The Last Duel in Eric Jager and released by Intrinsic publisher is already in theaters for ridley scott. The film has the actor's presence Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck.
It is not by chance when reading this historical book, and not a historical novel, the reader will realize the reasons why Riddley Scott decided to adapt this work for the cinemas. Eric Jager who is also the author of The Book of the Heart, a study of the image of the heart in medieval literature, knows how to captivate people with chapters that are more than a lecture on a historical period.
Through a very fluid and simple narrative, the author manages to interpret for readers the events of those times that led to the call The Last Duel. Jager makes a real dissection of what the period was, its characters, society and an explanation of who were the knights in those times, something very different from what we are used to with Hollywood works.
In the 14th century, in the midst of the Hundred Years War between France and England, Jean de Carrouges, a Norman knight recently arrived from the battles in Scotland, returns home and is faced with yet another deadly threat. His wife, Marguerite, accuses squire Jacques Le Gris—an old friend and fellow courtier of the knight—of rape. With no way out after Carrouges makes a formal appeal, the court orders a trial by combat, which also puts Marguerite's fate to the test. If her husband loses the duel, she will be sentenced to death for perjury.
While enemy troops plunder the country, madness surrounds the French court, Islamic armies threaten Christianity and plagues claim the lives of many, Carrouges and Le Gris find themselves armed in their armor in a Parisian monastery a few days after Christmas in 1386 What follows is the last duel authorized by the Parliament of Paris, a fierce fight with spears, swords and daggers — in front of a crowd that included King Charles VI himself, among other members of the nobility — that ends with the two wounded combatants , but only one fatally.
Every chapter of The Last Duel, Jager traces like a novel who these real characters were, from the birth of these families, geographic location and an explanation of the conflicts between England and France.
With this introduction, the author follows the path showing that the events that will lead to the outcome of the duel were not by chance, much less just Marguerite's accusation. It was much more than that.
Social and political conflicts, in addition to the power of land were also placed on this stage of the struggle between Carrouges and Le Gris, as well as – without spoilers – Marguerite, mainly because she is a woman. And so the reader should examine: if today it is difficult for a woman to make an accusation, imagine in mid 1386?
This dissection that Jager brings out from what appeared to be a simple and final duel is beyond just two men fighting over whether Marguerite was lying or not. It is a true proof of how much humanity used in a very fruitful way, duels to prove their points, where many people who were innocent ended up losing everything and even their lives.
The Last Duel is a work to read and learn not only about a time and its events, but also to understand how we still live today in the same way of thinking where everything seems to end with One Last Duel.