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The Little Duke (Yesterday's Classics) Paperback – July 15, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

English novelist and historian whose works helped proliferate the impact of the Oxford Movement. A prolific writer, Yonge has more than 125 volumes of fiction to her name. She also wrote national histories, religious treatises, and school books. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Yesterday's Classics (July 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599152061
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599152066
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #826,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By William J. Ceriani on August 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Although this book was written nearly a century ago and was intended for children, it can be worthwhile reading for adults, too. It was one of my favorite books as a child, but when I read it to my own daughter a few years ago, I was pleased to see that it had lost none of its appeal.
This historical novel deals with the childhood of Richard the Fearless, Duke of Normandy, son of William the Long Sword, father of Richard the Good, grandfather of Robert the Magnificent (also known as Robert le Diable, about whom Giaccomo Meyerbeer wrote an important opera), and great-grandfather of William the Conqueror. Richard has been relegated to a footnote in medieval French history, but his story is a fascinating one: becoming duke of Normandy at age nine after the assassination of his father, his sojourn at the French court as a vassel, liegeman, and hostage of the King, and his daring escape (engineered by Osmond de Centeville, the young knight who was his squire and the only Norman allowed to accompany him in his captivity) when it became clear that Richard's life was in danger.
Charlotte Yonge wrote a large number of books for both children and adults. Her children's books were generally intended to provide uplifting moral instruction by means of the example of heroic persons of the past, but they were well-written and did an admirable job of conveying a sense both of moral virtues such as courage and of the feel of a historical period. However instructive they were intended to be, Ms. Yonge refrained from preaching, moralizing, or pontificating, so her writing has worn well over the years.
Don't be daunted by the obscurity of the historical period (tenth century France.) The book is well worth reading to your children, particularly if they have an interest in history or are simply intrigued by a rousing true tale of adventure in a distant time.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By T. Walker on March 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Though this book is intended for CHILDREN 9 and up, I found it very difficult to put it down. The author's writing style is very enjoyable, written above most texts for children. She is able to quite effectively draw the reader into the story, creating suspense and intrigue--what will happen next? But, most powerful about this tale is the character growth we see of this little boy, like most of his age, self-centered and foolish. By the end of the story, he has adopted the high values of his father and has become a great leader. Who wouldn't want to read this type of book to her young son or daughter? I have every intention of reading this soon to my own children, or using it as we study the Middle Ages together. When reading with your own children and seeing how the "Little Duke" goes through various trials and matures in character and soul, many meaningful discussions could be initiated. I always love exposing beautiful writing to my children that, at the same time, delicately trains in righteousness and character. This is a great resource for such a reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I originally got this book assigned to me to read as simple reading schoolwork, but I found the book kept my attention. the adventure of a young orphaned duke sent as a peace-keeping hostage to France, ruled by the great Louis the Pious, and he is utterly ignored by everyone and rather despised by the eldest prince, Lothaire. he is utterly misersable. The book continues, but I must say that I found all the book slightly dull, but was still interesting in ways. Over all, it was not a #1 book, but good for research and for those who enjoy historic documentary reads.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amy on February 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The Little Duke is a book we use as part of our homeschooling curriculum, and it's become a family favorite. I look forward to reading it to each of my children as they get to the proper age. The language and sentence structure is very challenging to young listeners, but the story is exciting and delightful--a real treasure for boys in particular. My children love to read it on their own as they become old enough to tackle it themselves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MH on December 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beloved retelling of Richard the Fearless. Compelling narrative. A bit challenging, especially vocab, but absolutely worthwhile. My 3rd grader adores this story, as do I. Have gleaned so much from it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tami Valencia on January 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My children and I enjoyed the history and especially the message of mercy, forgiveness, wisdom and honor. A wonderful story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer A Spead on June 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lovely book about the third generation of the Vikings (for lack of a better term) who settled Normandy. Gets exciting a few chapters in.
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By Thomas Hoover on June 16, 2015
Format: Paperback
I stumbled on this book when I was nine (in 1955) and read it avidly more than once as a child, and later as an adult. It was still wonderful! The account of the child Duke of Normandy was, I think, the earliest source of my lifelong fascination with mediaeval history. (It came as an unpleasant shock to learn, after I grew up, that the young paragon Richard the Fearless fathered quite a number of bastards, but when I first read it I didn't know there was or could be such a thing.) Thank you, Charlotte Yonge.
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