Road to Byzantium - Paperback

Road to Byzantium - Paperback

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  • Item #: 125-P-JH-ROADTO
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By Jon Hauser

About the Story:

In Road to Byzantium, and its sequel Beyond Byzantium, there is one primary theme that runs throughout. It will persist throughout the entire four part series. This theme is the struggle of the individual against the constraints of a stratified society, and it involves both the fictional characters and the historical figures. The most glaring of these constraints are religious chauvinism, class distinctions, economic status, and gender bias. They affect each of the characters differently depending on their own particular circumstances, and the setting of the story serves to magnify the struggles of these individuals. At the time of the First Crusade, Western Europe is a hierarchical, feudal, largely illiterate society just beginning its ascent from the dark ages. It is rife with repression, hidebound conservatism, economic exploitation, religious zealotry, piety, immorality, superstition, rival warlords, and mercenaries.

As mentioned, Road to Byzantium and Beyond Byzantium are parts one and two of four. They cover the call of the Western Christians to arms against the Moslems of the East, the gathering of those armies, the Jewish massacres they perpetrated in Central Europe en route, the deluge of the Catholic crusaders and the inevitable havoc they wrought upon their Christian "brethren" in the Orthodox Byzantine Empire, the internecine rivalries among the princes and lords within the crusader camp, and their preliminary battles against the Turks as they set foot in Asia. The epic siege of Antioch, which also begins in Beyond Byzantium, is one of the transcendent chapters in human history. But it cannot be adequately told independently. What builds up to it is equally fascinating, and only adds to the drama and color of the siege itself.

It’s also useful to mention that in a vast adventure using medieval and religious warfare as one of the primary settings, it would be difficult not to find secondary themes beyond freedom vs. repression. Some examples evident in this work are good vs. evil, love vs. hate, nature vs. nurture, duty vs. expedience, innocence vs. cynicism, idealism vs. realism, spirituality vs. practicality, and tolerance vs. prejudice. All of these themes are represented in characters and subplots that are born of historical research, and recognizably feasible and appropriate. I took it as a serious responsibility to accurately depict the human condition as it existed, in that era.

About the Author: Jon Anthony Hauser:

Jon has the unique gift of writing Period Fiction as if he were actually there.

Jon grew up on a dairy farm in Northern Wisconsin before attending Monmouth College in Illinois. He was graduated cum laude, with honors, and as a Senate Scholar from that institution, with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science. He is also a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the International Historical Honor Society. Jon spent the decade following his collegiate experience immersed in the rough and tumble world of politics and political campaigns, before turning to the private sector. Eventually desiring a return to academic pursuits, he has since rediscovered his greatest passion, the research and writing of history. Upon completion of this trilogy, he looks forward to finishing his doctoral degree, and then a lifetime of teaching and writing about the greatest of all adventures, those found in history. Jon has completed  to date both masterful period fiction novels Road to Byzantium and Beyond Byzantium. Once having read them you will be eagerly awaiting the final two installments.

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