Michael Herne is a librarian at Seawood Abbey, an estate owned by Lord Seawood. When Lord Seawoods daughter and some of her friends want to put on a play called Blondel the Troubadour, the librarian is asked to play the part of a medieval king. Herne not only takes his role seriously by thoroughly researching the Middle Ages, when the play is concluded, he refuses to take off the costume. He remains in character, much to the befuddlement and consternation of the other players. With this device, Chesterton achieves a wonderful effect in contrast to the typical snide modern commentary on the past: he creates an opportunity for the past to offer a commentary on the present. Herne looks at his old clothes, that is, the modern clothes he once wore, with embarrassment. The modern world is embarrassing. It takes a previous age to see that. Newly designed and typeset by Waking Lion Press.
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