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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The White Company - not history, but entertainment
I already knew that the White Company was a historical band of English mercenaries at the time of the Hundred Years War, but wasn't sure what the author would make of them. The story is fast-paced, despite the sometimes flowery courtly language used by the protagonists and reads much like a travelogue, being the adventures of a young man brought up in a monastery but...
Published on 2 Oct 2010 by Rutan

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish for me
Could not get into this book at all not his better books at least for me though thanks any way.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The White Company - not history, but entertainment, 2 Oct 2010
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Rutan (Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The White Company (Kindle Edition)
I already knew that the White Company was a historical band of English mercenaries at the time of the Hundred Years War, but wasn't sure what the author would make of them. The story is fast-paced, despite the sometimes flowery courtly language used by the protagonists and reads much like a travelogue, being the adventures of a young man brought up in a monastery but leaving to spend a year in the 'real' world before he decides how to live the rest of his life. The state of England in the 14th Century is brought vividly to life, though historians might well blanch at some of the details that Doyle adds. He is obviously influenced by the victorian beliefs about knightly chivalry, and his heroes tend to be characterised in a way that would not be out of place in a romantic Arthurian ballad, but are perhaps a touch too idealistic for the modern taste.

Having said that, 'The White Company' is certainly a page-turner. Scenes flash by entertainingly as the protagonist meets warriors back from France, becomes a squire to a famous knight, crosses the Channel to locate the eponymous mercenary company, and learns that for all his education at the hands of the Cistercians he has a lot to learn about the real world. Thoroughly recommended as a Victoran historical romance.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Semi-historical fiction, 27 Dec 2010
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Mole "Mole" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The White Company (Kindle Edition)
"The White Company" concerns a period of English history when knights were expected to lead men into battle, and much of this took place in France when the English Crown held sway over many major French cities.

The main character is a second son of a nobleman; and as might have been common at the time, had been placed into a religious order. He leaves to return home, and the descriptions of people and events he encounters on the way are detailed and give an insight into a world with different values and customs to those he is familiar with. He becomes associated to a knight and travels with him to join his men in the fighting taking place overseas; in the process, he learns more about himself and the wider world that he lives in.

The story is fast paced, and the characters are interesting and multi dimensional. Certainly far more so than I had expected, even given that this was written by Conan-Doyle, and this makes the book a pretty good read. It is not historically that accurate, but the language and scenes portrayed do give a good impression of what that period might have been like. Certainly one that's worth adding to the Kindle collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The White Company, or how to annoy the EU, 14 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The White Company (Kindle Edition)
if you like patriotic English adventure, then this is for you. Written by the creator of Sherlock Holmes, the narrative takes us from a rather idealised medieval England into the violence of the Hundred Years' War. To get on with this kind of historical romance, Conan Doyle flung Holmes over the Reichenbach Falls and into oblivion - or thought he had - and gleefully pointed his pen nib in another direction. In 'The White Company' he pulls no punches in his descriptions of battles, although his estimate of the ability of the English archers is perhaps a bit exaggerated. It's a wonderfully (or terribly - depends on your viewpoint) politically incorrect book, as it glories in bloodshed and English (not British, note) valour and skill in warfare, together with a certain superiority over all things Continental. Writing during the period when the Empire was almost at its greatest extent, Conan Doyle (a Scotsman, by the way) had no compunction about singing the praises of England. The public, however, decided that Holmes should return, and posterity has almost consigned the Conan Doyle historical romances to the oblivion their author reserved for Sherlock. Now, in this summer of the World Cup, let's celebrate the old English virtues - we're right, they're wrong, and we'll take on all comers. A word of warning to Guardian readers: keep away - this book is not for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the best historical novel of the Hundred Years War, 2 May 2014
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This review is from: The White Company (Kindle Edition)
I have repeatedly read it over sixty years ; well written, exciting narrative, well researched, historically plausible, wonderful heraldry, romantic conclusion. Read alongside 'Sir John Chandos. The Perfect Knight' by Stephen Cooper. Could read 'Sir Nigel' first, but they can be read in any order as good tales standing alone.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish for me, 20 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The White Company (Kindle Edition)
Could not get into this book at all not his better books at least for me though thanks any way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars another great story, 8 Mar 2014
This review is from: The White Company (Kindle Edition)
The sequel to Sir Nigel. If you enjoyed Sir Nigel Read this book. I have been reading it for 60 years
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4.0 out of 5 stars a good read, 12 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The White Company (Kindle Edition)
Ok, I am a longbow instructor, so have an interest in books about this period. Sir Arthur has written an interesting portrayal of the longbow companies and what it might have been like to be a soldier of fortune in this period. I would give it 5 stars, but I found that it was a little over-long for such a slim volume.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down., 6 Dec 2013
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Grip (Isle of Wight, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The White Company (Kindle Edition)
This book takes you back in time to when life was realy hard and you had t kee your wits abut you. Not only do you read a wonderful book but you learn so much about English history and the language of the day. You must bye this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The White Company - volunteer version, 21 July 2013
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The story is excellent but it is let down by poor proof reading, I would have given it 5 stars otherwise.

The production of the book is very disappointing. The font changes regularly, thus there is no consistancy and there are many spelling errors because American spelling has been adopted. It is very strange reading a book by a British author but with words like honour spelt honor etc. it makes the reading jolty.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The White Company, 2 Jun 2013
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If you like history, with a hint of authors licence, then this is the book to start out on. Conan Doyle could always write a good story and this particular one will have you bothering Wikipedia hourly.
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