Rebel Jacqueline (cont.)

Hmmm. Dug out my old copy of RJ and re-read it at the weekend. A strangely sectarian plot about a French Protestant girl being kidnapped by evil Catholics who want to take her to Canada on a brideship, and marry her off to a settler (sex and religion!). But Jacqueline disguises herself as an old crone, making a false hump for her back, and cutting up a black rag then sticking pieces of it over her teeth with soap (a disguise I’ve often used myself). Surprisingly, no one wants to marry her.

She escapes in a ship bound for Normandie, but is discovered and deposited back on shore. So far everything except scalping by wild Indians and outright rape has occurred, but through the power of prayer and personal initiative, Jacqueline is holding her own.

3 thoughts on “Rebel Jacqueline (cont.)

  1. I’m late getting to this, sorry.

    Editorial stuff: Rebel Jacqueline was written to be a serial, so there are a succession of dramatic episodes which produce its exciting but uneven pace. I would probably substitute “evil Catholic aunt” for “evil Catholics” in your review. Aunt Agathe, Madame de Gramont, Madame de Crespigny, and Henriette are unpleasant in their own right not because they are Catholic. One likes the impulsive, but warm-hearted Ignace, another Catholic, and there is a moving tribute to St. Polycarp on pp 62-63, someone well-known to Catholics, but less familiar to Protestants.

    It is not, however, a comfortable book for Catholic readers. A person who enjoyed The Reb and the Redcoats and Enemy Brothers wrote to Bethlehem Books, the publisher, asking about other Savery stories, and their reply stated that not all Savery titles are appropriate. Bethlehem Books is a Catholic publishing house and from their standpoint, Rebel Jacqueline is one such book.

    That said, I am pleased that you value Rebel Jacqueline to the extent of labeling it a favorite book, so, out of respect for you and the author, I shall read it again with a view to looking for more things to praise rather than points to criticize.

  2. Thanks Eric for your thoughtful reply. I was surprised to see how sectarian the book was: as a young child I didn’t register that. And interesting to know it was written as a serial.

    • Hi,

      I did, as I said I would, re-read Rebel Jacqueline and found it better constructed than I remembered. What is more, it has the hallmark of a Savery kid’s book: the children act like real children, not like “Sunday School characters.” One would like to meet them sometime.

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