We’re back with the last entry in our series on the history of face cards. Having given a lesson or two on the Kings and Queens in our earlier posts, we now turn our attention to the Jacks.
“Jack of all trades, master of none”. When it comes to the real Jacks of the playing cards, this isn’t the case. The Jacks have proven to be heroes at certain points of history. The Jack is considered as the lowest Face Card. In some games, the Jack is of utmost importance. Jacks are the androgynous knaves who are often referred to as maids.
Jack of Spades: Ogier the Dane
Ogier the Dane is a legendary character who made his first appearance in an Old French chanson de geste in the cycle of poems, Geste de Doon de Mayence. He was the knight of Charlemagne.
Jack of Hearts: La Hire
La Hire was a French Military Commander during the Hundred Year’s War. He Joined Charles VII when the English Army invaded France. He was a close comrade of Joan of Arc.
Jack of Diamonds: Hector
Hector was a Trojan Prince and the greatest fighter for Troy in the Trojan War. Hector was one of the Nine Worthies noted by Jacques de Longuyon, during the European Middle Ages.
Jack of Clubs: Lancelot
Sir Lancelot du lac was one of the knight of the Round Table in the Arthurian Legend. He was King Arthur’s greatest companion. He made his first appearance as a main character in Chretien de Troyes’ Le Chevalier de la Charette.
There is always a Joker to see through the delusion. Generations succeed generations, but there is always a fool walking the earth who is never ravaged by time. He’s not a club, diamond, heart or spade. He’s the Jack!