Friday, June 26, 2015



There were two discoveries made while writing this volume, among numerous  such which could not be included in the illustrations. But shared they must be, so here they are.

For no reason except intuition, one response to The Fool's Love Story was a desire to know from which real person Rafael Sabatini borrowed the name Kuoni von Stocken. There were many other names in the story but they did not evoke the same feeling.

Then came the novel, The Romantic Prince, and with it an increased curiosity about the name. Later there was the play, The Sacrament of Shame, in which 'Kuoni' appears but not his surname.

With such a multitude of questions, about Rafael's life as well as his writing, for which I sought answers during the past 12 years, 'Kuoni' was only looked for occasionally. Be that as it may, it was like Newton's apple to suddenly find even more than I expected a few months ago, as I wrote the section on the novel which appears in Reading Rafael. Anyone who visits Zug this year will enjoy an added tourist attraction in the shape of an actor in the role of Kuoni von Stocken - the real person, not Rafael's two different characters - for this year the town celebrates the 700th anniversary of a famous event, the Battle of Morgarten. Meanwhile, here is the picture mentioned in Reading Rafael:

In the section on The Lost King is mentioned a sketch by a pupil of David of the young uncrowned king, 'Louis XVII', made during the infamous interrogation of the boy in late 1793. There is a sketch by a pupil of David made in the Temple at that time, a sketch to give one a nasty turn, just such a sketch as Rafael describes but not by 'Florence La Salle':

And those are two unexpected discoveries made while seeking Sabatini because one had been reading Rafael. 

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