We Were Poets; We Were Warriors

We Were Poets; We Were Warriors

by John Radencich

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We Were Poets; We Were Warriors is a novel about the troubadours of Medieval Southern France. It begins in the year 1170, during a gathering of troubadours in the castle of Puivert in southern France. They are heading to Spain for a royal marriage of the daughter of Henry II and Queen Eleanor (of Aquitaine) to Carlos VIII of Castille. The night of the gathering a huge banquet is hosted by Bernard Congost, the count of the castle. The troubadours are part of the banquet's entertainment. Here the reader is introduced to a common method of entertaining by the troubadours of those days. Not only are songs performed, but there is a discussion of the songs and their meanings between the performers and the members of the audience.
It's here, at Puivert, where we are introduced to the novel's main character, Piere Vidal, a teenage assistant to one of the troubadours. Next day the troubadours leave Puivert for Spain. Vidal does not accompany them, but returns home to Toulouse, where he grew up. The remainder of the novel follows Vidal's adult life. He eventually becomes the prime troubadour for Raimon V, Count of Toulouse. He performs his duties as troubadour and also goes through various adventures, including participating in a battle over a castle that belongs to a fellow troubadour. These experiences are a source of many of his songs.
Following an indiscretion, Vidal is forced to leave Toulouse. He eventually winds up as a troubadour for the Count of Cabaret, northeast of Carcassonne, where he is a rival in love for the count's wife with a fellow troubadour, Raimon de Miraval. Here he also goes through several adventures which, as at Toulouse, are a source of many of his songs.
Many of the incidents in the novel have an actual basis in fact. In the 1220's a troubadour by the name of Uc de Saint Circ (at least there's good evidence he's the author) wrote a couple of books, called Vidas and Razos respectively. The Vidas are the lives of the troubadours, beginning with the earliest of the troubadours in the early 1100's up to the time of the writing. There is some doubt as to how true were these Vidas, but certainly they were based on stories about the troubadours that were passed down over the years. One can only feel there surely had to be plenty of fact fueling these stories. The Razos, ("Reasons" is the translation) is a collection of troubadour songs which provides the backgrounds of these songs, that is, the incidents in the troubadour's life that caused him to write a particular song. It's a rather unique work and provides much detail about the lives of the troubadours and why they did what they did. As an example, chapter 18 is based on an incident recorded in Piere Vidal's Vida, while chapter 22 is based on the Razos.
Besides the above mentioned Vidas and Razos, much of the novel, though totally fictionalized, with some fabrications, is the result of over a decade of extensive research into the medieval troubadours. The author consulted many scholarly books and journal articles devoted to medieval history, literature, and music, written by many important scholars in the field. The goal is to present the troubadours as historical individuals. At the same time, however, the author himself is not a researcher presenting a scholarly work. His priority is to tell a story about the medieval troubadours, how they lived and how they went about their lives as poets and musicians, and as performers appearing in front of live audiences. Although the main character is one particular troubadour, many others contemporary to him also make important appearances in the story. As a result, although the story revolves around one man, it is not just one man's story, but the story of a group of men who appeared in one short period in human history, in one little part of the world, who wrote marvelous poems, composed wonderful music, and left an impact on their world and on worlds to come that lasts to this day.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940151421867
Publisher: Publish Green
Publication date: 06/18/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

John Radencich is a retired librarian, living in Miami, Florida. He was born in Kansas City, Kansas. He graduated in 1968 from Rockhurst College. Following that he spent two years in the army (Vietnem in 1969). Eventually he earned a Masters Degree in Library Science from the University of Michigan in 1974. From then, until his retirement in 2008, he was a professional librarian at Florida International University. Over the years he has developed a wide variety of interests, one of which, the Troubadours from Southern Medieval France, has led to the novel he is publishing here.
Following is a list of his fictional publishing credits, all short stories: “The Spiral,” published in the Apr. 1994 issue of Neophyte Magazine; “A Poem for Maya,” published in the Apr. 1997 issue of Timber Creek Review; “The Nail,” published in the April 2002 issue of Anthology; “Directions,” published in The Eclectics!, vol. 6 (July/Aug. 2003); “My Nightmare,” published in Words of Wisdom, 2005.

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