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Credo [Hardcover]

Melvyn Bragg
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 April 1996
Set in the 7th century, this novel recounts the story of Bega, an Irish princess. An epic encompassing religious, territorial and ideological conflicts, it depicts life during the little-known Dark Ages.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 757 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; First Edition edition (2 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340667052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340667057
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 15.7 x 5.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 779,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A gripping saga of great passion ... sustained, impassioned and uplifting (The Times)

An absorbing epic ... as splendid a ripping yarn as any of the best classics (Daily Telegraph)

A gripping, deeply accomplished work (Evening Standard)

I loved it ... Bragg's stately, seething, passionate epic is several cuts above modern attempts at historical fiction (Literary Review)

A beguiling entry into a society strange, neglected, important, tragic in many of its triumphs (Spectator)

Wonderfully evocative, passionate and erudite ... No summary could do justice to a book of this erudition, romance and scope (Glasgow Herald) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The reissue of Melvyn Bragg's epic masterpiece - a dramatic and dazzling recreation of life in Britain during the Dark Ages, and the story of a young Irish princess who became a saint --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars convincing and authentic 16 April 2007
Format:Paperback
Credo tells the story of a young Irish princess named Bega, and the two loves of her life - her God and a young nobleman called Padric - a lifelong tug between this earth and the next, romance and faith. The story is set in seventh century Britain, and Melvyn Bragg has really done his homework, describing life in Anglo Saxon times in rich detail. Many of the characters are based on historical figures too, St Bega being the main one, and the story hinges around real events. I personally found it very convincing, and a real insight into a particular place and culture, the Kingdom of Northumbria and Celtic Christianity.

It's quite a fascinating period in English history, and an important one in the story of Christianity, and Credo hits a satisfying balance between love story, adventure, and historical exploration. These were savage times, and Bragg doesn't gloss over the brutality. He doesn't dwell on it either, but sensitive readers should be warned that there are some genuinely horrible moments. My only real caution though is the length - at some 780 pages it takes some commitment to reach the end. But if you're a fan of epic novels and are willing to take your time, its a rewarding read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Epic scale 16 July 2006
By J.R.Hartley VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
They say don't judge a book by the cover but I did with this one. I saw the cover, liked it, picked it up, read the back and thought I'd give it a go. I was probably in need of something meaty to read having just read something less than challenging (well, one has a tendency to romanticise) and I wasn't disappointed.

This epic work tells the fictionalised tale of Bega (latterly St Bega) and the torments she faced between choosing the man she loves and her calling to serve the Almighty. It's set during the Dark Ages in Ireland and England and Mr Bragg uses his superb talents to bring those brutal times vividly to life. The sights, smells and sounds of the events seem very real and I don't think I'll be the only person to find myself itching when reading the scenes set in Carlisle!

While the book does have some slow sections (especially where Bega is wrestling with her conscience) it has some superb moments where it fair rattles along. The battle scenes and times of conflict are brilliantly written if somewhat nerve-shredding. For example, there is a violent rape scene in the early chapters that, although brief, is one of the most jaw-dropping scenes I've ever read. Don't get me wrong, it's not there for gratuitous titilation but to highlight the brutality of the times and the status of women as possessions and will leave the reader feeling a bit rattled.

The finale is executed on a grand scale and provides a suitable climax to the action, while Bragg deftly ties up the loose ends with the other characters. The characters have depth and are flawed and virtuous at the same time, while the events of the times are brought magnificently to life.

I'd recommend this to anyone wanting a good read that will stretch you a bit. My only criticism is that it's a bit overlong in places but that doesn't happen too often.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Melvyn Bragg's Credo is astonishing. It is so well researched and so well written that the characters live in your head long after you have closed the pages for the last time.
It's a classical battle; between the Pagans and the Christians, and between the Christian Celts and the Christian Catholics, set in a violent and turbulent period of history.
What makes this book is such memorable characters: Bega, the devout christian, destined to become a saint; the pagan woman whom Bega so despises, yet who is so human, Bega's "man", who's love she is prepared to forgo to persue her love affair with God.
Read this book. It will change your outlook on life, love and religion. It is wonderful.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book is a magical journey of faith, spiritualism and of miracles that stands out like a beacon, in our clean world of science, technology and materialism. The story is absorbing and it's difficult to put it down. The locations and characters are richly described and wholly believable. This novel is thought provoking and invites the reader into a world transported away, where real life and death hinges on failure of the crops or if the plague sets in, something we in the developed world cannot fathom any more. I personally found this novel provided a catalyst for me to re-think my perspective on life, and for that I am eternally grateful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I first read Credo a few years ago, and absolutely loved it. Have long ago lost my original copy, to I decided to buy another one from Amazon, paperback. Unfortunately, the book, when it came, was unreadable due to the tiny writing. (What with my eyes not being what they were). So I ordered a hard-back copy, which is considerably bigger and oh so much better. It's not an ordeal at all to read it.

So, if you're thinking of buying this novel, if size matters to you, please do yourself a favour and buy the hardback. It's more expensive, but for all the time you're going to be investing in it (it's eight-hundred pages long!)well worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking yarn of the middel ages 25 Jun 2009
By Aquinas
Format:Hardcover
Bragg excels himself at this wonderful yarn of the middle ages and Christendom. Note however that it is failry violent in places but history comes alive in Bragg's hands.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
This is a really good novel.
Bragg has thought his way into a mysterious period of eraly English history and the result is compelling and satisfying. Read more
Published 1 month ago by pearl
4.0 out of 5 stars AAA+
BOUGHT FOR SOME ONE ELSE HE STARTED TO READ IT AND THEN LEFT IT ON THE TRAIN THATS WHY HE BOUGHT A SECOND HAND ONE
Published 5 months ago by PAT MC GRATH
5.0 out of 5 stars Credo in unum Braggum
Excellent story unwound with subtle interweaving with real places and historical events. It is a better told tale than Maid of Buttermere, which is a similar genre, and has a... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Urban
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to keep!
I loved this historical novel when I first read it and unfortunately I lent it to a friend who never returned it, but this is one of those rare books where I feel that I must read... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lynne Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Read.
Coming from the north of England and being familiar with some of the locations used I was interested to read this novel. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Credo
Spell binding and historically fascinating. One of a few brilliant books that I couldn't put down, worth every minute of the time it took to read it.
Published 15 months ago by mrs j Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great story, told well with lots of solid research. I learned a lot about the history of christianity in Britain that I didn't know before.
Published 15 months ago by P. Crew
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read Epic
There are numerous reviews here by people more scholarly and knowledgeable than I, so I won't try to talk about technical aspects of novel writing or the character development etc. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Nick M
2.0 out of 5 stars credo by Melvin Bragg
awful, heavyweight, overlong, contrived story with long and gory tales of rape & pillage and some inconsistent historical points. Glad I bought it for only 1penny from Amazon!
Published 23 months ago by sheenamargaret
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product
Great product bought for someone as a present and they were really pleased. Great price great product. Item was recieved really quickly and was in perfect condition.
Published on 27 Jan 2012 by Bex
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