Readers' Guide: Les Peregrines by Jeanne Bourin

Les Peregrines

by: Jeanne Bourin

Category: NOVEL
Guide Created By: Eloise De Pelteau and Ginny Anderson
Discussion Leader(s): Eloise De Pelteau and Ginny Anderson
Read our archived discussion of this book

Guide Description

Book cover for Les PeregrinesJeanne Bourin, the popular historical novelist, recounts the story of three young French women who go on the crusade to Jerusalem in 1099.

Plot Synopsis

Les Peregrines

On July 15, 1099, the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem. It was the end of the first crusade, the most daring pilgrimage of all times. Several historians wrote about this extraordinary expedition toward the tomb of Christ. But no one yet wrote a novel of this epoch from a woman's point of view.

From Chartres to Jerusalem, passing through Constantinople, Nicea, Antioch and Tripoli, Les Peregrines carry us along with Brunissen, Flaminia and Alais, the three daughters of a parchment maker from Chartres. Through their eyes we discover the splendors of these cities but also the terrible ordeals they will meet along the way: the deaths that decimated their family, the long exhausting marches, the hunger, the thirst, the sickness, the fighting and the rivalries opposing the Frankish lords. Upheld by their faith and the miraculous events which saved the pilgrims from disaster, the three sisters will also make us live their passionate and contradictory love affairs which will divide their hearts and shatter their lives.

Jeanne Bourin brilliantly restores for us the day-to-day existence of the crusaders. She brings us back to this era of faith and violence, mixing history and fiction and reminds us that women also actively participated in the crusades. They were the adventurers of God.

Le 15 juillet 1099, les croises conquirent Jerusalem. C'etait le terme de la premi_re croisade, le plus audacieux pelerinage de tous les temps. Nombre d'historiens ont rapporte cette extraordinaire expedition vers le tombeau du Christ. Mais personne encore n'avait ecrit le roman de cette epopee au feminin.

De Chartres _ Jerusalem, en passant par Constantinople, Nicee, Antioche et Tripoli, Les Peregrines nous entrainent _ la suite de Brunissen, Flaminia et Alais, les trois filles d'un parcheminier chartrain. Par leurs yeux, nous decouvrons les splendeurs de ces villes mais aussi les terribles epreuves rencontrees en route: La mort qui decime leur famille, les longues marches epuisantes, la faim, la soif, la maladie, les combats, les rivalites qui opposent les seigneurs francs. Soutenues par leur foi et les evenements miraculeux qui sauvent les p_lerins du desastre, les trois soeurs nous font egalement vivre les amours passionnees et contradictoires qui vont diviser leurs coeurs et bouleverser leurs vies.

Jeanne Bourin nous restitue avec eclat l'existence quotidienne des croises. Elle nous replace dans cette epoque de foi et de violence, en m_lant l'histoire _ la fiction, et nous rappelle que les femmes, elles aussi, ont participe activement aux croisades. Elles furent les aventuri_res de Dieu.

Bibliography of Author's works

Les Compagnons d'iternite
La Dame de Beaute
Le Grand Feu
Le Jeu de la Tentation
Les Amours Blesses
Tr_s Sage Heloise
Chronique du Temps Passe
Chroniques Medievales
Les Peregrines
Entre Femmes
La Chambre des Dames


For Your Consideration:

graphic of knightgraphic of knight

  • Nous verrons dans ce nouveau chapitre une femme tr_s belle, qui ne sera pas contente de voir arriver les croises _ sa porte et elle leur fera peut-_tre la vie dure. Saura-t-elle se mesurer _ la douceur et _ la beaute des trois jeunes filles?
  • Dans ce livre les chretiens pensent qu'ils sont les bons, de l'autre cite les musulmans pensent que se sont eux les bons...Entre le moyen-ige et 2002 les choses ont-elles changees tant que ia?----Marilou
  • Eloise said, _Lorsque le chapelet a disparu, une autre page a tourne, un autre chapitre de sa vie commencera ou elle donnera tout son c_ur." ---Is it clear what was symbolized by her throwing her rosary into the sea ?
    ---Is she giving up the religious aspect of her quest?
    ---Does it mean that she is angry that so many things have gone wrong? --What other things could it symbolize?
  • If these factors are part of a novel's development,
    Inciting incident
    (--Mme) ---What do you think is the "Inciting Incident" in this story?
  • The cast of nasty characters in the hold of this ship includes _histrions_ and the _faux p_lerins._ --What is a false pilgrim and why would the author describe one as such?
  • Comment la voyez-vous au prime abord? Sera-t-elle une bonne hitesse pour la famille Garin?
  • Up to now, do you see that the author does not give Landry a large space in this novel and centers all the plot on the three girls. Is it deliberate? is it a women's book?

  • Interesting Information

    Parcheminier: the Role of the Parchment Maker

    Cite de Carcassonne Playing Cards

    Illustrations of the Period

    Historical Background

    A Mini Guide to the Crusades

    Plot Summaries

    Additional Links