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The Steel Bonnets: Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers
 
 

The Steel Bonnets: Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers [Kindle Edition]

George MacDonald Fraser
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

From the author of the famous ‘Flashman Papers’ and the ‘Private McAuslan’ stories.

An historical narrative about the Anglo-Scottish border raiders in the 16th century

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.


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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild Borders Cowboys 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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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magnificent 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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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book 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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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RIVETING 14 Nov 2000
By A Customer
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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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping 1 Jun 2004
By A Customer
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By John Middleton TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
As an history loving antipodean from family both Scottish and English - and a Nixon on one side, to boot! - this is a pure joy to read. The Border Marches - the bit where Scotland and England used to meet, before the Act of Union - were rough, if beautiful, country populated by rougher and vicious men. The book is pretty quiet on what the Border women were like, but one imagines that they were no shrinking violets either. Perhaps they were the beautiful ones.

There were 6 Marches, each run by a Warden, 3 on each side of the Border. It appears that the main local industry was horse-theft, with cattle-theft, sheep-theft, arson, and robbery not far behind. Tradition holds that the borderers were not fond of unnecessary killing, but as GMF puts it: well, they seemed to find killing necessary with troubling frequency. These were the "reivers", and GMF - a Scotsman raised in England is telling their story, and that of the Wardens who policied them (when the Wardens were not in fact reiving themselves).

GMF is best known for the fictional Flashman, but he was also the author of a lot of other stuff, including the semi-autobiograhpical McAuslan and the actually-biographical Quartered Safe Out Here. That was a good enough memoir of the Burma campaign in WWII for Max Hastings to see fit to quote it at length in his history of the Pacific War. The Steel Bonnets is both an accurate history of sixteenth century Border country, their long kiss goodnight, and also a rip-roaring tale: history told like it is fiction, with "hot trods", blood feuds and international politics all mixed together, and topped off with a reprint of the incredible "Monition of Cursing" which is best read out loud, if you can get through it without laughing in admiration.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars history comes alive 8 July 2011
By teribus
Format:Paperback
Some of you will realise my name is a giveaway about why I would read this book! I grew up in the Borders, and thought I knew about the history. Reading this book was like someone shining a very bright torch into some very dark and secret corners of my family's past. The sweep of the story is breathtaking. For anyone without a direct connection to the Borders, it is still a great read about a much neglected part of the country. The characters are drawn in glorious detail. This is up there in my top five books. It's not often you find a serious, well-researched history book which is also a page turner! Enjoy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is still a good history, the sort of book that gives you ...
If you want the detailed history, this is probably a bit dated. There are at least some bits of the story which Fraser tells that have been questioned in the years since. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fine
Published 20 days ago by Baz the Pedant
5.0 out of 5 stars lntriging history
Excellent work, l had been led to believe that Henry VlII, had unsettled the borders, but its not that simple. Read more
Published 1 month ago by R. W. Hughes
2.0 out of 5 stars NO MAPS OR ILLUSTRATIONS
I have downloaded the Kindle edition. Also no illustrations. Big problem, no map. I also note author refers to chapter XVIII. There is no chapter with this number. Read more
Published 4 months ago by A. E. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars The consummate account of Border reiving
Many have tried but few have reached the standard of George MacDonald Fraser in explaining the tangled web of Border families and their relationship with their neighbours on... Read more
Published 4 months ago by canon_fan
5.0 out of 5 stars revue
this small and informative reading book was what I expected and more most interesting sure I will read it more thanonce
Published 5 months ago by maryb
5.0 out of 5 stars The Steel Bonnets
A very interesting book, if you are into history, you will find a lot about how some of the English behaved.
Published 6 months ago by Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
This is a well documented account of the Border Reivers, especially for people interested in their family history around the 16th century.
Published 8 months ago by Patricia L Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
i have bought this for a christmas presnet, but had a flick through and it looks very interesting and very readable
Published 8 months ago by J. M. Dixon
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Quality second hand book
It was good to be able to get a copy of this book, without paying the large prices currently charged for "new" copies of the book.
Published 8 months ago by John Jenkins
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