Debbie is giving away a free copy of her new novel, Sword of Forgiveness. To enter, leave a comment below. Drawing will be held on Monday, March 30.
Debbie Lynne Costello has enjoyed writing stories since she was about eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina. She has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children’s Director. Debbie Lynne has shown and raised Shetland Sheepdogs for eighteen years and still enjoys litters now and then. In their spare time, she and her husband take pleasure in camping and riding their Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses.
Knights Throughout History
by Debbie Lynne Costello
The hero of Sword of Forgiveness is a Knight who is haunted by some of the events that accompanied his job. Knights evolved. But one could almost say that David in the bible was a knight with his code of honor and the way he protected.
In the beginning, around the eighth century, being a knight raised a man to just a little higher than a peasant, and most of the reason for that was because of his expensive belongings of a horse and armor. But knighthood would slowly improve his social standing until he became a part of nobility. However, he was considered the lower rank of the upper class. As time went on, being knighted became the thing to do and before long the great nobility and even royalty sought to be knighted. The status of knight was primarily the church’s policy of making ‘Christians’ out of all knights by sanctifying the ceremony and insisting on a code of behavior that is known as chivalry. But according to Francis Gies, in his book The Knight and History, it was a code that was perhaps violated more than it was honored.
But as time continued basic literary value began to influence the thoughts and culture of the Europeans. Stories of King Arthur along with other stories of knights and chivalry began to pop up. It helped to define and set the standards of a knight’s life-style along with his behavior, such as his religious and moral standards. These things helped form the code of chivalry and really began to become prominent toward the end of the twelfth century.
We’ve all heard tales of the troubadour’s songs. They sang of chivalry which consisted of three things. The social behavior: A knight was to be courteous, faithful, discreet, generous, possess good sense, and even be well spoken. They also sang of a wordly chivalry: The knight should be brave, loyal, honorable, and should carry out his life in a way that would bring him honor. The third type of chivalry the troubadours sang about was religious: They were to have the peace of God and be soldiers of Christ.
We have all heard the bible verse that talks about putting on the whole armor of God. Raymond Lull, a writer born in 1232, takes that a bit further as he describes each piece of armor and equipment of a knight. The sword (which looks like a cross) must fight the enemies of Christianity. The spear signified truth. The helmet “dread of shame”, the hauberk to resist “vices and faults”, the mail stockings were to keep from straying, the spurs where to keep him diligent and pursuing his duty with quickness. These were reminders that Knights were expected to live up to high standards.
There were many wars and uprising back in the medieval era. Knights weren’t always so chivalrous during those times. A Cleric named Bouvet wrote that during the times of war, knights should acted with honor or they were no knight. Men should not take a woman and shame or injure her, they should not set fire to churches, all ransoms should be reasonable, civilians should be respected, and laborers should be left in peace. It’s a reminder that not all followed the code.
So often when we think of knights we think of tournaments and that was a way for many a night to make money. Different rules applied depending on who threw the tournament. But one of the ways a knight could make money was to go from tournament to tournament. If he won, he’d win the losing knight’s horse and armor. He’d then sell them back to the horseless and armorless knight for money and move on to the next tournament.
Song of Roland is a piece of popular literature. If you have a chance you should read it. It gives an interesting account of Chivalry. I love the way Francis Gies ended The Knight in History. He ends it this way: Many medieval knights were Rolands, few were Galahads.
I like to think of Royce, the hero in Sword of Forgiveness as a Galahad.
by Debbie Lynne Costello
After the death of her cruel father, Brithwin is determined never again to live under the harsh rule of any man. Independent and resourceful, she longs to be left alone to manage her father’s estate. But she soon discovers a woman has few choices when the king decrees she is to marry Royce, the Lord of Rosencraig. As if the unwelcome marriage isn’t enough, her new husband accuses her of murdering his family, and she is faced with a challenge of either proving her innocence or facing possible execution.
Royce of Hawkwood returns home after setting down a rebellion to find his family brutally murdered. When all fingers point to his betrothed and attempts are made on his life, Royce must wade through murky waters to uncover the truth. Yet Brithwin’s wise and kind nature begin to break down the walls of his heart, and he soon finds himself in a race to discover who is behind the evil plot before Brithwin is the next victim.