Posts Tagged ‘the kestrel’

What always struck me about Lloyd Alexander was that while his prose style is elegantly simple, the themes he explored never were. I recently finished the Westmark trilogy with the The Beggar Queen (1984) and was once again impressed by the ideas Alexander played with. The Westmark trilogy begins with a familiar pattern: a teenager gets inadvertently caught up in events much bigger than him and meets a young woman who turns out to be princess, well-trod territory if you’ve read The Chronicles of Prydain. By the end, however, the Westmark Trilogy is nothing less than Lloyd Alexander’s long mediation on the Age of the Enlightenment in Europe, one that’s remarkably mature and nuanced. These are books about the impact of the printing press and widespread literacy, on the rise of humanistic ideals, on absolutism and the end of monarchy, on the changing nature of warfare and, above all about revolutions: revolutions in philosophy, politics, science.


Read Full Post »