“For mankind is ever the same and nothing is lost out of nature, though everything is altered.”
“On the Characters in the Canterbury Tales,”
in Preface to Fables, Ancient and Modern
I would like to express my thanks to all who have helped me in one way or another to write this book: to Maître Henri Crepin, Deputy Mayor of Coucy-le-Château and president of the Association for Restoration of the Castle of Coucy and Its Environs, for his hospitality and guidance; to my editor Robert Gottlieb for enthusiasm and belief in the book as well as judicious improvements; to my daughter Alma Tuchman for substantial research, my friend Katrina Romney for sustained interest and to both for critical reading. For first aid in medieval complexities, I am especially indebted to Professors Elizabeth A. R. Brown and John Henneman; also to Professor Howard Garey for elucidating problems of medieval French, and to Mr. Richard Famiglietti for the benefit of his familiarity with sources in the period. For various advice, guidance, translations and answers to queries, I am grateful to Professors John Benton, Giles Constable, Eugene Cox, J. N. Hillgarth, Harry A. Miskimin, Lynn White, Mrs. Phyllis W. G. Gordan, John Plummer of the Morgan Library, and, in France, Professors Robert Fossier of the Sorbonne, Raymond Cazelles of Chantilly, Philippe Wolff of Toulouse, Mme. Therese d’Alveney of the Bibliothèque Nationale, M. Yves Metman of the Archives Nationales, Bureaux des Sceaux, M. Georges Dumas of the Archives de l’Aisne, and M. Depouilly of the Museum of Soissons; also to Professor Irwin Saunders for introductions to the Institute for Balkan Studies in Sofia, and to Professors Topkova-Zaimova and Elisabeth Todorova of that Institute for assisting my visit to Nicopolis; also to Widener Library at Harvard and Sterling Library at Yale for borrowing privileges, and to the helpful and knowledgeable staff of the New York Public Library for assistance of many kinds. To unnamed others who appeared briefly to lend a hand on my journey of seven years, my gratitude is equal.A Distant Mirror foreign Language books
The Making of
I HAD FLOWN from San Francisco to Norfolk and was riding in a taxi. The driver and I chatted about the weather and the tourists. The sky was cloudy, and twenty minutes away was Virginia Beach, where I was scheduled to give a keynote address to hundreds of teachers and administrators at a conference on multicultural education. The rearview mirror reflected a white man in his forties. “How long have you been in this country?” he asked. “All my life,” I replied, wincing. His question was one I had been asked too many times, even by northerners with Ph.D.’s. “I was born in the United States,” I added. He replied: “I was wondering because your English is excellent!” Then I explained: “My grandfather came here from Japan in the 1880s. My family has been here, in America, for over a hundred years.” He glanced at me in the mirror. To him, I did not look like an American.A Different Mirror foreign Language books
So that, yes, here are the two lovers again, and their love affair spans a calendar year—August to August, dry season to dry season—and like the songbird who remains a short while in the hillside grove before he departs for the south—the lovers arrive and pass their season together and then pass on to other lovers and another season in the following summer, or autumn for the hermit thrush who returned to the girl’s hillside grove in October from the North two months after the end of the love affair, made his yearly urgent unstoppable migration, stays his three weeks, and the earth revolving around the sun, and the songbird singing his ingrained blood song and moving toward his final winter destination as the weather permits and decrees.A brief history of yes foreign Language books
Torgar staggered out of the tavern with the blood of a stranger on his knuckles.
“I want my sword,” he said to the four burly men who had persuaded him to leave.
“Come get it when you’re sober,” one said as he shut the door.
“Well, at least give me my damn drink!”
No such luck. The sellsword cursed and howled until his lungs hurt. Feeling better afterward, he made his way through the streets of Angelport back home. Home, of course, was his little room in the Keenan family’s magnificent estate, as captain of their mercenaries and guards. Not that he needed to do much anymore. With the thieves’ war ending nearly two years ago, his life had grown significantly quieter. And quieter meant boring. He wasn’t quite as young as he once was, either. When he first agreed to work for Laurie, he would have crushed at least a dozen skulls before they flung him out the door of a tavern. But now?
Surely it wasn’t that long ago he’d been a feared mercenary. The Bloody Kensgold was… gods help him… seven years ago? He turned and spit. On that night, he’d hunted thieves, drunk himself stupid, rescued Madelyn Keenan from Thren’s little hideout, and overall had himself a glorious time. A shame those days were behind him. Well, all but the drinking part.
Without his sword, he felt naked traversing Angelport’s streets. Big as he was, he doubted any ruffians would be dumb enough to try hustling him. That, and he certainly didn’t look like a man loaded with coin. But he liked having his weapon with him anyway. All it’d take was one bad turn, one lucky snot with a dagger and a hungry belly, and he’d go from Laurie Keenan’s trusted mercenary to just another rotting hunk of meat to be cleaned up by the city guard. Thankfully he encountered no one on his way home. The streets were strangely quiet. Laurie had mentioned something about the elves; perhaps that was the reason. The whole city stank of nervousness.A Dance of Mirrors foreign Language books
Once upon a time, in the future…
I was a student fascinated with stories and learning.
I studied philosophy, poetry, history, the occult, and
the art and science of love and magic. I had a vast
library at my father’s home and collected thousands
of volumes of fantastic tales.
I learned all about ancient races and bygone
times. About myths and legends and dreams of all
people through the millennium. And the more I read
the stronger my imagination grew until I discovered
that I was able to travel into the stories... to actually
become part of them.
I wish I could say that I listened to my teacher
and respected my gift, as I ought to have. If I had, I
would not be telling you this tale now.
But I was foolhardy and confused, showing off
One afternoon, curious about the myth of the
Arabian Nights, I traveled back to ancient Persia to
see for myself if it was true that every day Shahryar
(Persian: شهريار, “king”) married a new virgin, and then
sent yesterday's wife to be beheaded. It was written
and I had read, that by the time he met Scheherazade,
the vizier's daughter, he’d killed one thousand
Something went wrong with my efforts. I arrived
in the midst of the story and somehow exchanged
places with Scheherazade – a phenomena that had
never occurred before and that still to this day, I
Now I am trapped in that ancient past. I have
taken on Scheherazade’s life and the only way I can
protect myself and stay alive is to do what she did to
protect herself and stay alive.
Every night the King calls for me and listens as I spin tales.
And when the evening ends and dawn breaks, I stop at a
point that leaves him breathless and yearning for more.
And so the King spares my life for one more day, so that
he might hear the rest of my dark tale.
As soon as I finish a story... I begin a new
one... like the one that you, dear reader, have before
you now.1001 Dark Nights foreign Language books