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Description - Deus Lo Volt! by Evan S. Connell

The year is 1095. The most prominent leaders of the Christian world have assembled in a meadow in France near Clermont. Pope Urban appeals for the liberation of Jerusalem and cries out Deus lo volt!, God Wills It! The cry is taken up, echoes forth and is carried on. Wave upon wave of Christian pilgrims rush to assault the growing power of Muslims in the Holy Land and will do so for the next two hundred years. Most able men become soldiers of the Cross, and when a man is prevented by old age or ill health, he sends his son. Women, too, go to fight alongside the men. It is a time of great adventure, of great exploration and cultural change. Uniting Christian Europe in a common cause, the crusades defined forever the spirit of the West. A magisterial recounting of this great and terrible campaign, "Deus lo Volt!" tells with stunning immediacy one soldier's first-hand experience of the defining war of Christendom.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780712668040
ISBN-10: 0712668047
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 32mm)
Pages: 480
Imprint: Pimlico
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 5-Jul-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - Deus Lo Volt! by Evan S. Connell

Book Reviews - Deus Lo Volt! by Evan S. Connell

UK Kirkus Review » The title Deus Lo Volt! means 'God wills it!' - the rallying cry that began the Crusades to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. This extraordinary account of that campaign tells the whole story through the tale of one Frenchman who fought for the cause. A huge, culture-defining work of historical imagination. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » The Crusades of the late-11th through early-13th centuries are the subjects of this brimming, though by no means sprawling, semidocumentary novel, Connell's first since The Alchemist's Journal (1991). Beginning with his enormously successful nonfictional history of Custer's Last Stand, Son of the Morning Star (1984), Connell has cultivated an increasingly opaque, stripped-down style that he modulates to telling effect in this anecdotal summary overview of the numerous attempts by many different ``soldiers of Christ' to liberate the holy city of Jerusalem from Muslim ``infidels'because, they are commanded to believe, ``God wills it!' (Deus lo volt!). Jean de Joinville, son of an illustrious Frankish family, tells of his service in the Holy Land as ``seneschal' (personal steward) to pious French King Louis IX; but Jean's (foreshortened) own story is preceded by fully four-fifths of the text, which recounts at leisure and in (often fascinating) dense period detail the history of Christianity's long foreign ordeal, beginning with Pope Urban's impassioned call-to-arms in a.d. 1095. The books eccentric proportions, however, in no way diminish the effect of the ravishing tale Connell spins (in the economical manner perfected by such classical historians as Herodotus and Livy): a colorful chronicle of exhaustive political intrigue, military hardship, heroism, and sacrifice, and rapturously related ``miracles'culled from various contemporary sources, featuring such vivid historical figures as Richard the Lion-Hearted and the wily Saracen leader Saladin, and expressed in Jean de Joinville's grave, reverential, utterly convincing voice. Deus lo volt! isn't exactly a novel; it's more of a narrative ``omnium gatherum,' or ``anatomy,' much closer in spirit to medieval saints' lives and wonder tales than to virtually any contemporary fiction about its demanding subject (Zoe Oldenbourg's almost forgotten historical novels are perhaps its closest equivalent). Magnificent stuff. Readers who have already been captivated by Connell's departures from conventional fictional form will be eager to follow him down this curious and remarkable book's intricate, pristine, and illuminating path. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Evan S. Connell

Evan S Connell, long recognised as one of the most important American literary voices, is the author of seventeen books, including Mrs. Bridge, Mr. Bridge, and the best-selling Son of the Morning Star (Pimlico), his account of Custer's final battle at the Little Big Horn. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico

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