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Cadfael Companion: The World of Brother Cadfael [Hardcover]

Robin Whiteman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 16.58 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

10 Oct 1991
A guide to the mediaeval world of Brother Cadfael, the character created by Ellis Peters. From Aachen, site of the first Holy Roman Emperor's palace, to the mythical Zephyr, this encyclopaedia catalogues each character and place, both factual and fictional, to appear in the 17 mysteries.

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Cadfael Companion: The World of Brother Cadfael + Cadfael Country: Shropshire and the Welsh Borders
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; 1st Edition edition (10 Oct 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0356200523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0356200521
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 22.6 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 148,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Marvellous Achievement 22 July 2010
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This is a review of the revised second edition of 1995. (The book appeared originally in 1991, before the final instalments in the Brother Cadfael series were published.) The book's introduction is by Ellis Peters herself.

This literary companion does not take the form of a review of the books, or a biographical history of the author and the reasons why she wrote the series. Instead, from Aachen to Zephyr, Robin Whiteman has managed to provide background information on all the named characters (fictional and historical) and places, as well as additional information on such concepts as mythology and religion. Each entry also gives the name of the book in which it appears, as well as the chapter. This is a marvellous achievement, for even the most fleeting of names has its own entry.

In the preface, Whiteman draws attention to two "baffling and intriguing" references that remain unsolved. He provides no hint as to what they are, but after scanning through most of the book, I think these relate to the entries under Hyacinth and Nadafan. Unfortunately (but understandably) he uses the modern rather than historical county changes. He also employs imperial rather than metric measurements.

In a book of this nature and magnitude, there are bound to be some errors: Ascalon is forty miles west (not east) of Jerusalem; Bampton Castle is not actually in the market town of Bampton; the `unready' name applied to King Ethelred means he did not listen to advice rather than `evil counsel'; and Louis VI is otherwise known as `Louis the Fat', not `Charles the Fat' who reigned 250 years earlier. I was surprised to read that Jerusalem is "located in the heart of Israel". Metaphorically, yes, but geographically and geopolitically this is untrue.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cadfael fact or fiction? 2 April 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have often wondered which bits were historically accurate and which were Ellis Peters superb imagination! This answers a lot of questions, and is actually a good read when you have finished Book 20 and want a bit more! Apparently out of print in bookshops, so v good having Amazon around!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Liked 31 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Missus really enjoyed this book. She said it was well laid out and very informative. A good companion to the Cadfael books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good. 16 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have alleways wanted this one but it was translated into Danish. I was satisfied that I found it at Amazon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a word unturned! 27 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Every tiny hint of a place or person to be found in the Cadfel books is given here with excellent description, whether they derive from actual people/places or are straight out of Edith Pargeter's imagination. A companion indeed!
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