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Steel Bonnets: Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers Hardcover – 1 Sep 1971


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Hardcover, 1 Sep 1971
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Barrie & Jenkins; 1st edition (1 Sept. 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0214653080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0214653087
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,749,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The author of the famous 'Flashman Papers' and the 'Private McAuslan' stories, George MacDonald Fraser has worked on newspapers in Britain and Canada. In addition to his novels he has also written numerous films, most notably 'The Three Musketeers', 'The Four Musketeers', and the James Bond film, 'Octopussy'. George Macdonald Fraser died in January 2008 at the age of 82.

Product Description

About the Author

The author of the famous ‘Flashman Papers’ and the ‘Private McAuslan’ stories, George MacDonald Fraser has worked on newspapers in Britain and Canada. In addition to his novels he has also written numeous films, most notably ‘The Three Musketeers’, ‘The Four Musketeers’, and the James Bond film, ‘Octopussy’. George Macdonald Fraser died in January 2008 at the age of 82.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By History Man on 14 May 2007
Format: Paperback
If you have read any of George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman books, you'll know that he can spin a brilliant yarn. That magic touch is more than apparent here. The Steel Bonnets reads like a fast-paced adventure novel, revealing the border lands between England and Scotland in the sixteenth century as a British Wild West, but the facts and analysis come thick and fast and never cease to fascinate. Just brilliant.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Aug. 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is highly entertaining. George MacDonald Fraser successfully relates the life and times of the Border Reivers in a way which had me laughing one minute and horrified the next. One could make a comparison between the Borders of Scotland and England and the American Wild West or indeed the Sicilian Mafia. Reading this book has really opened my eyes to a phenomenon of the past which is still present at many frontiers all around the world.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By An avid reader on 6 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback
A wonderful history of a sadly overlooked part of English/Scottish history.

Fascinating, gripping, bloody and violent - a truly fabulous account of the Reivers and their culture.

GMF writes in a great style which keeps you gripped and entertained from the first page to the last.

This book is perfect for anyone with the slightest interest is English/Scottish history - but to be honest, it's such a cracking read I can't think of anyone who wouldnt enjoy it.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
The author vividly describes these very violent times in a way which leaves the reader wanting more. Before or after reading the book you are strongly advised to visit the Borders and savour the atmosphere . I suggest you chose a time when the weather is not too kind and the book will 'come to life'. I think that a TV Company could make a riveting documentary based on The Steel Bonnets.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Jun. 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm biased about this book because I'm from the borders and the Graham family, which I belong to, were one of the families most involved in the dirty deals and goings on in the area. This book shows what life was like on the borders between England and Scotland, and informs us that blackmail and greenmail and bereave were words that sprang out of the slaughter and disorder. The wrongdoers can also be seen as victims, driven to desperation through the constant warring of the rival kingdoms and stuck in the middle. Yhe trouble is that the theiving and deception that the locals resorted to in times of war became a habit that was difficult to break.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Avid reader on 9 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I have previously bought several other books by different authors on the subject of Border Reivers, but found them slightly lacking. After coming across George MacDonald Fraser's book "The Steel Bonnets" and seeing how well it was reviewed I decided to give it a chance. I was not disappointed. It is very well written, and despite it being a research book I found it to be riveting. It is very faced paced and interesting, and definately a must read for anyone interested in this subject. Five stars.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
The author has managed to condense a huge amount of arcane material to form a highly readable history. For those descended from the families who loom large in the book, one is terrified and thrilled to read of the exploits and misdeeds of the great border families.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By "johnra6" on 19 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
Man! what a book! They're all stark raving bonkers. Being an englishman you hear these strange tales of the borders, about Scottish thugs stealing, looting, killing, and a-raping the poor, humble, and hard working English (while being incredibly drunk). Well that's the stereotype and... to an extent, according to this book it's true! But what this book also adds is the total and utter ambiguity of both sides of the border. It is like someone has stuck a huge great mirror on the border. So much for the wee oppressed english peasants and so much for country loyalties. This gives a more realistic view beyond the english ideals of the south and the romanticsm of the Border Ballads, (and shows what a bunch of nutters the Borderers where). This book is fascinating and it is easily accessible. The language flows and doesn't get bogged down in academic twaddle. It sifts through all the difficult points and re-inforces that life is not black and white. Well I think so anyway. It's a good interesting book
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