selfish, conceited prince is tormented by the dying words of his wise
father, the benevolent king: "You will not wear my crown until the day
you marry a woman who is your equal in beauty, intelligence and wealth."
Raphael's vanity prevents him from finding such a bride until an
unknown maiden appears at the palace. Sent by a mysterious talking wolf,
Rosamund dazzles Raphael with her beauty, her intelligence (she is the
first to recognizes his loneliness) and her wealth ("There is nothing I
desire that I do not already possess"). However, she refuses his
proposal of marriage, pointing out that, by his own admission, she is
more than equal to him; his task is to earn her love. Illuminating the
six chapters are Vagin's elegantly detailed paintings, each featuring a
smaller bordered scene laid atop a full-page illustration: the opulent
scarlet and golds of the royal interiors are strikingly juxtaposed with
the smoky blues and greens of the lush countryside; pewter-toned borders
surround the text itself. The richness of both word and image renders
an entertaining and enchanting story.