• R.B. Shaw begins the novel with a brief introduction that explains the two chronicles given in the novel and discusses the goal of the crusades, that of the capture of the Holy City, Jerusalem.
• The fourth crusade, chronicled first in the novel, is written by Villehardouin, and is, according to Shaw, the first reliable record of the crusades by the French; he wrote the chronicle years after his crusade, and Villehardouin saw his crusade as a duty to God.
• Around 1244, King Louis IX promised God that if he recovered from his illness, he would recover Jerusalem.
• Four years later, he began the Eighth Crusade; years later, King Louis began on another crusade, but Louis soon died, and his brother lost heart in the battle.
• Prince Edward attempted to continue the crusade, but found himself unable to accomplish much.
• Jean de Joinville, author of the second book...
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