Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Two Percy Heroes




Anne- girl from her blog Scribblings is hosting a “Hero week” where bloggers can contribute posts about their favorite heroes in period dramas (for those who don’t know these include Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Anne of Green Gables, The Scarlet Pimpernel and anything set 80+ years ago). Here is my slightly different contribution to Hero Week. 

I read a number of “fan” blogs about these movies. Almost without question everyone’s favorite hero is Sir Percy of the Scarlet Pimpernel (and then Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley). I am going to introduce you to an entirely new hero who does not beat The Scarlet Pimpernel in heroism, but ties with him. Trust me, that is INCREDIBLY hard to do and I do not say it without careful thought and consideration. Turns out, in one of the other most amazing books ever written, the main character is also named Percy. Enter Captain Ralph Percy of the book, To Have and to Hold.  
*Dramatic music plays*

Captain Percy is a thirty-something gentleman who has come from England to help settle Jamestown in 1607. He has spent his life fighting Indians, building a settlement, hunting, and general "Jamestown" stuff. He has never married and has never considered it due to the severe lack of women in Jamestown at that time.

That all changes in 1621 when a ship of 80 women is sent from England to help populate the new world. At the advice of a friend, he goes to seek a wife. His future wife happens to be the quintessential damsel in distress (told you this was a good book). After rescuing this fair maiden from a spineless rascal trying to steal a kiss he decides he has found his woman. His first words to his future wife are, “Madam, will you marry me?” How would you like to meet your husband that way?! Despite this hasty introduction, they marry that afternoon and travel back to his/their home in Weyanoke, just outside of Jamestown.

Turns out that his wife, the former Lady Jocelyn Leigh, has a secret past which brings dangerous ramifications. Without giving anything away, a man travels from England to take her back, even though she is already married to Captain Percy. When he married her, Captain Percy promised before God to protect, honor, and cherish her and while he is alive will not let her be dishonored, despite the fact they do not "love" each other.

What ensues involves pirates, shipwrecks, sword fights, panthers, and Indian attacks. All the while they trust in God to protect them and give them wisdom for the next step. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

That said, I can now get to the point of this post, why Captain Percy is a true hero and worthy to stand next to Sir Percy Blakeney.
*
Most importantly, Captain Percy is a man of God. He always believes God will be faithful, even if that means he dies. Throughout the book he and his friends pray for protection and forGod’s will to be done, whatever it might come.
*
He always considers the safety and comfort of his wife before his own. Shortly after their marriage, Sir Percy must make a decision whether to give his wife up to return to England against her will, or be willing to sacrifice his life in order to protect her and her honor. Because he is a man of his word, he chooses the latter despite the fact it very well might cost him his life.

“My wife and I were married lawfully in the sight of God and of man. What God has joined together, let no man tear asunder, she is my wife!”
*
Personally, one of the main qualifications for a hero is that he must be able fight with swords. One of my favorite parts of movies are the sword fights, I’m just fascinated by them, not sure why but they look so manly and brave. : ) Captain Percy most definitely meets this requirement, in fact he is the best swordsman in Jamestown. I’ll just say he must use his sword many times throughout the book.
*note to future husband: whoever and wherever you are, consider taking sword fighting lessons, you never know when those skills might come in handy*
*
Captain Percy loves his wife as Christ loves the Church by being willing to lay down his life for her. In one of the most beautiful lines of the book Captain Percy bravely states, “The last drop of my blood will be poured out in defense of your life, you are my wife. " Now whether he actually has to lay down his life or is just willing to do it if the time comes, I won’t say. You’ll just have to read the book. 

Now because many of the readers of this post will be avid Sir Percy fans I shall attempt to show you the many similarities between these two Percys and attempt to convince you to put Captain Percy next to Sir Percy as #1 in your hero lists.

They are both married
This aspect is one of my favorites of these two books--both these men are married, they love and protect their wives, there is no suspense whether or not they will get together in the end, they already are and will always be til death parts them. So many stories today are about meeting Prince Charming but nothing happens after the wedding. Instead, these books show the ups and downs of marriage and how a husband is to love his wife. I personally find this infinitely more romantic for a husband to fight for his wife then simply the girl he has most recently loved that he might or might not marry in the end. 

They are both mighty dangerous with the sword
Is there anything more to be said? I just love swords, fighting for the woman you love with a sword sounds way better than any other way if you ask me. 

They live over 200 years ago which mean their wives wear gorgeous costumes!
Why do teenagers go crazy over Bella in "Twilight" in her wedding gown? Because every girl deep down inside loves to wear long dresses and feel pretty. Instead of having one pretty dress in a movie, imagine every dress being like that. Now Captain Percy is from a book not a movie. Consequently, I get to design all his wife's clothes in my head, let me tell you, they are gorgeous. 

Creative Schemes
I really don’t want to give away any spoilers so I’ll just say that Captain Percy is just as creative as Sir Percy in escaping dangerous scrapes and has just as many creative disguises.

Like the prison reunion scene in El Dorado? Read to Have and to Hold. : )

After reading this I hope you will at least consider reading this wonderful book!!

*quick note, I do not like the cover of this book, my book is older than this and has a better cover, thankfully you can just take the book sleeve off!*

1 comment:

Maria Elisabeth said...

Since you're actually serious about Captain Percy and Sir Percy being equally heroic Captain Percy must be pretty amazing. I'll have to find To Have and to Hold somewhere.