cover image The Whyte Harte

The Whyte Harte

Paul C. Doherty / Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (256p) ISBN

Re-creating England and France in the early 15th century, Doherty's new novel rivals his previous masterworks, most recently The Crown in Darkness. The narrator, despicable Matthew Jankyn, is forced by Bishop Beaufort, half-brother to King Henry IV, who sits uneasy on the throne wrenched from Richard II, to trace rumors that Richard is in Scotland, gathering an army to march against the usurper. To save his low life, Jankyn betrays the woman he loves and his fellow Lollards, dedicated to the Whyte Harte, symbol of their belief in Richard's eventual triumph. During the ensuing bloody years, Jankyn remains in thrall to Beaufort and involved in the endless wars leading to Agincourt with its ruinous ``victories.'' The historically accurate, riveting story features numerous real and invented characters, none more vivid than the monster behind England's idolized Prince Hal. (Dec.)