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If I Were King

Justin McCarthy

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .iful son has made a song for you to sing yourself to sleep with. I went to church the other day. Oh, on my honour, I did"—this was in reply to a startled look of surprise that flooded the old woman's face—"and a prayer came into my head—a prayer for you to say to our Lady."

The old woman kissed him fondly on the forehead.

"My love bird," she said, and as she spoke a boyish look that had long been absent from Villon's face came back to it for a moment.

"Here it is," he said. "Listen." And he whispered to her the verses he had made, while the old woman crossed herself reverentially.

  "Lady of Heaven, Queen of Earth,
  Empress of Hell, I kneel and plead
  You pity, by the holy birth,
  The humblest Christian of the Creed;
  I cannot write; I cannot read;
  I am a woman poor and old,
  But . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Like so many others, I learned of this book in reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. And I am glad I did. A beautifully told romance in the tradition of Ivanhoe—upholding honor, loyalty, courage, and love.

Copies are hard to find, but worth the effort .

3.5 stars
Hunted down a copy because of the mention in Tree Grows In Brooklyn, and, honestly I don't know what I expected but it wasn't this. It's a real swashbuckler complete with duels, obsessive love, daring rescues, and thwarted intrigue (but not the best writing ever). Claims to be historical, c

I've been curious about this ever since I first encountered it prominently mentioned as the basis for Rudolf Friml's "The Vagabond King" on the cover of the score - I even read two other novels featuring Villon (Doris Leslie's I Return and Francis Carco's Le Roman de François Villon) in the vain hop

Ever since I was young, this book has been one of my beloved favorites! I've read it a total of about 20 times now. A certain librarian recommended it to me at age 12 and I'm glad she did :)

Exciting, endearing, enveloping.

I am in love with this book. Shakespearean undertones that hint at a Romeo-and-Juliet-like love story with a little bit of Twain's The Prince and the Pauper. But with these reminisces of older writings you are drawn into a world that is unique and yet familiar in it's

One of Francie Nolan's favorites from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, this was a short little tale with kings and thieves, prostitutes, hard drinking, sword fights, and astrologers. Entertaining certainly.

I discovered this book when I first read A Tree Grows In Brooklyn - it was one of the books that Francie Nolan took out of the library. It brought magic into her dreary life, and (although my life was anything BUT dreary) it brought magic into mine, with its tale of poet-bandit, Francois Villon, the

This book was mentioned in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". It piqued my curiosity. I couldn't find it at the library and my ebook was a terrible copy that I couldn't decipher. I ended up buying an original copy from 1901. The first part of the book reads like a play similar to Shakespeare. Modern writer