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very cool book

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Paul Burridge, Nov 30, 2005.

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  1. I hope for your sake Bill Sloman doesn't see this post of yours, John.
    He *hates* books. Prepare for a tongue-lashing.
  2. John  Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    "The Last Duel" by Eric Jager.

    "In 1386, a few days after Christmas, a huge crowd gathers at a Paris
    monastery to watch the two men fight a duel to the death meant to
    prove which man's cause is right in God's sight. The dramatic true
    story of the knight, the squire, and the lady unfolds during the
    devastating Hundred Years War between France and England, as enemy
    troops pillage the land, madness haunts the French court, the Great
    Schism splits the Church, Muslim armies threaten Christendom, and
    rebellion, treachery, and plague turn the lives of all into toys of

    At the heart of the tale is Jean de Carrouges, a Norman knight who
    returns from combat in Scotland to find his wife, Marguerite, accusing
    Jacques LeGris, her husband's old friend and fellow courtier, of
    brutally raping her. The knight takes his cause before the teenage
    King Charles VI, the highest judge in France. Amid LeGris's vociferous
    claims of innocence and doubts about the now pregnant Marguerite's
    charges (and about the paternity of her child), the deadlocked court
    decrees a trial by combat; that leaves her fate, too, in the balance.
    For if her husband and champion loses the duel, she will be put to
    death as a false accuser.

    Carrouges and LeGris, in full armor, eventually meet on a walled field
    in Paris before a massive crowd that includes the king and many nobles
    of the realm. A fierce fight on horseback and then on foot ensues
    during which both combatants suffer wounds;but only one fatal. The
    violent and tragic episode was notorious in its own time because of
    the nature of the alleged crime, the legal impasse it provoked, and
    the resulting trial by combat, an ancient but increasingly suspect
    institution that was thereafter abolished. Based on extensive research
    in Normandy and Paris, The Last Duel brings to life a colorful,
    turbulent age and three unforgettable characters caught in a fatal
    triangle of crime, scandal, and revenge. It is at once a moving human
    drama, a captivating detective story, and an engrossing work of
    historical intrigue."

    Really, I found the final fight scene more gripping than any crap
    Hollywood "action" movie.

  3. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Movie makers seem to have a way of screwing things up.

    In the BOOK, "The Godfather", the part where Michael kills the police
    captain and Sollozzo had my heart pounding.

    The movie scene just didn't quite muster up.

    ...Jim Thompson
  4. John Larkin wrote...
    OK, John, you know we're not going to read the book, especially
    after your fine synopsis (did you write that?), so tell us ...
    who won?
  5. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Nope, pasted from a bookseller's site; that's why it was in quotes.
    Doesn't matter; they're all dead now.

  6. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    They never do. Oddly enough our brains can muster up a *way* better scene
    than any movie. Well, those of us who read, of course.... :)


  7. Guest

    OK, John, you know we're not going to read the book, especially

    Since John's being a weenie, I'll do it:
    t was decided that the coming combat would be located next to the walls
    of St. Martin-des-Champs. It was held in the presence of the king and
    the princes according to custom, and a huge crowd of common people
    assembled. Both men entered the lists ready for the uncertain trial
    of combat. And when the marshal gave the signal for the attack, they
    drove their horses forward, let their lances of war drop, and
    proceeding at a gentle pace, they dashed against each other
    courageously and with spirit. In this first rush the other man
    pierced Lord Jean's thigh with his lance; and this blow would have
    done him much good if he had held the lance in that wound. But when
    he immediately drew it out, it was covered in blood, and the sight,
    rather than stunning the wounded man, made him bolder. Meanwhile,
    great horror paralyzed the spectators for a long time, and no one spoke
    or breathed, held as they were between hope and fear, until Jean
    gathered his strength, and advancing, shouted "This day will decide
    our quarrel." With his left hand he seized the top of his
    opponent's helmet, and drew Jacques toward him and then pulling back
    a little, threw Jacques to the ground where he lay weighed down by his
    armor. Jean then drew his sword and killed his enemy, though with
    great difficulty, because he was fully armored.

    Although the victor many times asked the defeated man while he was
    lying there to confess to the truth, the vanquished completely denied
    the event; but after all he was condemned, according to the custom of
    the duel, to be hanged from a gibbet. Thus the mother of errors, the
    stepmother of good counsel, rash cruelty occasioned this unjust duel.
    Afterwards everyone found out who had committed the foul rape, when
    someone else confessed while being condemned to death. The aforesaid
    lady took note of this, and thinking over the fault in her mind, after
    the death of her husband became a recluse and took an oath of perpetual


    Bob Stephens
  8. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    ....perpetual "continence" ?:)


    ...Jim Thompson
  9. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Damn, you ruined the best part of the book for anybody who reads it.

    In the book, the battle is described in much more detail, and the
    author discounts the (more than one) rumor that someone else was the
    actual rapist.

  10. Guest

    "The Last Duel" isn't published by Artech Press, who have been sending
    me unsolicited flyers for years - but by Broadway, who have never
    pestered me.

    So I've got no initial prejudice against this particular book - and in
    fact, it sounds quite interesting, though not interesting enough to
    actually buy from Amazon.

    For someone who is claimed to hate books, I do have a surprisingly
    large number of them around the house - several thousand at last count.
    Quite a few of these do belong to my wife, but I think I still buy more
    than she does.

    I have though about making a collection of Paul Burridge's errors of
    fact and doctrine, but we really haven't got the shelf space - they
    certainly aren't rare enough to count as collector's items, and in
    fact have more in common with the worn-through right plimsol you now
    find on the beach of the remotest Pacific island.
  11. Barry Lennox

    Barry Lennox Guest

    Why do you have a bug up your ass about Artech? While I only have one
    of their books: "CAD of Microstrip Antennas for Wireless Apps" I do
    find it quite useful.
    Funny you should mention that, My dog found a LH one on the beach a
    few weeks back (East Coast, South Island, New Zealand) I guess I'll
    have to send him further afield to find the missing RH one.
  12. Paul Burke

    Paul Burke Guest

    Yes, she nevr pissed the bed again.
  13. So you've no objection to John posting a synopsis of a 14th Century
    story set in France here, but you take great exception to my pointer
    to a reference book on electronics. The former is germane, the later
    isn't. What a strange world you inhabit. :-|
  14. Guest

    Like I siad, it sounds like an interesting book,
    Which you were trying to sell, under the thoroughly misleading subject
    line "An absolute "must have" book for all engineers" - as if all
    engineers were involved in electronic warfare systems!
    Not half as strange as yours, where you equate an interesting, if
    off-topic post from one of the more respectable regular posters with an
    inaccurate bit of spam from one of the less valuable contributors.
  15. Guest

    Have a look at

    They aren't exactly vanity publishers, but they exist to exploit a
    niche market. Their authors are typically academics, or engineers
    working in very specialised areas, who are strongly motivated to write
    and publish books to boost their prestige and perceived value withn
    their professional niche, so they are prepared to sell their work to
    anyone who will publish it for a lot less than the real cost of doing
    the work.

    The core buyers for Artech House books would be university libraries -
    practicising engineers who fiid themselves pitchforked into new areas
    would seem to be a smaller group.

    The customers aren't in a position to be all that discriminating, so
    most of the books are cobbled together out of published papers, and are
    correspondingly inaccessible. In most cases, if you feel the need to
    read an Artech House book, you'd be better off digging into the
    literature to find the original papers. That way you get to see the
    latest work, as well as getting a broader picture of the field.

    As publishing houses go, it fills a much needed gap.
    Clearly, NZ isn't remote enough for right-hand plimsols.
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