The Shepherd Lord Paperback – 23 Oct 2009
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The basis for this novel is a true story. When John, 9th Lord Clifford, was killed at the battle of Towton his children were in great danger. While his younger son was sent overseas, Henry, the older son, was sent into hiding in the north of England. He was entrusted to his former wet nurse, and to her shepherd husband, and for the next two decades was raised in safety before emerging to reclaim his title after Henry Tudor's victory at the Battle of Bosworth. Algar had taken the limited facts known to us about this period, combined them with some local traditions (many recorded in ballads), and then filled the gaps with his own take on events to produce an entertaining novel that followed the young Henry during the period between the two battles, and from his original refuge in Yorkshire to final safety in Westmorland. This main central section is almost entirely fictional, as very little is known about Henry's life in this period. The main character, Tom Lawkland, the shepherd who raises Henry as his son, is also fictional, but is a well thought-out figure. Algar also includes two poems that mention the story, the most interesting being The Nut Brown Maid, a poem that was almost lost before being rescued by Samuel Pepys. This is an entertaining read that tells one of those amazing true stories that are almost stranger than fiction in the first place. I look forward to the planned sequel, which will look at Henry's life after his return to public life --History of War
'The Shepherd Lord' is saturated with passionate understanding of Yorkshire's past in a way that puts more conventional historical accounts to shame. In truth, it is a remarkable achievement: the sights, the voices, the very smell of this turbulent age seem to rise from the page. With spellbinding realism, George Peter Algar tells the tale of a young Lord, who is spirited away by his murdered father's shepherd, to the safety of the Yorkshire Dales, chased by an ever more malevolent and brutal Yorkist regime. With every chapter, the reader becomes engrossed in a tale of desperation and triumph against adversity. Though it does not shy away from dark themes, the overall effect of this novel is extremely uplifting. With the same gritty realism often found in works of literature (or indeed music or film) from Yorkshire, 'The Shepherd Lord' depicts the adventures of an everyman whose humility and loyalty see him prosper against more powerful, but morally corrupt foes. I felt the same way when I saw the fantastic film Kes for the first time. Though this was not necessarily a story about things I had experienced, the hero Tom Lawkland, was someone I could identify with, or rather, aspire to be. In short, this is a top class read by a master of historical drama. --Les Hutton
Just finished it. Marvellous. This is an anthem for Yorkshire. It should be on every Tyke's bookshelf along with the King James' bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare. I loved the chapter at the court of King Henry VII - it was as comical as 'A Yankee at the court of King Arthur.' The rest of it is full of realism and grit. --S Hedley
From the Publisher
The Shepherd Lord is a fascinating, but largely forgotten episode from medieval English history, rummaged from the shadows of two dusty poems and brought back to life. Set in the 15th century, against the backdrop of the Wars of the Roses, it is the story of Henry Clifford, the aristocrat who was raised as a shepherd.
This is a work of fiction but set on a firm basis of well-researched historical fact. The important issue in this type of novel is how well the author has rendered the tale as a dramatic adventure. The answer, in this case, is very well indeed. It's an involving and deeply human story of danger, companionship, high emotions and all the other elements required of a gripping tale.
Although this book is built around an adventure story, it is primarily its sense of character that engages the reader. This is fitting as it is really a novel about identity, roots and upbringing. The result is a very strong sense of period and place.
I enjoyed this novel, and recommend it highly.
Austin Kehoe, Commissioning Editors ReviewSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Mr Algar locates the story firmly and effectively in the Yorkshire landscape, in a way that makes the tale sing for a modern reader, and writes in a way that is both poignant and entertaining. A lesson in how to bring history alive which I intend to bear in mind in future.
I'm afraid I gave up after only reading a third of the book.
The shepherd, Tom Lawkland is a fantastic everyman personality, whose self effacing charm is impossible to resist. A hero for the common man, his distaste of the nobility's corruption and extravagance seem also to serve as a commentary on the scandals that have been exposed in today's political elite. His simple and honest approach to life influences his charge, Henry, the son of a slain Lancastrian Lord, who now finds himself on the run from powerful forces who mean to kill him. As the chase progresses, the trials the two face bond them together and the relationship is one of the most touching to be found in the literature of recent times.
He employs a refreshing style for the historical drama which are otherwise all too often simply a list of bullet-pointed facts, references or assumptions. GP distances himself from this well-worn method without losing any interest, accuracy, controversy or detail.
Well researched and using the language of the time, I expect that this is the first of many entertaining and educating installments of the Bolling family given the tantalising teaser end to the book.
The Shepherd Lord was inspired by George Algars' ancestral history which was accidently uncovered when meeting with distant relatives in the US. The novel is based on a true story at the time of the War of the Roses and the impact on a titled family following the Battle of Towton. Historic fact is entwined with creative fiction to produce an enthralling tale which twists and turns and culminates in a surprising ending.
This is the first part of the family history and I can't wait for the sequel.
To the author I say good for you, this story needed writing, now let's have part 2. Bring it on.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was lucky enough to have met George Peter Algar, who sadly passed away earlier this year (shortly after the release of his second novel). Read morePublished on 16 Sept. 2012 by Amazon Customer
There are many people who have the talent of looking beyond what history has written and pulling out a story that is not readily seen to the naked eye. Read morePublished on 23 Feb. 2012 by Penbardmuse
Absolutely first class novel about a Yorkshire lost legend. A must not only for Yorkshire folk but for lovers of the medieval period. Roll on the sequel.Published on 18 Feb. 2011 by MH
For someone who doesn't usually read novels, this book held my interest throughout. Great characters and very well written.Published on 24 Aug. 2010 by Peter Clarke
The book is a great read and I am already looking forward to the sequel.
The story is written in a way that makes it very easy to read plus it is obvious that there has... Read more