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The Darkening Glass (Mathilde of Westminster 3) Paperback – 6 Aug 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (6 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755338537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755338535
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 501,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Paul Doherty was born in Middlesbrough (North-East England) in 1946. After A-levels, he went to Ushaw College in Durham for three years to study for the Catholic priesthood. In 1967, he was admitted to Liverpool University where he gained a First Class Honours Degree in History and won a state scholarship to Exeter College, Oxford. While there he met his wife Carla Lynn Corbitt. He continued his studies but decided that the academic world was not for him and became a secondary school teacher.

Paul worked in Ascot, Newark and Crawley, before being appointed as Headmaster to Trinity Catholic School, Woodford Green, Essex, in September 1981. Trinity is a large comprehensive (1700 on roll) which teaches the full ability range, ages 11-18. The school has been described as one of the leading comprehensives in the U.K. and has been awarded "Outstanding" in four consecutive OFSTED inspections. All seven of Paul and Carla's children have been educated at Trinity.

Paul's other incarnation is as a novelist. He finished his doctorate on the reign of Edward II of England and decided to start writing about the "undergrowth of history", beginning with THE DEATH OF A KING, published in 1985. Since then, Paul has written nearly 100 books and has published a series of outstanding historical mysteries set in the Middle Ages, Classical Greece, Ancient Egypt and elsewhere. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages and are available in several formats, including large print, audio books, and more recently e-books.

He has been published under several pseudonyms: C. L. Grace, Paul Harding, Michael Clynes, Ann Dukthas and Anna Apostolou but now writes only under his own name. Paul has also written a number of non-fiction titles, among them: ISABELLA AND THE STRANGE DEATH OF EDWARD II, a scholarly study of The Great Crown Jewels Robbery of 1303, THE SECRET LIFE OF ELIZABETH I, and a study of the mystery surrounding the death of Alexander the Great.
Paul lectures for a number of organisations, particularly on historical mysteries, many of which later feature in his writings. A born speaker and trained lecturer Paul loves to tell stories and "bring history to life."

Product Description

Book Description

The third novel in Paul Doherty's brilliant series featuring physician and lady-in-waiting to Queen Isabella, Mathilde of Westminster

About the Author

Paul Doherty was born in Middlesbrough. He studied History at Liverpool and Oxford Universities and obtained a doctorate for his thesis on Edward II and Queen Isabella. He is now headmaster of a school in north-east London and lives with his family in Essex.

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amelrode VINE VOICE on 27 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
I suppose this is 35 book by Paul Doherty I have read. So you gather that I am quite a fan of him.

This is the number 3 in the Mathilde of Westminsiter series. He combines here his interest in the reign of Edward II and the Templars. Eventough this new mystery is a part of a series it can stand alone and the reader does not have to read book one and two in order to follow the story.

The story is set in 1312: a year of high drama at the royal court of England. The leading barons are in rebellion against King Edward II and his great favorite (or lover) Gaveston, the Earl of Cornwall. The year ends with the excecution of Gaveston. At the same time the prosecution of the Templars by the King of France is in full swing. Mathilde is the trusted servant of Queen Isabella of England, Princess of France. It is a dark period, glumy and full on intrigue. Indeed a period when the glass is darkening for the royal court.

As usual Paul Doherty re-creates the period and times to perfection. He indeed creates this dark, gloomy atmosphere. But he spends more time on descriptions than usual. This however leads to less action and often a action is interrupted by descriptions. This I found partly boring, party annoying. Sometimes he wanders off to areas which he obviously wants to show to the reader, but they do not really fit into the story and actually disrupt the narrative. The whole effect is that this new mystery by Paul Doherty is less gripping and less engaging. Only in the last chapters he catches up and it gets very interesting. However, one has to get there first and this is a bit of a struggle. On a positive note the personality of Mathilde develops more and more. She gains more layers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Haslett on 21 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Despite the apparent lukewarm reviews it seems this book is still rated pretty pretty highly. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it difficult to put down. I thought the plot was effective and building up into what will clearly be a long lived character and series (I hope), the mood is atmospheric and conjures up many visions of life in that period, short, nasty and brutish. Having a woman as a central character is slightly unusual for Doherty and, generally, for most novelists writing about this period, Jecks, Gregory et al but works well for me. Mathilde and Isabel come across as strong but still feminine - the next one is on pre-order but, just a warning, where some series novels (Lee Childs and Reacher) can be read as stand alone, I don't think this one can - go on, be devils, order all three - you won't regret it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third of the Mathilde of Westminster stories - books set in and around the court of King Edward II of England, full of intrigue, plotting and planning, particularly by Edward's nobles against his favourite Gaveston.

In this book, it is March 1312, Edward and Gaveston's battle against the rebellious nobles is heating up to deadly levels, the Queen Isabella (Mathilde's mistress) is pregnant with the King's first child and potential heir. A volatile situation not helped by Robert Bruce in Scotland preparing to cause trouble in the north. Can the internal troubles be quelled, or at least held at bay, while the kingdom deals with the external threat? And what will Mathilde discover when murderers show their hand?

These books are great, as are pretty much all of Paul Doherty's historical novels, wherever and whenever they are set. The historical accuracy and research that has clearly gone into them is highly impressive; the atmosphere in these novels is dark and brooding; a real sense of menace hangs over the English court, and Mathilde, recounting these tales from her old age, banished by King Edward III has a real and cynical attitude to her life both now and in her younger days.

The story of Edward II and Gaveston, Isabella and the struggle for the English throne which ensues between so many disparate parties is a horrible part of English history; but wonderfully brought to life for the modern reader in these novels. I'm not sure if there are more Mathilde of Westminster novels out, but will have to keep an eye out for them. In the meantime, I'll be revisiting old P C Doherty favourites.
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Format: Paperback
What is most apparent is the amount of historical research which Paul Doherty carried out, and it is not surprising that he obtained a doctorate degree for analysing this turbulent period in English history and inspired him to write this book. I would highly recommend it to anyone having an interest in the reign of Edward II.

It is well-written mystery and I found it difficult to put down as I eagerly awaited Mathilde's conclusion to the complexities and dangers that she and her companions faced.
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