Henry of Monmouth
There is no character more popular in drama or fiction than that of the young scapegrace who suddenly betters expectation and surprises the world with his wisdom, prowess, magnanimity and success. When he is Prince of Wales, who is to become King of England and to excel in what for five hundred years was to be the national English pastime of beating the French, the appeal is irresistible. Henry of Monmouth, as Shakespeare found him in the chronicles, was already cast for this enviable impersonation. He had done all that was necessary to make him the darling of English history— from neglecting his studies, which many English worthies have claimed as a distinction in later life, to assaulting the Lord Chief Justice of England, which puts well into the shade the reminiscences of most public persons who can claim to have redeemed the promise of their greener days. Here was an opportunity not to be missed by a dramatist who must first secure the attention of a mixed audience before he can dare to invite its more judicious members to realise that there is more in his tale perhaps than meets the eye.
KeywordsPublic Life Political Character English History Public Person Mast Seal
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