More Literature Analysis of a Knight of the White Cross

In my last essay I talked about the setting and style of the book assigned for English, so today I’ll be writing about the character development and plot.


The Plot development of A Knight of the White Cross, by G.A. Henty

As I said in my last essay, most of Henty’s books pretty much all have the same base story. A handsome, strong, young man rises in fame and fortune and becomes a hero to the country. They normally end up with the fella’ marrying a gal that he rescued from some terrible thing. In A Knight of the White Cross, a young man named Gervaise joins the Order of St. John, in the magnificent city of Rhodes. He has a good thinking head, as well as being a great warrior at a young age (due to the training he received ever since he was a small child). He is a Page to the Grand Master for 3 years, before becoming a professed knight. Soon after, he was sent on a galley with a bunch of other knights. They encountered 5 or 6 pirate ships that they eventually captured with the help of two other galleys that were also on patrol. While out on the ocean, Gervaise showed himself worthy of being dubbed a real Knight upon their return. In later events, Gervaise did lots of things that earned him great renown including capturing 13 pirate ships and destroying 10 more with only one galley. He was a favorite with the Grand Master and all his fellow knights. He took part in the defense of Rhodes during the famous siege of Rhodes. In the end of the book, he marries a girl from Genoa and lives happily ever after.

Character Development

Really the only characters that develop enough to mention are Gervaise, his best friend Ralph Harcourt, and Lady Claudia (the girl he marries). Gervaise starts out being a 13-year-old boy, working as Page to the Grand master of the Order of St. John. Later on, he becomes a professed knight, then a real knight, the captain of a galley (at the age of 17), a slave (he got captured, but then escapes), and then finally a married man. Sir Ralph Harcourt starts out as a professed knight and becomes a real knight at the same time as Gervaise. He is 1st mate to Gervaise on his galley, and eventually, gets awarded with the command of his own galley. Lady Claudia is first introduced in the book as a serious 14-year-old girl. She isn’t talked about a lot since she lives in a whole different country than Gervaise, but she’s talked about enough to know that as she became a woman, she was the beauty of Genoa, and refused many offers for her hand in marriage. When Gervaise asks her to marry him, she accepts and becomes his wife.



A Knight of the White Cross

Odessa O.                                                                                                                            9-14-’17
Teacher: Bradley Fish Jr.

Today I am going to be writing about the Authors style and the Setting of the book that was assigned in my English course; A Knight of the White Cross, by G.A. Henty.

We’ll start off with Henty’s writing style. He wrote a lot of historical fiction but took special care that the historical facts were correct and not misleading. In A Knight of the White Cross, a young parent-less boy who joins the Order of St. John, due to his father’s last wish before dying from mortal battle wounds. He was in the right place at the right time and got the opportunity to become the Grand Master’s page in Rhodes. After 3 years, he became a professed knight, and went on several ocean voyages with other knights of the order, distinguishing himself so much while fighting Turkish corsairs that he was dubbed a real knight when he was only 15 years old. The rest of the book covers all the different adventures that he has, including discovering a plot of treachery with the slaves and guards of the slave quarters where 1,000 slaves were to make an attempt at escape. This gave him even more respect from his comrades and seniors in the Order. A lot of Henty’s books have the same main plot; a boy grows into a man and becomes basically a hero for the brave and heroic deeds he’s done, complete with finding a beautiful girl to marry.

The Setting for A Knight of the White Cross changes a lot. The setting where most things happen is in Rhodes. This is where the convent for the Order of St. John was. Rhodes was a city that was preparing for an attack from Mahomet and his followers. There were thousands of slaves working on walls that seemed impossible to breach. The countryside surrounding the walled city of Rhodes was farmland. There were lots of fields and farms. The people that lived in the city were mainly merchants, their families, knights, slaves, farmers, etc.