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London Historical Fiction Book Group Message Board › London Historical Fiction Book Group: Help choose our November book

London Historical Fiction Book Group: Help choose our November book

Justin
user 7750145
Group Organizer
London, GB
Hi everyone.

Firstly, welcome to all those who've joined the group recently. Very much looking forward to seeing you at one of our meetups soon.

Our next meetup is on Monday 10 September to discuss "The Song of Achilles" by Madeline Miller. Please RSVP when you get a chance if you haven't done so yet. Details here:
http://www.meetup.com/London-Historical-Fiction-Book-Group/events/71424122/­

After that, we will meet on Monday 5 November and it's time to choose the book for that.
I've created a poll for everyone to vote on the November book from the shortlist detailed below.
Please go to the Polls section to vote. You can access this from the link below, or go to our home page and click on "More" at the top.
http://www.meetup.com/London-Historical-Fiction-Book-Group/polls/­

Below are details of each of the shortlisted books. Please vote for as many books as you like.
The most popular one will be our November read.
I will close the poll in a week or so.

Thanks and happy reading
Justin

--------------------------------
A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury by Edith Pargeter (1972)
Pages: 384

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bloody-Field-Shrewsbury-Edith-Pargeter/dp/0747233667­



Description
It is 1399. Henry Bolingbroke, unjustly banished and deprived of his inheritance by Richard II, returns to claim his rights and deposes the king to become Henry IV of England. He is aided by the powerful lords of Northumberland, especially by his friend, Harry Percy, nicknamed Hotspur.
But the triumph of his accession quickly turns sour in the face of ever-growing crises in his new kingdom, and Wales is the most pressing and troublesome of these. For although Henry's son and heir, Prince Hal, is the nominal Prince of Wales, the Welsh have a prince of their own blood in Owen Glendower, and they are swift to rally to his rebellious call to arms.
The three Henries all wish to see the House of Lancaster succeed, but their partnership contains the seeds of its own destruction. The memory of past crimes and growing doubts and divisions cause a dangerous rift. The king also has powerful enemies who are all too willing to take advantage of this and tension mounts as the three men are drawn inexplicably to a bloody collision some two miles from Shrewsbury...



Eagle by Jack Hight (2011)
Pages: 544

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eagle-Saladin-Trilogy-Jack-Hight/dp/1848542992­



Description
Salah ad-Din, or Saladin as he is known to the Franks, was a Kurd, the son of a despised people, and yet he became Sultan of Egypt and Syria. He united the peoples of Allah, recaptured Jerusalem, and drove the Crusaders to the very edge of the sea. He battled, and in the end tamed King Richard the Lionheart, who well deserved his savage name. He was a great man, the greatest man that I ever knew, but when I first met him, he was only a skinny child...- The Chronicle of Yahya al-Dimashq.
But alongside the legend of Saladin there is another story. When the Crusader army is routed beneath the walls of Damascus in 1148, a young Saxon named John is captured and enslaved. He is bought by Yusuf, a slight, bookish boy, for the price of a pair of sandals. And so begins the story of two enemies brought together by fate and of a friendship that will change the face of the Holy Land. Timid Yusuf will grow up to become the warrior Saladin, nicknamed 'the Eagle'; John will first teach his young master the art of war, before returning west to serve first the King of Jerusalem and then King Richard himself. From spectacular set-piece battles to the political manoeuvrings of the corrupt Crusader court, from the brutality of single combat to the sophistication of Islamic life, this is the first in a remarkable trilogy that will chart the story of the greatest leader the Middle East has ever known.



The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas (1850)
Pages: 288

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Black-Tulip-Penguin-Classics/dp/0140448926/­
(and many other editions)




Description
Alexandre Dumas's novels are notable for their suspense and excitement, their foul deeds, hairsbreadth escapes, and glorious victories. In "The Black Tulip", the shortest of Dumas's most famous tales, the real hero is no Musketeer, but a flower. The novel - a deceptively simple story - is set in Holland in 1672, and weaves the historical events surrounding the brutal murder of John de Witte and his brother Cornelius into a tale of romantic love. The novel is also a timeless political allegory in which Dumas, drawing on the violence and crimes of history, makes his case against tyranny and puts all his energies into creating a symbol of justice and tolerance: the fateful tulipa negra.



Ireland by Frank Delaney (2004)
Pages: 496

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ireland-A-Novel-Frank-Delaney/dp/0751535257/­



Description
One evening in 1951, an itinerant storyteller arrives unannounced and mysterious at a house in the Irish countryside. By the November fireside he begins to tell the story of this extraordinary land. One of his listeners, a nine-year-old boy, grows so entranced by the storytelling that, when the old man leaves, he devotes his life to finding him again. It is a search that uncovers both passions and mysteries, in his own life as well as the old man's, and their solving become the thrilling climax to this tale. But the life of this boy is more than just his story: it is also the telling of a people, the narrative of a nation, the history of Ireland in all its drama, intrigue and heroism. 'Ireland' travels through the centuries by way of story after story, from the savage grip of the Ice Age to the green and troubled land of tourist brochures and news headlines. Along the way, we meet foolish kings and innocent monks, god-heroes and great works of art, shrewd Norman raiders and envoys from Rome, leaders, poets and lovers. Each illuminates the magic of Ireland, the power of England and the eternal connection to the land.



The Report by Jessica Francis Kane (2010)
Pages: 256

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Report-Jessica-Francis-Kane/dp/1846272807­




Description
An evocative reimagining of a World War II civilian disaster. On a March night in 1943, on the steps of a London Tube station, 173 people die in a crowd seeking shelter from another air raid. When the devastated neighborhood demands a report, the job falls to magistrate Laurence Dunne.
In this beautifully crafted novel, Jessica Francis Kane paints a vivid portrait of London at war. As Dunne investigates, he finds the truth to be precarious, even damaging. When he is forced to reflect several decades later, Dunne must consider whether he chose the right course. The Report is a compelling commentary on the way all tragedies are remembered.


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