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Knight Crusader Paperback – 4 Apr 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Reissue edition (4 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192793578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192793577
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ronald Welch (Ronald Oliver Felton) was born in Glamorgan and for much of his life was a teacher of history, and Headmaster of Okehampton Grammar School. He fought in the Welsh regiment during World War II. He published a number of historical novels for children, including Knight Crusader in 1954, for which he won the Carnegie Medal.


"Ronald Welch took one aspect of the past, military history, and made it his own. No other historical novelist for children is as good on battles as he is. His books are extremely well-researched, full of authentic detail, and always excitingly plotted."

Twentieth-Century Children's Writers

Product Description

Book Description

A welcome reissue of this award-winning classic

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Karen on 10 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the book that gave me a life long love of history. I first read Ronald Welch's Knight Crusader over 45 years ago as a young teenager and I was delighted to see it in print again, particularly as I had emailed Oxford University Press (children's section) only two years ago to ask if there was any chance it would be reprinted. At time they said no but something obviously changed their minds.

I don't need to repeat the story outline above but what I will say is that Ronald Welch incorporate real events and real people in his exciting adventure story. His description of events and places are vivid, his characters believable and likeable; his knowledge of castles and fighting techniques comprehensive and clear.

Knight Crusader is the first in a series of books following the adventures of the fictitious Carey family, members of whom leave their home in Llansteffan to participate in many of the major historical events involving the British including The Crusades, Battle of Crecy, The English Civil War, The French Revolution, The Crimean War, The Indian Mutiny and World War I (to name but a few).

It is a wonderful way to introduce children to historical events as the stories leave a lasting impression and are an easy way to learn historical facts. I do hope the rest of the books are also republished and look forward to rereading them all.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Susman VINE VOICE on 23 April 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Knight Crusader is purportedly the first novel in the so-called Carey Family historical adventure series of books which spanned a number of key points/times in British history from the Crusades to the First World War. There are wonderful drawings throughout that were done by William Stobbs, a rather accomplished illustrator known for his other noteworthy works. To avoid any possible spoilers, there will be no outline given of the narrative in this review, and to be perfectly honest the introduction to the book on this web site does do a fair job anyway.

The author has a keen attention to detail; the history of the time seems to `saturate' the plot, while the tale moves at a good pace without being bogged down. However, there two points which really make this book work for me. The first being attention to detail, especially in the battle scenes where the reader is almost thrust into the `melee'. Secondly there is the bringing into, this historical adventure, the key concept of the difference of the modernity of the feudal Islamic civilization, which had been adopted by the `Outremer, more recently known as the Levant, Crusader noblemen', with the deeply contrasting plain and rudimentary European living conditions of the time. The proposition being that the returning Crusaders brought Eastern standards of culture to the West. These books were intended as a way to get young boys to engage with history and historical topics, for me this book is great story that is well told and goes beyond gender or age. I really hope that the other titles in the series are republished as well. Well worth a five star recommendation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 April 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is children's historical fiction from my own childhood; the hero is a manly chap with a sense of fairness and good fellowship in an age where sexuality was safely packaged for later years. Set in the crisis of Outremer at the time of the Horns of Hattin the author involves us in the doings of all the great men (including the Assassins) and produces some excellent accounts of both Hattin and Arsuf. I am bound to say I enjoyed it (again).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mark on 8 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read this book when I was 9 (1975) when I found it in my primary school library (well a couple of shelves of books to be honest!).
I fell in love with it from the start, and ended up reading it 20+ times - so often in fact that the covers fell off!
A year ago I went searching for it on Amazon and saw that it was being republished in April. After a long patient wait, it was published and I ordered it. When it arrived I just couldn't put it down and finished it that day!
I am glad to say that it is every bit as good as I remembered it - just the right mix of adventure/suspense/sweeping panoramas. A truly wonderful read that will delight any child age 8-12 with a sense of adventure, and not at all a difficult read - despite the forward about the language being "old fashioned" (nonsense, well fashioned prose NEVER goes out of date!)
I was going to give this to my 8 year old son after finishing it but I just know I am going to read it again and again so I better buy him his own copy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Elliott TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Taking his pen-name, Ronald Welch, from his World War II service in the Welch Regiment, and from his background as a teacher of history, British author Ronald Oliver Fenton is highly respected as a writer of historical fiction novels for children. `Knight Crusader is the first of a series spanning from the Third Crusade in the late 12th century through to World War I, and its main protagonist is a newly anointed knight, Philip of d'Aubigny. The book was initially published in 1954 and it is now available from Oxford University Press, unabridged and unaltered, and complete with delightful original illustrations by William Stobbs. As a near reprint it deserves to be as well received today by young adults as when it won the Carnegie Medal.

`Knight Crusader' commences with descriptive commentaries on the Kingdom of Outremer which had existed for nearly 100 years since Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099. Events are seen through the experiences of Philip who is knighted and goes off to battle against Saladin's Islamic forces, but the Christian army is defeated at the Battle of Hattin and Philip is taken prisoner. The lead-in and the battle take up the first part of `Knight Crusader', a second part covers Philip's escape and commitment to Richard the Lionheart, and a third part deals with his return to Britain to claim his ancestral lands. Though a work of fiction, many of the names, places and events are real, and narrative is based on detailed research of the time with informed accounts of lifestyles, culture, chivalry, weaponry etc. - particularly tactics and battles.

It is inevitable that `Knight Crusader' must embrace savagery and there is much violence. However this is the true situation, and author Ronald Welch skilfully ensures it is not gory.
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