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on 5 July 1997
If you are interested in learning about the realities of the French court in the Middle Ages, this book is for you. Haasse does an excellent job at writing about life in the Middle Ages. It is obvious that the research involved great detail. Your lesson about the Middle Ages involves its key players. Just a few of the chacters include the French king Charles VI, the Duke of Orleans and the Duke of Burgundy, as well as members of their families. If that is not enough for you, there is also the English kings Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V. Most histories are very dry reading, that is why this work of historical fiction is so important to read. You learn about the Middle Ages in the most fascinating way while reading the words from Haasse's hand.
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on 2 August 1997
Written in 1949 this novel has lost nothing of its freshness and sensitivity and enjoyes a renewed interest these days as historical novels and non fiction history (see Europe: a history by Norman Davies) are quickly gaining market share. Is this a "fin du siecle" mentality?

"In a Dark Wood Wandering"Hella Haase recalls the history of Charles of Orleans, Duke of Orleans.
a long and tragic life in turbulent times. The cast of characters is enormous, the Kings of France and Engeland, the Popes (you had several at the time), the Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and last but not least the Dukes of Burgundy. All are involved in high level politics, alliances were made and as easily broken. The major characters are drawn very carefully and with much sensitivity and give you a feeling of familiarity.If Norman Davies gives you the facts in an excellent manner, Hella Haase gives you the emotions and feelings.And that's why we read, isn't it?
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on 24 August 2016
There’s nothing better than curling up with a historical classic this time of year and believe me In a Dark Wood Wandering: A Novel of the Middle Ages is considered a classic for a reason. Told in brilliant vivid prose this novel weaves pivotal events from the late 14th and 15th centuries to create a rich tapestry of characters, imagination and dedication to history and precise details that may leave the reader saying “they don’t write books like this anymore”. A little patience is asked of those who desire to experience this strong tale of intricate destinies, courtly intrigues and passionate storytelling though. It may not be for everyone and to modern eyes and sensibilities could be considered too much of a challenge for many to finish (but can be well worth it if the reader is persistent enough), there are parts toward the end that unfortunately wander down too many pathways of dry rustling pages of the central character’s daily life while the world snaps and burns outside his private walls and it can be very easy to hope for another view to appear. There is also a noticeable switch of enthralling drama and action to subdued philosophical thoughts and rambling themes that can confuse and disappoint some towards the end also. Still overall if any reader who enjoyed The Accursed Kings series by Maurice Druon or Katherine by Anya Seton desires more perfect examples of committed fiction or a worthy literary challenge, I think you will be pleased with In a Dark Wood Wandering: A Novel of the Middle Ages. I know I was and can’t wait for my next step back into history with another understated title and hidden gem of literary entertainment.
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on 26 January 1999
It took me awhile to lose myself in this book. However, once I read through the first 50 pages, I was thoroughly into it. The politics and characters are fascinating and well developed. By the end of the story, I felt great fondness, affection, and compassion for the Duke of Orleans. At least in Haasse's portrayal, he was a first rate statesman. If only our modern day leaders could have some of the grace and diplomacy that the Duke exhibited as an older man.....
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on 7 December 1998
WHAT A FIND! THIS BOOK GIVES THE READER AN EXCELLENT INSIGHT INTO FRENCH MEDIEVAL HISTORY WITH AN ABUNDANCE OF FINE IMAGES WHICH BRING THE TIME TO LIFE. WHAT WERE BARE AND ESSENTIALLY COLD NAMES FROM HISTORY ARE BROUGHT ALIVE WITH THEIR ALL TO HUMAN WEAKNESSES AND STRENGTHS. I LEARNED A LOT AND HAVE BEEN STIMULATED TO LOOK MUCH FURTHER INTO THIS PERIOD . THE BOOK IS A VERY WORTHWHILE AND ENJOYABLE READ AND I STRONGLY RECOMMEND IT TO AY ONE WHO HAS AN INTEREST IN HISTORY .
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on 14 October 2016
I adore this book - I used to work in a bookshop 20 years ago and must have sold thousands of copies to very happy customers. Rich and extremely readable. Sadly, the copy I received wasn't this edition but a much uglier one :( shame as the one in the photo was the edition I had back in the day and was a thing of beauty. Please update the image!!!
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VINE VOICEon 28 August 2007
Hella Serafia Haasse (born 2 February 1918 in Batavia) is one of the most important modern Dutch writers. She is often called the Grand Old Lady of Dutch literature. Many of her works are historical novels, but she has also produced essays, autobiographical material, short stories, etc.

In a Dark Wood Wandering is a compelling and well-researched novel about the political intrigue, people and texture of 15th-century Europe in the era of the Hundred Years' War between France and England Charles d'Orleans (1394-1465), shy nephew of mad French king Charles VI, is the focus of this narrative.

Hella Haasse captures late medieval court life to perfection. It is massive, monumental novel, which captures totally the reader. This is a historic novel as it should be.
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on 1 September 2011
My mum recommended this book to me so went hunting. The book arrived REALLY quickly. Wrapped very well, in excellent condition and much better than expected. Would happily use again
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on 28 July 1999
The book reminded me of Dumas novels, though this book is more historically authentic - rich in epoch detailes and magnificent personages. Author's talent in describing the intrigue spinning courtiers and knowledge of historical facts is undoubtful. But something was missing - everyday life, or passion? What makes you feel the real life as if you are travelling back in time.The description of the mad king is probably the best description in the book. Otherwise, try reading Zoe Oldenbourg's novels - then you will understand what I mean.
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