Top critical review
Hatfield Chaste: Or, the King, his uncle, his brother and his nephew(s)
on 11 March 2018
I’m about 65% through now and I’m hoping that this is going to be one of those books with an enormous index which means I’ve read the whole thing by the time I’m 70% in. The King In The North is heavy going, and a little dry, though the author’s made it just interesting enough that I haven’t been able to bring myself to abandon it. This should be a good thing, but it isn’t, because I’m really, really not enjoying myself. I am learning something though, which is probably the point, even if it’s not really Oswald I’m learning about. It seems mainly to focus on his successor, Oswiu, and his predecessor but one, Edwin, both of whom have a decent claim to having left a greater legacy than the titular king. At the moment, I’m about to begin my second, or possibly third, feature length chapter about Oswiu’s successor, Ecfrith and, not for the first time, I’m wishing I hadn’t started.
I suppose the bottom line is that this isn’t a book to be entered into lightly. It’s well-researched, generally well-presented, and informative. It just isn’t a fun read.
Edit: If you’re reading on a kindle, the book proper finishes at 72%. Am I glad I finished it? You better believe it. Was it worth it? Probably.