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Alfred Duggan

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Fri March 27th, 2009, 7:40 pm

[quote=""rex icelingas""]Greeks? Only by the West,the Byzantines would always refer to themselves as Romans :)

Ive not read Lord Geoffreys fancy,it is on my wish list though
I have Alfred Duggan to thank to stop me being a HF snob,my first book of the genre was `Conscience of the King` a well told tale of the rise of Cerdic of Wessex after that ive not looked back

Last one I read of his was `Threes Company` a different look at Crassus defeat at Carrhae,very good indeed
Im praying they continue re-printing his works,im sure i remember seeing one he did on Alfred the Great[/quote]


of course, i was just using greek here for clarity since using roman would be potentialy more confusing (something many HF authors realised)

conscience of the king is fantastic. a real tour de force by Duggan in making cerdic a real scoundrel. its my second favourite duggan tale after "knight in Armour" (which says a lot since i generally dont care for Anglo-saxon fiction)

dont know if duggan ever did Alfred. Alfred seems too mainstream for duggan, who loved obscure characters. but id not bet the farm on it.

i just picked up family favourites and will be devouring it soon. and all of my copies are recent editions so his work is popular for reprinting

annis
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Post by annis » Sat March 28th, 2009, 12:25 am

Hi Keny

Alfred Duggan did have a go at Alfred. with his novel "The King of Athelney"

"Winter Quarters' also features Crassus' defeat at Carrhae, from the POV of a Galiic auxiliary cavalryman captured by the Parthians and sent to Marginalia.

Ben Kane has written a more recent story about the Roman survivors of the Battle of Carrhae called "Forgotten Legion" which I enjoyed. It's the first in a series and the second book has just been released, though I haven't read it yet- "Silver Eagle".

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rex icelingas
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Post by rex icelingas » Sat March 28th, 2009, 7:53 am

Ah Winter Quarters not Threes company, my mistake

Another Duggan novel dealing with Byzantium is `Count Bohemond` which is high on action but very flat on characterization and one of his more duller books

`the Little Emperors` if somewhat wordy rather than action packed is well worth the effort,a brilliant take on the early fifth century of Roman Britain

I can also recommend `Family Faviroutes` an interesting look at the most curious Roman Emperor Elagabalus
and `the Cunning of the Dove` which is the story of Edward the Confessor told by the opinion of his dresser.Edward is often perceived as a weak King but this book puts a lovely spin on the usual opinions of the build up to 1066.

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Post by EC2 » Sat March 28th, 2009, 11:58 am

[quote=""rex icelingas""]`the Cunning of the Dove` which is the story of Edward the Confessor told by the opinion of his dresser.Edward is often perceived as a weak King but this book puts a lovely spin on the usual opinions of the build up to 1066.[/quote]

I thought this one was pretty blah and dated. To me it read rather like a text book with dialogue. I thought the dresser chap was good, but I never really felt that I was seeing the real Confessor or his life and times and everyone else was pretty much two dimensional. Very strange that Edward's wife was anti her own brother too!
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Sat March 28th, 2009, 11:04 pm

of the 6 duggan novels ive read id rank them like this:

1. Knight in Armour
A great travelouge of the 1st crusade with an interesting protagonist. the hardship endured really comes to life. also the protagonists low rank allows you to see both the nobility and peasantrys sides.

2. Conscience of the king
Duggans most scoundrelish protagonist. the chapter headings alone are brilliant "my brother meets with misfortune. my father meets with misfortune. my wifemeets with misfortune...etc.

3. Lord Geoffreys fancy
An interesting look at the Frankish Greek empire.

4. Count Bohemond
the first crusade from one of the main participants. i was sorry that duggan didnt live to write his intended sequal starring tancred about the early years of the kingdom of jerusalem.

5. the lady for ransome
the norman mercenary balliols adventures in byzantium. has a very strong female lead (balliols wife)

6. the little emperors
duggans take on the sudden colapse of roman britain. the protagonist is different from the norm being an older administrator civil servant.


all were great in my opinion. i know duggans style might be a bit slow for modern readers but i feel he really comes through on content. you feel youre learning something new all the time

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Post by Margaret » Sun March 29th, 2009, 1:14 am

Very helpful, Keny!
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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Post by annis » Sun March 29th, 2009, 1:54 am

Alfred Duggan's style can come across as rather distant and unemotional, and i know some readers find that off-putting. Sometimes that objectivity can be very effective, as in the chillingly unemotional way AD describes the massacre of the Germanic tribes by Caesar's soldiers in "Winter Quarters", which somehow emphasises the horror of the event.

I wonder if "Conscience of the King" is livelier because AD was not constrained by having to work around known events. In fact, some scholars even doubt Cerdic's very existence.

I haven't read "Cunning of the Dove", but for a fair look at Edward, i recommend Parke Godwin's "Lord of Sunset". It covers the years leading up to the Battle of Hastings, and is quite unusual in that it is told from multiple POV, and so events are seen as they affect all the different players: Harold Godwinson, his more Danico wife, Edith Swan-neck, various members of the Godwinson clan, including Edith Godwinson and her husband, Edward the Confessor. Edward does not come across as weak, but as an Englishman raised as a Norman who struggles with the concept of the English laws and rights which he keeps tripping over. While talking with William of Normandy, at one point he sighs, "The main trouble with being ruler of England is the English!" All the different voices weave together to create a very human and rather moving whole.
Last edited by annis on Sun March 29th, 2009, 2:00 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Sun March 29th, 2009, 8:57 am

[quote=""annis""]Alfred Duggan's style can come across as rather distant and unemotional, and i know some readers find that off-putting. Sometimes that objectivity can be very effective, as in the chillingly unemotional way AD describes the massacre of the Germanic tribes by Caesar's soldiers in "Winter Quarters", which somehow emphasises the horror of the event.

I wonder if "Conscience of the King" is livelier because AD was not constrained by having to work around known events. In fact, some scholars even doubt Cerdic's very existence.

.[/quote]

Duggan said as much himself, that obscure characters gave him more freedom and necessitated less research (i think he was being modest on the research comment)

and Duggan very cleverly explains away the Celtic name (Cerdic)of a wessex king. as to his existance, i tend to consider the majority of well-knowns from that era of questionable existance.

I think its lively because Duggan gave himself free reign to make Cerdic a really immoral character. but he always managed to justify his actions through ambition

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Sun March 29th, 2009, 9:05 am

[quote=""annis""]
I haven't read "Cunning of the Dove", but for a fair look at Edward, i recommend Parke Godwin's "Lord of Sunset". It covers the years leading up to the Battle of Hastings, and is quite unusual in that it is told from multiple POV, and so events are seen as they affect all the different players: Harold Godwinson, his more Danico wife, Edith Swan-neck, various members of the Godwinson clan, including Edith Godwinson and her husband, Edward the Confessor. Edward does not come across as weak, but as an Englishman raised as a Norman who struggles with the concept of the English laws and rights which he keeps tripping over. While talking with William of Normandy, at one point he sighs, "The main trouble with being ruler of England is the English!" All the different voices weave together to create a very human and rather moving whole.[/quote]


thanks for the advice, annis. Im not a big fan of anglo-saxon settings (i feel theyve been done to death and there are other times and areas that deserve attention. but thats just me). which is why i was a bit surprised ithat i liked "conceience" so much.

lord of sunset sounds intriging. most hastings era fiction is far to imbuded with apochraphyl nationalism for my tastes. Edward representing the English and all that. quite silly to assume that rulers would have our modern ideas of nationalism and patriotism. but if the author of that one has managed to overcome that stereotype (Edward would have been very "norman" in his way of thinking) then id be very interested.

thanks, as always.

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Post by Kveto from Prague » Sun March 29th, 2009, 12:01 pm

heres a list of Duggan HF with their subjects in case any are interested:

Knight with Armour (The First Crusade)

Conscience of the King (The beginnings of Saxon England)

The Little Emperors (The end of Roman Britain)

The Lady for Ransom (11th-century Normans in Byzantine service)

Leopards and Lilies (Early 13th-century England)

God and My Right (St. Thomas ŕ Becket)

Winter Quarters (Rome under the First Triumvirate)

Three’s Company (Rome under the Second Triumvirate)

Founding Fathers (The founding of Rome)

Family Favorites (The reign of Elagabalus)

The Cunning of the Dove (Edward the Confessor)

The King of Athelney (Alfred the Great)

Lord Geoffrey’s Fancy (13th-century Frankish Greece)

Elephants and Castles (The successors to Alexander the Great)

Count Bohemond (The First Crusade again)

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