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A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury Paperback – 5 Oct 1989


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; New Ed edition (5 Oct. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747233667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747233664
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Edith Pargeter weaves a skilful tapestry of feuds, loves and battles into an enthralling narrative

About the Author

Edith Pargeter, who also wrote as Ellis Peters, gained worldwide praise and recognition for her crime fiction.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"A field where the past had just received another mortal blow in its drawn-out death, and the future had cast its forward shadow long and stark, the chilling image of battle after battle, treason after treason, change piled upon change, interminably reeling to and for across the ruined crops and desolated hopes of peasant cultivators and tenant farmers ..."

This is a passage from the chapter that deal with the `bloody field' just outside Shrewsbury where a battle was fought for control of England. Ellis Peters is most famous, of course, for her series of Cadfael novels set in twelfth-century Shrewsbury Abbey. This book, `A Bloody Field By Shrewsbury', is set two hundred and fifty years later, but - as the title suggests - uses Shrewsbury (in particular the 1403 Battle of Shrewsbury) as the core of the story. But its scene of action is nationwide, for we also go into the Welsh mountains, to the royal court in London, and to the Scottish borders.

This historical novel is roughly twice the length of a Cadfael whodunit and was published about five years before Cadfael ever saw the light of day. It seeks to be based as much as possible on actual events. Unfortunately no additional commentary is provided by the author about her approach to the story or to say how much of the contents, for example, of the letters between the major parties are true. The book opens as the twelve-year-old Prince Harry (the future Henry V) lands at Chester from Ireland in the autumn of 1399. But the future fifth Henry is largely an observer, albeit an active one, of his father's actions in this story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 31 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book but found is quite different from what I expected. Hotspur is the hero and reaches an almost tragic stature as the man of integrity and innocence in a world which doesn't allow either. Henry IV & Henry V are both quite distant characters and although well-drawn, somehow remain disembodied.

I disliked the introduction of the fictional character Julian who falls in love with Hotspur at first time she sees him, and remains his devoted admirer despite him being in love with his wife, and found their whole relationship unrealistic and unnecessarily Mills-and-Boom romantic.

Having said all that, the battle of Shrewsbury was done excellently, and the death of Hotspur was genuinely moving, especially because of the portent so that he too knew he was going to his death.

I loved Pargeter's Heaven Tree trilogy and feel this isn't nearly as good as that or Sharon Penman's historical novels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Rutter on 13 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
Bringing history to life, this is a skillfully written historical novel which adds a fitting human element. Hotspur is the brave knight but also flawed by naivety and his rash nature. Henry the usurper King, haunted by his own inner demons. The young Prince Hal, loves and admires Hotspur but with an undeniable belief in his right to the crown he is set to inherit. Adding the element of Julian Parry allows us to see another element of Sir Percy's character and is also of course a great plot device. An excellent read which easily stands reading again and again.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
Anyone who has read Shakespear's Henry plays should welcome this extraordinary picture of England in the throes of a forcible succession. The events and the people which the plays could only mention in passing become vividly real. The relation between Prince Hal and Hotspur puts the Prince in an entirely new light, and changes Hotspur from the quasi-comic figure of the plays to a figure of genuine tragedy. Ms. Pargeter had a gift for creating drama. Her picture of the coronation of Henry IV, seen through the eyes of the prince, would grace any stage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rosalind Healy on 3 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are interested in local Shropshire history, and perhaps drive past Battlefield every day without knowing much about the origin of the name or the history of the battle, you will relish this fact-based historical, romantic novel by skilled writer Edith Pargeter (Ellis Peters by another name).
I have loved Hotspur since I met him at school as a fourteen year old, and have longed to know more about him. Believe me girls, he gives Darcy a run for his money. Chaps (and ladies) who enjoy details of battle will not be disappointed, though I preferred the love story entwined around the historical events - I can't imagine that bit is much based on fact though. It has taken moving to Shropshire for me to become an Ellis Peters fan and I am slowly working my way through all her books and there are lots to go at. Best for lovers of historical fiction, medieval fiction and romance.
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By ereini0n on 12 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
The year is 1399 and Henry Bolingbroke, unjustly robbed of his paternal inheritance, returns to England at the head of an army, deposes his cousin, King Richard II and becomes King Henry IV. His eldest son young Henry (Hal) is only twelve years old. He was very attached to Richard, living in his court and hardly knows his father, by whom he is now made Prince of Wales. At the coronation young Henry is impressed be the stature and the proud bearing of one of his father's oldest friends and chief aides in conquering the crown, Henry Percy (Hotspur), son and heir of the Earl of Northumberland and it becomes his greatest wish to assume his Welsh responsibilities under Percy's protectorship.
The year is 1400 and Richard, imprisoned in the north, is pronounced dead by voluntary starvation. This death sows seeds of doubt of the King's involvment in both Hotspur and Hal, which, when resolved, will mark the end of innocense for both.
The year is 1402 when a young Welsh petitioner called Julian presents herself before the prince and his mentor in the border town of Shrewsbury on a family grievance. Like Hal before her, she sees in Hotspur her salvation and a chance for greater deeds. Hotspur himself is charged of trying to reach a peaceful resolution to the Welsh conflict with the 'true' Prince of Wales, Owen Glendower and becomes involved with Julian, her father and a family friend and rebel, Iago Vaughn. He also makes a new Scottish friend and is trying to release his brother-in-law, Edmund Mortimer, from the Welsh captivity.
The year is 1403.
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