The Lances of Lynwood by Charlotte M. Yonge
Publisher: Lepanto Press
Number of pages: 264
This story takes place in England and
France during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). During this
time, Englishmen, under King Edward’s son, are fighting to
capture French lands. The Prince of Wales is referred to as
the "Black Prince" and at this time parts of France are under
the control of the English.
The Lynwood family includes the Black
Prince’s faithful knight Sir Reginald, his frail wife Eleanor,
his younger brother Eustace (who is the hero of our story),
and Reginald’s young son Arthur. The Lances of Lynwood
are about 20 armed men who form a troop around Sir Reginald of
The story traces the growth of Eustace from
a weak, scholarly, well-mannered squire to a bold and true
warrior knight. Despite a series of battles and schemes of
treachery plotted against him, Eustace exhibits every nobility
of soul and aristocracy of virtue and remains a forgiving and
- Many Christlike virtues are evident in Eustace; he is a
devoted student, assumes the highest motives for the actions
of others, does not hold a grudge or try to get revenge,
takes care of the needs of others before his own needs, and
- A realistic view of the nature of medieval life is
portrayed. The author does not hide fallen human nature from
the reader in many characters and by comments throughout the
book. Yet, we are drawn to rise up with the noble and
virtuous with Eustace and Agnes, among others.
- The vocabulary will be unfamiliar to some readers and
will encourage them to find the meanings of words used
throughout the book.* The same could be said of the
geography of England and especially France; the book will
inspire students to study a map or draw one.
Cautions: There are no cautions with
regard to content.
This book of historical fiction is
recommended for junior high school age and up and due to the
rather confusing number of characters should be read aloud to
the students if used with grades 5 and 6, at least for the
first read. The book will fit well into a study of the Middle
Ages, especially with regard to the hierarchical military and
social structure of the time. The main character is an
exemplary model and the illustrations are beautiful and
inspiring to the budding artist.
* List of Words to Know: retainer, routier,
vassal, liege lord, fortnight, fortalice, keep, gasconades,
gentry, knight banneret, knight bachelor, pantler, corselets,
pennon, seneschal, page, knight, squire, yeoman, clerk.
Map Work: Gascony, Bordeaux, Calais, the
English Channel, the Pyrenees Mountains, etc.