Bellarion the Fortunate

Publication date: 1926

The opening month is explicitly given as August 1407.  We can establish the exact date through a lucky coincidence.

Bellarion slept in the open on the night of the very day he left the Convent.  (We know this because he lost his way "a mile or two beyond Livorno" [Chapter 1.I].  This is not the major city of Livorno, far to the south, but the municipality Livorno Ferraris, about 3 miles from Cigliano.)  On the following eventful day he met and travelled with the fake friar, was pursued to Princess Valeria's garden, and took her message to Barbaresco.  As he is trying to find the latter's house, we suddenly learn that it is "a September night"! [Chapter 1.VI]

It is tempting to conclude that Bellarion left the convent on August 31, making September 1 the eventful day.  But this cannot be correct.  For it would follow that Bellarion petitioned Theodore on September 4, which in 1407 was a Sunday—and we know from Chapter 1.IX that Theodore's court was on Saturday.  What has gone wrong?  The answer must be that it was after midnight when Bellarion was seeking Barbaresco's house, and only then did the night become "September".  That is, the novel opens on August 30, Bellarion's eventful day was August 31, and he arrived at Barbaresco's house after midnight that night, on September 1.  With this chronology, he does indeed find himself in Theodore's Court on a Saturday, namely September 3.

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Copyright © 2007 Larry Denenberg