

I'm going to the well, sweet sir,' said she;
For strawberry leaves make maidens fair.' "

Archie arrives and reconnects with his old friends seeking out Lymond while Jerott tracks down Nazik’s House of the Nightingales and follows Mikal and Khaireddin to what turns out to be Lymond’s house. Jerott, with his usual bluster, demands to see Lymond to which Mikal replies: “There is no barrier. I shall take thee myself. Only, one chooses the hour when one calls on an opium-eater” (366) stunning Jerott with his revelation of Lymond’s addiction.

We finally come to the scene where Lymond meets alone with the child he believes to be his. What agony for him to not only be chained up by his drug addiction, but to spend time with a child that has been so very abused both mentally and physically: “Even in that light Jerott could see the bruising marks on his thighs: spreading blossoms of purple and yellow which disappeared under the cotton”(366). Jerott watching Lymond with the boy they both believe to be his son observes “Francis Crawford’s face in this fleeting moment of privacy was filled with ungovernable feeling: of shock and pain and of a desire beyond bearing: the desire of the hart which longs for the waterbrook, and does not know, until it sees the pool, for what it has thirsted” (367). This image of deep pain and intense longing is striking as well a rare glimpse of FC’s emotion being evident on his face.

Jerott's abrupt entry causes Lymond to react violently, “…his face horrifying in its change to stark fury” (367). Jerott tries to run while Lymond throws a knife to stop him. The poor child is terrified but tries to placate his “client” :( in the way he has been taught as a catamite. Lymond comforts Khaireddin telling him “Thou art good” (368). Mikal has to return the child back to his keeper telling him “Come, Khaireddin. It is time to say goodnight to the dark” (369). :cry:

What are your thoughts and feelings about this scene?

Why did Mikal suddenly thrust Jerott into the room? Is he jealous of Jerott and wants to cause trouble?

Lymond and Jerott have a discussion about which child and all the subterfuge surrounding both children. Jerott finally offers his help once more and leaves. Ishiq’s arrives and Lymond quotes the Koran to him saying, “You don’t understand me, but I am only, like Khaireddin, saying goodnight to the dark”(371).

What does Lymond mean by his statement?

If that is not enough drama, we return to Philippa and find out what has been going on behind the scenes between GRM and Roxelana who are deep in their political machinations. Plus she is being kept from Kuzum “sickeningly” by GRM. She has gained an ally to communicate with Lymond through Hespibah, the Jewess, hence the Star of David code on the letters.

Philippa is brought in front of the evil GRM who torments her with plans to make her yet another one of his pawns. Philippa accords herself quite well with GRM although her impertinence causes orders for the boy to be whipped twice extra. GRM as usual seems to know what is going on since he knows Jerott has seen Khareddin and that Hepsibah was an accomplice of Lymond’s so he has seen to her murder.

Why do you think GRM changes his mind about assaulting Philippa right then?

Thoughts and feelings on this most demanding chapter? How is GRM always a step ahead of Lymond?

How hard would it have been for Lymond to let his son go back to the terrible conditions he is kept in?


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:17 am 
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Clan Fraser
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Great summary, :bow: :bow: of a heartbreaking chapter, LynnL. :cry: As you point out, doom powerful and irreversible emanates out of the pages, especially when FC quotes the Qur'an's verse 52:49. Francis is preparing to face death, why else "say goodnight to the dark"?

LynnL wrote:
What do you think she means by the quoting the lines from a poem to him?
Where are you going, my pretty fair maid?' said he;
With your pretty white face and your yellow hair?'

The rest of the stanza is:

I'm going to the well, sweet sir,' said she;
For strawberry leaves make maidens fair.' "

There's a little more to the old Cornish nursery rhyme that may answer the question:

      May I go with you, my pretty maid?
      You're kindly welcome, sir, she said.
      What is your fortune, my pretty maid?
      My face is my fortune, sir, she said.
      Then I won't marry you, my pretty maid.
      Nobody asked you, sir, she said.

I found an additional stanza to the poem. Notes and Queries

What is your father, my pretty maid?
Father's a farmer, sir, she said:
Sir, she said.
LynnL wrote:
Why do you think GRM changes his mind about assaulting Philippa right then?
In my opinion, Philippa's stunning nerve, her ability to dismantle JP's enjoyment of seeing her pleading and blubbering as he expected squashed his desire. The best line of all: "It was the longest, most adult duel she had ever faced in the whole of her short life." (Vintage page 375)

Brava, Philippa. :clap:

_________________
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But the wine had been too strong for her, as it had for the others; and like the others she had stepped from the safe shores of friendship. She stood now in another country, whose sun burned and whose air was too rare for her breathing. Checkmate


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:39 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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Thanks for the summary Lynn, and thanks to both you and A-C for the additional verses to the poem Marthe quoted (not that I am any less in the dark as to its meaning :lol: ).

Poor Jerott, blundering in as usual and breaking the peace. Yet, even after believing that FC is a willing opium addict (as nobody told him about the subterfuge), he still asks "what can I do?"
It seems he is destined to go through life serving another person.

LynnL wrote:
Why did Mikal suddenly thrust Jerott into the room? Is he jealous of Jerott and wants to cause trouble?

I wondered why the dramatic entrance. Was it to show Jerott that he could not just demand to see Lymond if Lymond was otherwise occupied?

Does Lymond truly believe this boy is his son, or is he just being gentle to the boy and befriending him as part of his plan to free both boys?

Anam-Charaid wrote:
LynnL wrote:
Why do you think GRM changes his mind about assaulting Philippa right then?

In my opinion, Philippa's stunning nerve, her ability to dismantle JP's enjoyment of seeing her pleading and blubbering as he expected squashed his desire. The best line of all: "It was the longest, most adult duel she had ever faced in the whole of her short life." (Vintage page 375)

Brava, Philippa. :clap:

I agree that this was part of the reason, plus, by leaving her undefiled GRM still has a great threat to hold over her. (But I admit that I was in terror as this scene unfolded!)

It was so sad to think that GRM has discovered the secret messenger and had her executed. I missed the fact that he had Jerott followed. Can nobody escape his clutches in this city? :worry:


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:31 pm 
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Thank you, Lynn, for an excellent summary of another dreadfully, painfully awful chapter. :cry: :cry: How does Lymond bear having to return Khaireddin to the House of the Nightingale? It's quite enough to drive one to madness or murder.

I agree with the others who think GRM doesn't complete his humiliation of Philippa because she refuses to play the victim. That's what he wants and she will not give it to him.

I thought it was interesting that we finally have confirmation about the plot against Mustafa, and it comes through Philippa, who passes her knowledge along to Lymond:
Quote:
Philippa had quite a lot of news, in those early days, to pass on through Hepsibah to Francis Crawford. There were letters, if you knew where to look for them, from Gabriel to Roxelana Sultán, and from Rustem Pasha, the Grand Vizier with the army. There were snatches of talk overheard between Gabriel and Roxelana. There was evidence, finally, incontrovertible, that the supposed sedition of the Prince Mustafa against his father and his father’s Grand Vizier had been something fabricated by Rustem Pasha, by Gabriel and by Roxelana, the mother of the Sultan’s next heir. And that the chain of events which led to the death of Mustafa at the hands of the Sultan was due to them also.

GRM, Roxelana, and Rustem Pasha cooked up the false story about Mustafa to get him out of the way. Does Roxelana have a son as well as a daughter? It would make sense that she would want Mustafa dead so that her son could succeed the Sultan, but I cannot recall hearing about her son before now. Maybe I just forgot.

The significant point here is that the perfidy Lymond heard rumored about Roxelana and then defended her against in Ch 20 turns out to be true (as I suspect FC already knew and Philippa confirmed)! Roxelana is a schemer and, in effect, a murderess. If she finds out Lymond (and Philippa) know the truth about her involvement in the Mustafa plot, won't she want them eliminated? Philippa even ruminates on this fact, wondering how this information could be of any use to Lymond. It seems to be a case of dangerous knowledge because Roxelana, Rustem, and Gabriel all need to protect each other to avoid being implicated, and the Sultan is likely to "throw the accusers to the lions" rather than accept any proof against Roxelana.

Was anyone else a bit surprised at how ruthless and cold-blooded Roxelana is? I suppose I was more than a little naive not to realize she is one of the people behind the murders of Mustafa and his four-year-old son, a fact that does not bode well for our intrepid little party.

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"Look up," said the Master, "and see them. The teaching stars, beyond worship and commonplace tongues. The infinite eyes of innocence." Dorothy Dunnett, Game of Kings


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:28 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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Clewless wrote:
Was anyone else a bit surprised at how ruthless and cold-blooded Roxelana is? I suppose I was more than a little naive not to realize she is one of the people behind the murders of Mustafa and his four-year-old son, a fact that does not bode well for our intrepid little party.
Not really, in this world of vicious intrigue and dog-eat-dog nothing is surprising. I had suspected in the previous chapter Roxelana had plotted with Rustem Pasha, who is married to her daughter to spread the rumour. Right? Who would benefit from poor Mustafa's death, but Roxelana's son? ;) I have a bigger question, what else is evil incarnate planning? He's the current Vizier while Rustem Pasha is away. Who is he planning to supplant? Anything is possible.

If anyone is interested YouTube has several episodes of the Turkish production "Magnificent Century" I would recommend everyone to take a peak. In the first episode, Roxelana has been abducted to Suleiman's court. We can say she's cold-hearted but to succeed in the Ottoman world, she had to be ruthless and cunning. Magnificent Century

DLT wrote:
Does Lymond truly believe this boy is his son, or is he just being gentle to the boy and befriending him as part of his plan to free both boys?
Lymond's intent is to save both boys, he's being gentle to this poor, abused child to gain his trust.

Little detail I picked up and forgot to mention. Philippa's appearance: "Three thousand crowns' worth of pearls bound in her thick, shining hair." She's come a long way from the days of mousy, flat, brown hair,

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But the wine had been too strong for her, as it had for the others; and like the others she had stepped from the safe shores of friendship. She stood now in another country, whose sun burned and whose air was too rare for her breathing. Checkmate


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:42 pm 
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Clan Fraser

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:09 pm
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Location: Texas
Anam-Charaid wrote:

Little detail I picked up and forgot to mention. Philippa's appearance: "Three thousand crowns' worth of pearls bound in her thick, shining hair." She's come a long way from the days of mousy, flat, brown hair,


Yes, I thought the same thing. Even that ol' meanie GRM is impressed:"My compliments, Kislar Agha. The improvement is considerable"(374).

Philippa's training in the Seraglio and enhanced appearance helps give her the confidence, at least outwardly, to verbally spar with GRM which is no small thing.


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:12 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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Wonderful summary, Lynn. :clap: :clap: This was a tough chapter and I suspect it's not going to get any easier.

I was perplexed as to why Mikal would been so insensitive as to reveal Lymond's addiction. Lynn, your question about Mikal's jealousy, what Lymond called "mischief," never occurred to me. I did suspect that Mikal had a crush on Lymond, so it makes sense that he wants to be the one to care for Lymond. Mikal creates animosity between the two men. How mean. In Mikal's pov, Jerott is a splendor before Mikal's eyes. How can Mikal compete with such a well made man as Jerott? Jerott must present quite a figure. At the same time, it is a dangerous situation if Jerott is/was seen. Even so, there were better ways for Mikal to introduce Jerott. The poor little child. No peace for him, even as he's being allowed to play with his shells, given some respite from his suffering. :( :(

Lymond suspects that the children may have been switched. I found this passage compelling:
Quote:
"'What did you promise Kedi?' said Lymond. 'What future did you paint for her and the child, once you had rescued them? Freedom, comfort and happiness; no more whippings and misery. She would have called the child Jesus of Nazareth if she thought that was the infant you wanted...Of course she would know, none better, if Joleta's child had been substituted for the one she had cared for. But she wouldn't necessarily admit it.'" (Vintage, p. 369)

Doesn't this bring to mind the mothers who were trying to sell their children as the boy a rich Efendi was looking for? Mothers were lying and hurting their children to sound convincing.

How can't Lymond not recognize the coloring of this child of the saffron hair?
And is this the authorial voice? or Jerott's pov? Why is "saffron" the adjective of choice for Jerott. Would Jerott have even noticed?:
Quote:
"It was the child Jerott had last seen in the arms of a Syrian silk-farmer in Mededia, his saffron hair hung with blue floss, his eyes black with terror." (Vintage, 367)


I loved Philippa's pluckiness. She had some good come-backs but she was playing with fire. "The Sultan won't like it." :thumbsup: for Philippa.
DLT wrote:
I agree that this was part of the reason, plus, by leaving her undefiled GRM still has a great threat to hold over her. (But I admit that I was in terror as this scene unfolded!)
I thought this as well, DLT. GRM may have reconsidered humiliating her then, in order to be more of a threat and get her to do his bidding. I can also see why his desire would wilt, Philippa is showing strength of will. Philippa is alluding to the possibility that she is not a virgin. "The Kislar Agha tells me you are a virgin.'" Her retort "Ask the Kislar Agha how he knows," (Vitange p. 374) would have been funny were it not for the threat of the lashes to be dealt the little boy. She was so good at dissembling her fear. Knowing GRM from home must have helped her somewhat. He wasn't a complete stranger. I'm glad she threw up on their carpet too!
Poor Hepsibah

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--Game of Kings


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:09 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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Can I just say :cry: :cry: :cry: about this chapter?

I was glad Jerrott asked about Kedi knowing which child because I know I thought that too at the time and I think I posted it in that chapter thread too and one of you kind people explained that she had plenty of reason to lie. I found Mikal's mode of pushing Jerrott in the room kind of strange too, though jealousy could explain it. I felt it was cruel to frighten the poor child who was finally having a little respite and chance to play. I felt worse for him than for Lymond, though it was sad for him to have his time with the boy interrupted too. I don't know that the boy's parentage matters to Lymond. He just sees what he's been through and wants to save both boys.

I love Philippa and was impressed - once again - with how well she handled a tough situation. And, I love that she writes letters to Kate in her head.

I'm assuming that when Archie gave a tour of the animals to whoever came that he was getting information (or maybe passing some along). Though I don't recall who that was right now. It's good to have everyone in the same city again.


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:48 am 
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It does seem that Mikal decided to rip back the curtain to the room with Lymond and Khaireddin out of jealousy given what FC himself says to Mikal:
Quote:
'This house will now be watched. Míkál, you are a fool. Had you waited, you would have discovered he is besotted over a woman.'

In other words, 'Jerott is not infatuated with me. He's not your rival.'

Under the circumstances, it is horribly petty bordering on the absurd for Mikal to care about such things, but it seems he is still thinking of FC as a potential lover and he sees the beautiful Jerott, Lymond's oldest friend, as a rival for FC's affections. Sheesh.

Or, perhaps, Mikal has turned his roving eye toward Jerott, who is healthy and strong and lovely:

Quote:
‘There is a saying,’ said Míkál with composure, ‘Chi pecora sifa, il lupo se la mangia. Make of thyself a sheep, and the wolf will eat thee. Alas, I am no sheep.

In other words, Mikal wishes he were a sheep so he could offer himself up to Jerrot, who he sees as a wolf, frothing at the mouth and dangerous. But Mikal is not fool enough to think Jerott is interested in anything except seeing the child at this moment.

Mikal's motivations are puzzling. At moments he seems to have deliberate plans for what he does and at other moments he seems to act on impulse. For example, at first, it seemed he was just going to let Jerott sees the boy and Lymond, but then at the last second he flung back the curtain seemingly on an impulse (or a whim).

Last thought: I think it was Mikal that Archie met with in the menagerie (they know each other already) but I am not sure. I doubt Archie would trust anyone else.

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"Look up," said the Master, "and see them. The teaching stars, beyond worship and commonplace tongues. The infinite eyes of innocence." Dorothy Dunnett, Game of Kings


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:10 am 
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Clewless wrote:
Quote:
'This house will now be watched. Míkál, you are a fool. Had you waited, you would have discovered he is besotted over a woman.'

In other words, 'Jerott is not infatuated with me. He's not your rival.'
Thank you for bringing this line up. I remember thinking that the line needed further analysis, but then forgot about it. This quote clarifies and validates our thoughts of Mikal being jealous of Jerott.

Clewless wrote:
Last thought: I think it was Mikal that Archie met with in the menagerie (they know each other already) but I am not sure. I doubt Archie would trust anyone else.
Lymond does say to Jerott that Archie has arrived and will help. Since we don't know when this happened--shifting time line and all--it may very well be that it was through Mikal that Archie communicated information.

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--Game of Kings


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:28 am 
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Hey, y'all. I saw this on Facebook and thought it was cool. It shows Edinburgh in Lymond's time.

https://phys.org/news/2017-03-technolog ... burgh.html


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:56 pm 
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I think Mikal's attitude toward Jerott goes back to Chapter 17, Thessalonika, when Lymond told him,
Quote:
Thoughtfully, Lymond studied the smiling face, and in his own face was a trace of answering amusement. ‘I think,’ he said, ‘that some time I must introduce you to a gentleman called Jerott Blyth.’

Of course, they were discussing religion at the time, but Mikal is rather impressed by the looks of this former Knight, and bound to feel some jealousy if he's been close to Lymond in the past. His actions are still very spiteful and thoughtless.

_________________
Mary

“...I prize freedom of the mind above freedom of the body. I claim the right to make my own mistakes and keep quiet about them. ... My life is at your disposal, but not my thoughts.”
Francis Crawford, in Dorothy Dunnett's Game of Kings


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:08 pm 
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Very cool, LynnL. Thank you! :clap: :clap:

pagali wrote:
Of course, they were discussing religion at the time, but Mikal is rather impressed by the looks of this former Knight, and bound to feel some jealousy if he's been close to Lymond in the past. His actions are still very spiteful and thoughtless.
Add to that immature and dramatic. He's behaving more like a jealous girl than a young man. He still doesn't get it, Lymond was never eligible. :x

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But the wine had been too strong for her, as it had for the others; and like the others she had stepped from the safe shores of friendship. She stood now in another country, whose sun burned and whose air was too rare for her breathing. Checkmate


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:36 pm 
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Anam-Charaid wrote:
pagali wrote:
Of course, they were discussing religion at the time, but Mikal is rather impressed by the looks of this former Knight, and bound to feel some jealousy if he's been close to Lymond in the past. His actions are still very spiteful and thoughtless.
Add to that immature and dramatic. He's behaving more like a jealous girl than a young man. He still doesn't get it, Lymond was never eligible. :x


Yes, very true. But then, people often do desire others who are not eligible. That's the basis of a whole lot of fiction and drama, not to mention real life.
:thumbsup:

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“...I prize freedom of the mind above freedom of the body. I claim the right to make my own mistakes and keep quiet about them. ... My life is at your disposal, but not my thoughts.”
Francis Crawford, in Dorothy Dunnett's Game of Kings


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT:PIF:Chapter 22:Constantinople:The Golden Road
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:44 pm 
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Hello you all!! I've read and enjoyed very much your comments and the excellent summary of LynnL. This chapter is so sad, but hey, this seems to be the trend :cry: when will it stop to get worse?? Those babies are suffering so much, and one cannot even start to imagine what Lymond would be feeling behind all that fog that keeps him in a prison.
There's this thought that kept me through all this painful book, and it was ....how anything so heartbreaking can be so beautiful? I think the true genius of DD appears full size when the beauty of her writing exceeds all horrors she depicts.

LynnL wrote:
Hey, y'all. I saw this on Facebook and thought it was cool. It shows Edinburgh in Lymond's time.

https://phys.org/news/2017-03-technolog ... burgh.html


Thank you for this link! it's fantastic! I've never been to Scotland (I've just gotten to England), but even at that early stage it looks stunning!! so tidy! It's quite incredible for me!! at that time my country was just landscapes and solitude and some natives running around.

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