Posted by: vikingsinspace | December 20, 2010

VI.01.02. Read The Tavern Knight

Date Accomplished: 6 Sept. 2010

The Tavern Knight: Grant Richards Edition

My Sabatini Journal

“‘Tis a doctrine of cravens, who, have lacked in life the strength to live as conscience bade them, lack in death the courage to stand by that life’s deeds.” (54)

“Hope is dead; and when that is dead what does it signify that the body die also?” (55)

“… they are the illusions of youth; they are youth itself, for when our illusions are gone we are no longer young no matter what years we count.  Keep your illusions, Kenneth; treasure them, hoard them jealously for as long as you may” (57)

draw me not without motive, sheath me not without honour‘ ~ the inscription on Sir Crispin’s Toledo Blade. (60-61)

“It was the way of young men to be fools, and that through folly lay the road to wisdom.” (132)

“Bah!  ‘Tis the coward cries ‘time was’!  Leave we the past, Cynthia.  It is dead, and of the dead we should speak no ill.” (141)

“,,, it seemed that time and life and the very world has paused in its relentless progress towards eternity.” (261)

The Tavern Knight

This is the second time I have read The Tavern Knight, and it is the first Sabatini book I read after reading his three best known novels.  I recall thinking at the time that the ending to this book was very strange, but I could not remember why.  After having read it again, it seems Sabatini could not figure out a decent resolution for the ending, and many threads of the story are left hanging.  However, this was only the second novel Sabatini wrote, and it is known that in later years he regretted many of his earlier novels.  I suspect this was one of them.

The Tavern Knight is not a bad book, despite the loose threads.  It is an interesting story of a good man turned bad, and his quest for revenge.  It contains plenty of plot-twists that one would expect from Sabatini, and perhaps a bit more fencing than usual.  I really did enjoy reading it again, and have been looking forward to getting to this book again.  I believe now the only Sabatini novels I have read before which have not been recorded here are The Sea Hawk and Love-At-Arms.

Rafael Sabatini’s signature after the title page of my edition. It reads “To Robert MacSymon Esq. with the author’s regard. Rafael Sabatini nov. 1904”
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