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The White Company

Arthur Conan Doyle

Date of publication: 1891

The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle is a historical adventure set during the Hundred Years' War. The White Company is set in the late 14th century, mostly in England and France.

When Arthur Conan Doyle was young, his mother used to tell him tales about glorious knights and their chivalrous deeds. But it was not until 1889 when he attended a lecture on medieval times that Doyle began to seriously think about the fourteenth century. He extensively researched and The White Company was initially published in serialized form in 1891 in Cornhill Magazine.

Despite its lack of fame today, it was very popular at the time and throughout the Second World War.

The name seems to be taken from the famous 14th Century Italian mercenary company, led by John Hawkwood.

Plot Introduction

The novel tells the many adventures of Alleyne Edricson and The White Company. It starts off with the expulsion of John Hordle from the monastery of Beaulieau because of his excesses; he was gluttonous, quarrelsome and was seen accosting a prostitute. As the abbot Berghersh orders him to be flogged, Hordle, incredibly big and strong, attacks the would be flogger and runs away from the monastery, whereby the abbot declares that he was expelled. Hordle, as it turns out, was not a God fearing person and had joined the monastery in a fit of depression when his sweetheart had rejected him to marry another man.

(From Wikipedia, description text under GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL))

Free PDF eBook - 536 kB - 218 pages