Italy: Beric The Briton
June 01, 2011 | Permalink
Beric the Briton
Beric is the young chieftain of a small tribe in Britain, under Roman occupation. He joins an attempt by the maltreated Queen Boadicea to throw the Romans into the sea and is soon involved in a succession of bloody battles. Defeated by the better trained legionaries, he seeks refuge in a swamp and harries the enemy for many months until finally surrounded and captured. He is carried to Rome as a gladiator and put to severe training, but before the time comes to enter the arena as a warrior he chooses to defend a Christian girl from a lion - with no weapon but a cloak. His success draws the attention of Emperor Nero, a generous but fickle friend. At last, Beric is forced to make a decision; whether to continue a life of dangerous ease in Nero's palace, or protect his betrothed and become a hunted outlaw.
Some favorite aspects of Beric the Briton:
Beric is passionate about learning. I find myself empathizing with him as he groans at the needless destruction of books during the sack of Camulodunum.
One of Henty's best "man vs. beast" scenes is Beric's fight with a lion in the arena. Henty is excellent with simple, easy-to-visualize action.
I think that Beric's interaction with Nero is very realistic, painting Nero in believable three-dimensional colors, though I probably would have darkened the canvass even more, had I been the author.
Tueri a Vulnere