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The Little Emperors (Methven's Classic Historical Novels) Paperback – Jun 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Methven's PLC; New edition edition (Jun. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902894006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902894003
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,641,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A classic novel set in Dark Age Britain. Through the eyes of a British official in Roman Britain we see successive would-be emperors fight each other while the Barbarian threat grows ever stronger. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Alfred Duggan was born in Argentina in 1903. He was educated at Eton College and Oxford. He worked for the British Natural History Museum collecting specimens and travelled extensively pursuing his job for the museum. From 1938-1941, when he was discharged as medically unfit, he served in the London Irish Rifles and saw active service in Norway. His first book was published in 1950. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A.Chamberlain on 25 April 2006
Format: Paperback
This story is set in the fith century AD with the decline of the power of Rome and follows the fortunes of Felix (the treasurer of Britain) through one of the most momentous periods in British history as barbarians invade Gaul and the last of the Roman legions depart to prop up the tottering empire cutting Britain off from the rest of the civilized world. For Felix life becomes a matter of survival. As treasurer he is used by the powerful and ambitious men of his time to aid them to the top, to help make them 'Little Emperors'. Manipulated by his wife and father-in-law, Felix must walk a fine line between the different factions all competing for the ultimate prize.

This is an excellent historical novel from Alfred Duggan. It is well paced with just a hint of dark humour. You can feel the beginnings of decay and of isolation in Britain that seems totally real and the all-or-nothing scrambel to fill the power vacuum which must be somewhere near the truth. A truly worthwhile read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tim62 VINE VOICE on 21 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Alfred Duggan's hero is the completely un-heroic senior administrator, Felix, - who as the treasurer of Britain in the early years of the fifth century AD is struggling to presve his province and himself.

Duggan writes well, because we see the crisis of these years therough Felix's eyes. His is initially a world dominated by court protocol and administrative problems. But gradually he comes to realise - as do we - the overwheening political ambitions of those around him as they jockey for power - the 'Little Emperors' of the title.

Duggan's tale is set against a fully-functioning Roman Britain -- which collapses suddenly almost overnight as a result of the disruption caused to the province by the barbarian invasions of Gaul and its consequent separation from the rest of the Roman Empire.

Whether things really happend like this I am not sure, but what I am sure of is that Duggan's work is well worth reading. I am so glad that this, and his other books are now being re-published - it's about time.

Duggan is one of a wonderful quartet of British fiction writers of the last century. Duggan, along with John Masters, Wallace Breem and George Shipway all wrote stories on imperial themes. The common link betwewen them was India. Masters, Breem and Shipway had all served in the British Indian Army. Duggan did not, but he was stepson of Britain's grandest imperial viceroy, Lord Curzon, and he did serve in the British army in WW2.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Iain S. Palin on 20 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
It is the early Fifth Century: the Roman Empire in the West is coming to an end, and with it Roman rule over Britain. Actually much of its dominion has already ended, with control passing to "federated" "allied" or otherwise de facto independent regional rulers. Felix, the Treasurer of what remains is not happy. His tax base is no longer enough to maintain the civilised system to which he has devoted his life, let alone restore the past glories he dreams of seeing once again.
It is perhaps inevitable that, as has happened before, local figures start to think of going it alone, of breaking the link with Rome and keeping the money and power at home in an independent Britannia (and therefore in their particular hands). Felix, much against his will, finds himself playing a part on the ensuing events, events that lead to an outcome.... Well, read the book.
Duggan has, as so often, found a byway of history and brought it to life. He captures the atmosphere of a different time very well - we find ourselves sympathetic to Felix, for instance, trapped and out of his depth, even as we see him tolerate or inflict what by our present-day standards would be extreme cruelty.
It is a delight to see Alfred Duggan's books coming back into print. We have been without these well-researched, well-written, literate historical novels for too long.
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