Were you intrigued by my Howard Pyle post from the other day but still not quite ready to commit to nearly 7 hours of listening? If the answer was yes then why not try this…
Otto Of The Silver Hand by Howard Pyle, an 1888 novellette published three years prior to Men Of Iron. Unlike the latter this story is set in Germany, sometime in the late Dark Ages, and features a far more villainous father figure. There’s also a different focus, namely the apparent disparity between the cruelty of the era vs. the rise of chivalry. This makes a nice contrast: Just think, the sedate manors of the modern landed gentry are merely the millennial old skeletons of their ancestors, the wicked robber barons and their deadly feuds. Christianity and gentlemanlyness is all well and good, but dark times call for dark manners eh?
Here’s a quick plot hook: Our hero, Otto, after being born is quickly shuffled off to monastery for some early childhood education. When Otto reaches eleven years of age his father returns to claim him from the monastery and take him back to live in their ancestral castle “Drachenhausen” (which my one semester of German tells me literally means “Dragon House”). It is then that Otto learns of his father’s life as a thief and robber and particularly how his father killed a defenseless enemy. Needless to say the sin of the father comes back to hurt poor young Otto. The trauma is great, but survivable – and that alone is a very neat message. There’s also the requisite romance so this short audiobook has something for everybody.
Otto Of The Silver Hand
By Howard Pyle; Read by various
15 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 3 Hours 3 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: March 30, 2007
The story of little Otto, a gentle, peace-loving child born into the heart of turmoil and strife in the castle of a feuding robber baron in medieval Germany.
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Posted by Jesse Willis