Sunday, January 15, 2017

Cast of Characters: Beatrice and Constance


I wanted to end my series on the fictional characters in my Balian d'Ibelin series with the sisters Beatrice and Constance d'Auber, the daughters of Sir Bartholomew, because of their importance to Envoy of Jerusalem. 

Although fictional, these two characters are as important to Envoy of Jerusalem as Richard the Lionheart and Saladin. They were created to give names and faces to the tens of thousands of real women who went into Saracen slavery when the Kingdom of Jerusalem was overrun by Saladin's forces. They also represent -- and are intended to remind us of -- the Yazidi women enslaved by ISIS, the Syrian refugees sold into illegal marriages in Turkey, and indeed every trafficked woman in the world today. 

Beatrice and Constance are the thematic mortar of Envoy of Jerusalem. It is the fate of the captives that haunts Balian from start to finish of the novel. Without Beatrice and Constance and their children, the novel would be gutted of meaning; the reader would not be able to fully understand what Balian does and why. 




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