Yolanda: Maid of Burgundy by Charles Major
At the time of which I write Louis XI reigned over France, Edward IV ruled in England, and his sister, the beautiful Margaret of York, was the unhappy wife of this Charles the Rash, and stepmother to his gentle daughter Mary. Charles, though only a duke in name, reigned as a most potent and despotic king over the fair rich land of Burgundy. Frederick of Styria was head of the great house of Hapsburg, and Count Maximilian, my young friend and pupil, was his heir.
Of the other rulers of Europe I need not speak, since they will not enter this narrative. They were all bad enough,--and may God have mercy on their souls.
Most of the really tragic parts in the great drama of history have been played by women. This truth I had always dimly known, yet one does not really know a fact until he feels it. I did not realize the extent to which these poor women of history have suffered in the matter of enforced marriages, until the truth was brought home to me in the person of Mary, Princess of Burgundy, to whose castle, Peronne La Pucelle, my pupil, Maximilian of Hapsburg, and I made a journey in the year 1476.
My knowledge of this fair lady began in far-off Styria, and there I shall begin my story.