New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1989. Nancy Ekholm Burkert (illustrations), Susan Marsh (jacket design). First Edition (stated). Hardcover. Used - Very Good/ Near Fine. Olive green cloth boards with blind-stamped motif on front board. Gilt lettering on spine. Red ochre endpapers. Top of spine is slightly bumped. Clean, unmarked, tight copy. Illustrated in full colour. Bibliography. 28 x 24.2 cm (oblong). Unpaginated. / Very Good. With minimal shelf wear. Some creasing at top of spine. Item #10407
Meticulously researched and stunningly illustrated, this medieval prose romance has been translated and recast by Burkert into Chaucerian iambic pentameter. The mysterious Pacolet narrates as a 16th-century troupe of itinerant players performs the story of two brothers separated at birth, one raised at court and the other by a bear in the forest. It is a tale of chivalry, brotherhood and forgiveness, wherein the brothers conquer the awful Green Knight and outwit the giant Ferragus. At the play's end, the brothers reunite their estranged parents who choose "to dwell in joy and not in bitterness." Like Brueghel, whose paintings inspired the illustrations, Burkert's canvases are brilliantly colored and richly detailed, full of round-faced peasants and robust farmers. The exuberant actors--the "giant" teetering on his stilts, the false Archbishop who doubles as a bear--are as endearing as the complicated story that asks its readers to "Bear witness, / Friends, to forces of forgiveness, / True devotion, and humility, / For they unite us as a family."
For all ages.