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Unruly Princess: A Novel Paperback – April 5, 2012

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About the Author

Marcelle Thiebaux is the author of The Writings of Medieval Women; Dhuoda: Handbook for her Warrior Son; and The Stag of Love: the Chase in Medieval Literature. She began research on Princess Margit's court circle when she gave a seminar on medieval women at the Central European University in Budapest. She has published articles and short stories, and has reviewed fiction for Publishers Weekly and The New York Times Book Review. She lives with her photographer husband in Sag Harbor and New York.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: WestBowPress (April 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449737684
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449737689
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,330,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Curious Dame on September 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Unruly Princess tells the story of Saint Margit of Hungary, the daughter of a king whose kingdom was plagued by attacks by the brutal Tartars/Mongols. Desperate to bring peace to his lands and peoples, the king and queen pray to God for help. In exchange for His help, they promise to pledge their soon-to-be born 9th child to God. That child was a girl they named Margit.

The royal couple's prayers were answered, and in keeping with their promise, pledged 3 year old Margit to a Dominican convent where she was educated with other children of the nobility. But Margit was not like the other children. She was extremely pious and dedicated every moment of her life serving God. She demanded to wear nun's clothing instead of her rich garments. She fasted, wore hairshirts, took on the dirtiest, hardest tasks of the convent, did laundry, prepared food for others, prayed throughout the night, tended to the most sick and vile, and wore the most ragged of clothes. To pledge her body and soul to God brought her the greatest joy and she yearned to one day take the vows to become a nun. But her family had other plans for this royal princess and they arranged a lucrative marriage for their daughter. Margit was incensed for she had been pledged to God even before she was born and refused to consider any other path for her life.

Detailed hagiographies are hard to find, but Dr Marcelle Thiébaux has managed to take fact and blend it beautifully into fiction. Although this is fiction, it has been meticulously researched and is strongly based on the actual details of Saint Margit's life. It is an ambitious but small hagiography that packs a powerful punch. This intriguing story about a young girl's ambition to defiantly follow her heart and calling kept me interested from start to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ROSEMARY BIGGIO on April 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
Christ's Princess Bride : A Book Review
By Rosemary Biggio

Thiebaux, Marcelle. Unruly Princess. Indiana: Westbow Press. 2012. 192 pages. ISBN-10:1449737684

Unruly Princess is the story of Saint Margit of Hungary, the daughter of embattled King Bela IV and Queen Maria Lascarina whose kingdom was attacked by Tartar and Mongol hordes. Desperate for peace, the royal couple implored God's help. In exchange, her parents pledged Margit to life in a Dominican convent. After tranquility was restored, her father politically motivated, encouraged Margit to marry King Ottokar II of Bohemia. The unruly princess, mindful of her solemn vow, disobeyed her father and rebuffed her suitor. During her convent life, she fasted, prayed, performed menial tasks, and engaged in corporal punishment. Her love for Christ, her bridegroom, compelled her to a life of sacrifice.
The novel is a methodically researched blend of obscure history and legend. The author's use of first-person narration creates an intimacy between the reader and narrator. Meticulous attention to detail captures life in medieval Hungary. Thiebaux's style, self-described as `art completes the action', jolts life into a stillborn hagiography as sunlight illuminates stained glass.
The attractive cover and illustrations are by artist Tamara Thiebaux Heikalo. The author includes several aids for the reader: a map, "Margit's World", designed by Marcy R. Edelstein; thumbnail character sketches by the narrator; a glossary and discussion questions. In the Afterword, the author comments on characters and recommends other noteworthy books for the interested reader.
Dr.
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Format: Paperback
My knowledge of historical fiction is a bit limited, so I'll come right out with that. My knowledge of medieval times also comes down to this: there were battles over lady and God; there was chivalry; women were a form of property. Marcelle Thiebaux's novelization of real-life Princess Margit of Hungary encompasses all three of these elements. Margit, who is eighteen and unmarried, has dedicated her life to God. When he mother was pregnant with Margit, the country was under attack, so the king and queen devoted the unborn child to God if only he would make peace in the land. Peace happened, so Margit takes her devotion very seriously. If she breaks her parents' promise to God, the destruction of Hungary will be her fault (so she believes). But will she be able to resist her cousin, the handsome twenty-seven-year-old Prince Ottakar, who requests/demands Margit's hand in marriage? Their union would create peace between two lands. What about Margit's niece, a fifteen-year-old widow named Cunegonda? Who will have her now that she's "used up"? The novel includes a map, glossary, list of characters, and discussion questions.

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