Volume 4, Issue 6, April 2014

A Word from the Editor

In this issue, our three reviewers tackle a series of myths set in Renaissance and early modern France. As announced in the March issue, Allan Greer reviews The Orenda, a best-selling Canadian novel that attempts to recapture the multiplicity of native and French voices in the period of contact, although not altogether successfully. In the Maybe Missed section, Charlotte Wells wonders at the appeal of the fantasy television series Reign, a very loose adaptation of the life of Mary Queen of Scots at the French court in the 1560s. The best way to approach it, she suggests, is as a reimagining of the myth of the hero (or in this case heroine) growing to maturity through a series of trials. Lastly, Greg Monahan compares René Allio’s Les Camisards, finally available on DVD, to the recently released Michael Kohlhaas based on the life of the mythic sixteenth-century rebel immortalized by Kleist. The Cévennes form a glorious background for the film, but Monahan concludes that the transfer of the story to France is too incongruous, particularly as the plot requires the anachronistic presence of Protestants in the region in the first half of the sixteenth century.

As ever, I am grateful to all the contributors to this year’s bulletins for the careful attention they paid to historical accuracy and for the context they supplied to help us understand how history and fiction intersect.

Liana Vardi

University at Buffalo, SUNY

 

Table of Contents

The Buzz

Hurons and Jesuits Revisited: Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda, by Allan Greer

Maybe Missed

Myth, History and Teen-age Romance: A Sixteenth-Century Historian Watches Reign, by Charlotte C. Wells

Classics in the Classroom

The Magic of the Cévennes: Les Camisards (1972) and Michael Kohlhaas (2013), by W. Gregory Monahan

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