Swiss Heroes - George Upton

This romance is based on historical events and set in the days of Charles the Bold. It involves intertwined stories of several Swiss heroes who fought for Swiss rights by joining the forces in Europe allied against the tyrant Charles the Bold.

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[Book Cover] from The Swiss Heroes by George Upton
After the capture of Castle Granson


[Title Page] from The Swiss Heroes by George Upton
[Copyright Page] from The Swiss Heroes by George Upton

Translator's Preface

The period of the "Swiss Heroes" romance is in the days of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy; and the sentiment of its title is to be found in the careers of the three heroes, Hans Vogeli, his brother Heinrich Vogeli, who gave his life to establish his Swiss citizenship, and Walter Irmy. A short sketch of the relations of Charles the Bold to the Swiss is all that is needful as a preface to the stirring story which the German author has told so well and so accurately.

Charles the Bold, son of Philip the Good, of Burgundy, and Isabella of Portugal, one of the most conspicuous figures at the close of the Middle Ages, was born in 1433. He became Duke of Burgundy in 1467 and shortly afterwards took as his second wife Margaret, the sister of Edward IV of England. After years of war with Louis of France, which eventually ended in his success, and urged on by his inordinate ambition, he determined to erect an independent kingdom under his own sovereignty. With this end in view he entered into negotiations with Emperor Frederick, offering to marry his daughter to the Emperor's son, in case he himself were elected king of the Romans. The Emperor proposed, however, to make him king of Burgundy at Treves, but the scheme was thwarted by the Electors, who persuaded the former to leave the city secretly.

Four years previously (1469), Sigismund, Duke of Austria, had sold Alsace to Charles, and the latter appointed Peter von Hagenbach its governor. His career of cruel oppression and the vengeance which the people wreaked upon him are vividly described in this little romance. Charles was so enraged that he gave up the country to waste and slaughter. But meanwhile powerful allies were united against him. Louis of France had secured the alliance of the Swiss; and Sigismund, who was anxious to get Alsace hack, joined the French. The English deserted him and signed a treaty of peace with Louis. Battle after battle was fought, in which the Swiss were victorious; and at last the troops of Rene, the dispossessed duke of Lorraine, aided by the Swiss troops, won a great victory under the walls of Nancy, January 5, 1477. The Burgundians were routed and Charles was killed. The heroism of the Swiss stands out conspicuously in this romance; but among all the characters in the stirring drama none is more alluring, more pathetic, more glorious, than Heinrich Vogeli, who won his restoration to citizenship by his heroic death.

G. P. U.

CHICAGO, June, 1907.

[Contents] from The Swiss Heroes by George Upton
[Illustrations] from The Swiss Heroes by George Upton


The following is a chronological statement of the principle events in the life of Charles the Bold during the period described in this volue.

1444 French troops defeated at St. Jacobs.
1469 Charles the Bold secures Sigismund's possessions.
1469 Charles appoints Hagenbach governor.
1473 Sigismund becomes an ally of Louis of France.
1473 Flight of Emperor Frederick from Treves.
1474 The "Everlasting Compact" signed.
1474 Hagenbach captured and put to death.
1474 Swiss Confederates declare war against Charles.
1476 Massacre at the Garrison at Granson.
Mar 2, 1476 Charles defeated at Granson.
Jun 9, 1476 Charles defeated at Murten.
Jan 5, 1477 Charles defeated and killed under the walls of Nancy.