From a history of eastern Europe. Unfortunately the title page is missing but the book appears to date from the mid to late 19th Century

The unification of the kingdoms of Pontevedro and Marsovia

For many years up to the late 15-th century the two small kingdoms of Marsovia and Pontevedro, which lay between Hungary and Bohemia, had been in a state of almost constant warfare. Consequently in 1488, King Hildebrand II (the peppery) of Pontevedro, fearing an invasion from neighbouring Bohemia, persuaded the Marsovian king Gama IV (the disagreeable) that the marriage of his infant son and heir the Prince Hilarion to Gama's new-born daughter Ida would be in the interests of both kingdoms.

After a year of negotiations, the marriage took place in the spring of 1489 amid general rejoicing in both kingdoms. As was the custom in those parts, when a marriage took place between infants (a common practice among the upper classes), the young bride and groom remained with their families until the younger party reached the age of 21. In this interval of 20 years, an uneasy peace reigned between the kingdoms as neither king fully trusted the other not to back out of the deal. It is then difficult to imagine the feelings of Gama in late 1507 when he discovered that his daughter had fled the palace leaving a cyptic message that she had gone to found a women's university.

When the appointed time for the consummation of the marriage arrived Gama was forced to go empty-handed into the court of his erstwhile enemy Hildebrand with the scant protection of his three sons (half brothers of Ida). On finding the Gama had not brought the princess, Hildebrand who was a peppery potentate would have hanged Gama and his sons on the spot, but for the intervention of the crown prince Hilarions, who was confident that he and his friends could persuade Ida to honour the marriage. Although sceptical Hildebrand agreed and allowed Hilarion to make the attempt before hanging the remainder of the Marsovian royal family. It would be beneath the dignity of history to record the details, but suffice to say that Ida was persuaded to leave her University for Hilarion.

The peace between the two kingdoms was not pleasing to Gama's three sons, whose greatest delight was the fascinating rattle of a complicated battle. Starved of their pleasure, the crown prince Arac and his brothers travelled Europe as mercenaries. They arrived in northern France in 1516, and fought in the battle that was to be their undoing. They had cornered a small band of English soldiers led by a veteran sergeant and were about to butcher them, when the commanding officer of the English force, one Col. Thomas Fairfax, quite heedless of his own safety (or of the rules of tactics) rushed to the aid of the beleaguered group. In rescuing the men he killed Prince Arac on the spot and mortally wounded both of the other princes. Fairfax's survival of this foolhardy exploit may well have contributed to the charge of sorcery which was laid against him in later years.

This now left the Marsovians with a dilemma; on the one hand their laws forbade a queen to rule in her own right, and on the other the only person of royal blood with any connection to the throne was a Pontevedran. After much debate internal, Gama chose to make his son-in-law Hilarion his heir. On Gama's death in 1521, Hilarion succeeded to the throne of Marsovia, and five years later, on his father's death, to that of Pontevedro. Soon after this he joined the two kingdoms into a single country called Ruritania (this was apparently a name devised by the Queen Ida from her studies of future literature). Unfortunately King Hilarion's skills as a monarch did not match his skills as a lover and Ruritania became known as a land of lavish royal entertainments and ceremonies.

In recent years Ruritania has been absorbed into the Austro-Hungarian empire.