The Thrust of Greatness Part 4

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According to family legend, Charles was descended from a prince of the royal of Troy, Pram, who had travelled to Austria and become king there, while yet another Trojan prince, Paris, had founded the city of that name, while his son, Francio, had given his name to France, In the time of Christ, these founders of the family had renounced their crowns in deference to his divine kingship, but had nevertheless continued to breed a noble line of chivalrous Christian knights. Many of these had married into the royal houses of Christendom, while other had distinguished themselves in battle against the enemies of Christ, especially during the time of the crusades.

The Dukes of Burgundy shone with great luster in these legendary family annals as champions of Christendom who would have won back Constantia- noble and the lost lands of Byzantium from the Turks if they had had their way; but the meanness and a avarice of the king of France had always prevented them from achieving their noble aims, thus amply justifying the hospitality of the house of Burgundy to the French monarchy.

Suckled on such romantic tales of family greatness, Charles grew up at Malines in the Low Countries in the care of Margaret of York, the childless and by this time elderly widow of Charles the Bold, lately Duke of Burgundy.

Known as `Madame la Grande’ and much loved by all, she was the surviving (sister of Edward IV of England), and it is perhaps not also fanciful to suppose that earliest stories heard by the boy Charles were of the wars of the Roses and the vanished splendors of the Burundian court: stories which would have reinforced the Francophobe tradition of the family.


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