Children and adults will love "Otto of the Silver Hand", a wonderful book about honor and virtue in the Middle Ages. Otto, the young protagonist of the novel, proves that evil begets evil and good begets honor -- and above all that character does matter. This book is as captivating and beautiful as a knight in shining armor tale can be. It's a tale of love, courage, good and evil. The love begins between husband and wife with as much fervor and honesty as is felt in the movie "Braveheart" (Mel Gibson). Conrad, the baron of the Castle Drakenhausen whose love is so great for the Baroness Matilda, takes their son Otto to the "White Cross on the Hill" soon after his birth. There his good, holy and wise Uncle Otto resides. Baroness Matilda had died at Otto's birth and Baron Conrad knew his cold castle and bitter feudal world were not suited for the raising a child. Young Otto developed a pure, simple and docile attitude in the 12 years he lives at the monastery. His father came to reclaim him at this point and here the story begins to unfold. There is much more to the story-how a near-death Otto later escapes from a cold, dark dungeon when he is near death; how his father gives his life in the end for that of his son and the "faithful few" who remained with him till the bitter end. The spirit of great love from a man to his wife, a father to his son as found in this book is truly refreshing. The story was indeed uplifting to the mind, heart and soul. First published in 1888 by Howard Pyle, one of America's finest authors, "Otto of the Silver Hand" is inspiring and exciting. A great book to read aloud to children.
About the Author
Howard Pyle (1853-1911) was an American illustrator and writer, primarily of books for young audiences. A native of Wilmington, Delaware, he spent the last year of his life in Florence, Italy. In 1894 he began teaching illustration at the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry (now Drexel University), and after 1900 he founded his own school of art and illustration called the Howard Pyle School of Illustration Art. The term the Brandywine School was later applied to the illustration artists and Wyeth family artists of the Brandywine region by Pitz (later called the Brandywine School). Some of his more famous students were Olive Rush, N. C. Wyeth, Frank Schoonover, Elenore Abbott, Ellen Bernard Thompson Pyle, Allen Tupper True, Anna Whelan Betts, Ethel Franklin Betts, Harvey Dunn, Philip R. Goodwin, and Jessie Willcox Smith. His 1883 classic The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood remains in print to this day, and his other books, frequently with medieval European settings, include a four-volume set on King Arthur that cemented his reputation. He wrote an original novel, Otto of the Silver Hand, in 1888. He also illustrated historical and adventure stories for periodicals such as Harper's Weekly and St. Nicholas Magazine. His novel Men of Iron was made into a movie in 1954, The Black Shield of Falworth. Pyle travelled to Florence, Italy to study mural painting in 1910, and died there in 1911 of sudden kidney infection (Bright's Disease).