Amazing Historical and Contemporary Facts From Your Favorite Authors.
Offered by Lorraine Heath author of THE OUTLAW AND THE LADY
Book Three in the "The English Rogues in Texas" Series
Knights, jousting, tournaments. Words typically associated with medieval England. But tournaments imitating the pageantry of medieval England became popular in Texas following the Civil War. The tournaments were usually held during Fourth of July picnics or other holidays. The local residents would gather as the young men transformed into knights.
These tournaments were highly anticipated and the young men would not only practice for weeks before the event took place, but they also had special costumes that they wore. Black shirts and trousers were trimmed in silver while plumes decorated broad brimmed hats. In Plano, Texas, it is reported that the men also wore a long sash of colored ribbon with a large rosette positioned where the sash crossed.
In West Texas, the young men would assume a different name such as "Morning Star" or "Black Warrior". In the Dallas area, the participants represented their location and were announced as "Knight of Plano" or "Knight of Spring Creek".
The track that the horses ran would vary in length from one hundred to three hundred yards. Five posts were positioned along the length of the course. Each post held a ring that dangled from a crossbar.
The spectators would gather along the track. An announcer would yell, "Knight of Plano! Ready! Ride!" and the first contestant would gallop his horse the length of the track and attempt to catch the ring using his long, spiked steel lance. Each challenger rode the length of the track three times and the one who gathered the most rings was proclaimed the Plumed or Champion Knight. He chose a lady to be his queen for the remainder of the festivities, which often included a ball or a square dance.
The British are credited with bringing this tradition with them when they came to settle in Texas. IVANHOE was also a popular book at the time and fired many a young man?s imagination.
When USA Today bestselling author Lorraine Heath received her BA degree in psychology from the University of Texas, she had no idea she had gained a foundation that would help her to create believable characters -- characters that are often described as ?real people.?
Her novels have received numerous awards. She's written 12 novels, 1 anthology, and 1 young adult historical novel.
Her current release, THE OUTLAW AND THE LADY, is book three in
"The English Rogues in Texas" Series - preceeded by NEVER MARRY A COWBOY and NEVER LOVE A COWBOY.
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Sources: CHRISTMAS IN TEXAS by Elizabeth Silverthorne, copyrighted 1990; PLANO, TEXAS, THE EARLY YEARS compiled by the Friends of the Plano Public Library, copyrighted 1985.