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When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman

princess
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Post by princess » Mon April 5th, 2010, 1:57 pm

[quote=""EC2""]In some ways he was greater than his grandson, the oft-lauded Henry II. Just not as glam.[/quote]

I think they're almost on a par with each other, although for me Henry II just edges it - he restored order to England after the Steven-Matilda fiasco, which was no mean feat, and ruled England and his domains across the Channel very successfully, and for me, he's England's greatest monarch :)

annabel
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Post by annabel » Wed April 7th, 2010, 1:15 pm

Thanks, EC2 and Princess. Two more to add to my ever expanding pile of TBR
Just finished King of the Wood. Brilliant. She portrays William as a real person, not just a cardboard cutout king.
It was The Wild Hunt ( loved it, of course) that really sparked my interest in this period, but then the threads lead to so many others! I need a spare life to read all the books that I keep hearing about.

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Post by Carla » Wed April 7th, 2010, 4:10 pm

[quote=""Miss Moppet""]I have to wonder if Henry didn't top William Rufus, although hunting accidents were common enough so he ought to have the benefit of the doubt.
[/quote]

Christopher Brooke in 'The Saxon and Norman Kings', after a lengthy discussion of the circumstances of William Rufus's death, says:

"The most we can say is this: if Rufus's death in August 1100 was an accident, Henry I was an exceptionally lucky man."

Which is one of the best summings-up I've seen :-)

Henry I figures in Kipling's short story 'The Tree of Justice' in 'Rewards and Fairies' (free online at Project Gutenberg). Like all Kipling's short stories it packs a lot into a few words, with a lot of undercurrents and veiled references, and Henry's interest in law and justice makes an appearance. I think Jean Plaidy's 'The Lion of Justice' is about Henry I, but as I can't remember anything else about it, I'm guessing it probably wasn't one of her best novels.
PATHS OF EXILE - love, war, honour and betrayal in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria
Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review, August 2009
Now available as e-book on Amazon Kindleand in Kindle, Epub (Nook, Sony Reader), Palm and other formats on Smashwords
Website: http://www.carlanayland.org
Blog: http://carlanayland.blogspot.com

annis
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Post by annis » Thu April 8th, 2010, 2:24 am

I'd forgotten about Plaidy's Norman trilogy. I only read the first one, about William the Conqueror (Bastard King). Lion of Justice is the second and Passionate Enemies the third. T think the last one is the one which has Stephen and Matilda as old lovers turned enemies, a rather dubious premise I would have thought. Plaidy is a bit of a mixed bag (not surprising given her output!) Some of her work is good, some pretty pedestrian.

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Post by Carla » Thu April 8th, 2010, 8:32 am

[quote=""annis""]I'd forgotten about Plaidy's Norman trilogy. I only read the first one, about William the Conqueror (Bastard King). Lion of Justice is the second and Passionate Enemies the third. T think the last one is the one which has Stephen and Matilda as old lovers turned enemies, a rather dubious premise I would have thought. Plaidy is a bit of a mixed bag (not surprising given her output!) Some of her work is good, some pretty pedestrian.[/quote]

Yes on all counts. I don't buy Stephen and Maud/Matilda as ex-lovers at all, though I haven't read Plaidy's novel to see if she makes it convincing within the book. You're right that some of her writing is good (the Tudor novels, Catherine de Medici) and some distinctly plodding. If I remember rightly, the Plantagenet novels were among the dull ones, which takes some doing :-) I had the impression that she perhaps felt she had to slog through every English monarch to 'complete the set', even the ones she might not have been much interested in.
PATHS OF EXILE - love, war, honour and betrayal in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria
Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review, August 2009
Now available as e-book on Amazon Kindleand in Kindle, Epub (Nook, Sony Reader), Palm and other formats on Smashwords
Website: http://www.carlanayland.org
Blog: http://carlanayland.blogspot.com

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Thu April 8th, 2010, 8:43 am

[quote=""Carla""]Yes on all counts. I don't buy Stephen and Maud/Matilda as ex-lovers at all, though I haven't read Plaidy's novel to see if she makes it convincing within the book. You're right that some of her writing is good (the Tudor novels, Catherine de Medici) and some distinctly plodding. If I remember rightly, the Plantagenet novels were among the dull ones, which takes some doing :-) I had the impression that she perhaps felt she had to slog through every English monarch to 'complete the set', even the ones she might not have been much interested in.[/quote]

Her novel about William Rufus - I don't remember the title is awful. I read it alongside Valerie Anand's King of the Wood and the comparsion was painful. Anand's characters were vibrant and leaped off the page and the history and pacing were 5 star. Plaidy's characters were like wooden dollies and the history was laid out in info dumps. The Stephen Matilda as lovers producing Henry II between them premise was extremely silly and historically inaccurate. Henry was born in March 1133 when Matilda had been back with her estranged husband in Anjou since September 1131 - 18 months. She didn't conceive Henry straight away. Stephen was never in Anjou in any of this time and since Blois and Anjou were not the best of friends, it's doubtful he would have gone there and even more doubtful he'd have engaged in a one night stand with the Empress. I think in the Plaidy novel, didn't it happen before she went back to Geoffrey. It's a long time ago and I don't remember the details.
Agree that Plaidy was much better at the Tudors. I enjoyed that set very much.
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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Tanzanite
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Post by Tanzanite » Thu April 8th, 2010, 3:03 pm

[quote=""EC2""]Her novel about William Rufus - I don't remember the title is awful. I read it alongside Valerie Anand's King of the Wood and the comparsion was painful. Anand's characters were vibrant and leaped off the page and the history and pacing were 5 star. Plaidy's characters were like wooden dollies and the history was laid out in info dumps. The Stephen Matilda as lovers producing Henry II between them premise was extremely silly and historically inaccurate. Henry was born in March 1133 when Matilda had been back with her estranged husband in Anjou since September 1131 - 18 months. She didn't conceive Henry straight away. Stephen was never in Anjou in any of this time and since Blois and Anjou were not the best of friends, it's doubtful he would have gone there and even more doubtful he'd have engaged in a one night stand with the Empress. I think in the Plaidy novel, didn't it happen before she went back to Geoffrey. It's a long time ago and I don't remember the details.
Agree that Plaidy was much better at the Tudors. I enjoyed that set very much.[/quote]


I'm so glad to hear that someone else thought Plaidy's book was awful - I think it's one of the worst things I have read and the other two books in The Norman Trilogy are right there with it! It's really a good thing these were not the first Plaidy books that I read or I probably would have never read anything by her again.

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