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Charles the king, our emperor great, Has been a full seven years in Spain. As far as the sea he conquered this haughty land. Not a single castle remains standing in his path Charlemagne (768-814) was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800 and presided over a huge empire. He frequently appears in literature as a great warlord and pious crusading figure. In 778, the rearguard of Charlemagne's retreating army was ambushed and defeated at the battle of Roncevaux. This became the inspiration for songs and poems celebrating deeds of valour in the face of overwhelming odds, through the character of Charlemagne's nephew (the imaginary) Roland. The Song of Roland is the most stirring and moving epic poem of the European Middle Ages, offering a particularly heady mixture of history, legend, and poetry. Presented here in a lively and idiomatic new translation, the Song of Roland offers fascinating insights into medieval ideas about heroism, manhood, religion, race, and nationhood which were foundational for modern European culture. The Song of Roland is accompanied here by two other medieval French epics about Charlemagne, both of which show him to be a far more equivocal figure than that portrayed by the Roland: the Occitan Daurel and Beton, in which he is a corrupt and avaricious monarch; and the Journey of Charlemagne to Jerusalem and Constantinople, which gives the heroes of the Roland a comic makeover.
'Tension surges through A Sea of Gold . . . In this rousing yarn, Stockwin again raises naval fiction to a new level' - Quarterdeck 'Stockwin has surpassed himself with A Sea of Gold . . . a fine, fully favoured vintage yarn' - Warships 1809. After his heroic actions during the retreat to Corunna, Captain Sir Thomas Kydd is the toast of London society. Here he falls in with the legendary frigate captain, Lord Thomas Cochrane. So begins a relationship, professional and personal, that will be unlike any that Kydd has known: a relationship that will lead him, almost simultaneously, to first glory, then ruin. The French fleet is massing in the Basque Roads in a near impregnatable position. The Admiralty orders Cochrane to command an attack, to the chagrin of more senior officers who object to being overlooked and Cochrane's reputation for daring. Cochrane insists that his new friend, Kydd, is in the forefront of the assault armada, a motley collection of rocket, bomb and fire ships that will set the anchorage ablaze - this despite Kydd's almost pathological fear of fire. The fallout from what follows will see Kydd financially ruined, with only his former shipmates, his oldest friend of all, Nicholas Renzi, and the whisper of hidden Spanish treasure promising the sea of gold that he needs to save himself. ******************** Praise for Julian Stockwin's Kydd series 'Paints a vivid picture of life aboard the mighty ship-of-the-line' Daily Express 'This heady adventure blends fact and fiction in rich, authoritative detail' Nautical Magazine 'Fans of fast-paced adventure will get their fill with this book' Historical Naval Society 'In Stockwin's hands the sea story will continue to entrance readers across the world' - Guardian
1205AD: Philip of Vercy sails away from the roasting wasteland where he has passed the last year. As a Knight of the Realm, he has fought the infidel in the Holy Land. Now, after twelve months of savage, bloody warfare in the scorching sun, he is finally coming home to his castle, to peace, and to his beloved wife. But France offers neither comfort or peace. His wife has died in childbirth, his young son is dying of a wasting disease, and, in the south, his Cathar countrymen are being brutally persecuted. When Philip hears rumours of a healer in the Languedoc, a young woman blessed by God and marked with Christ's Stigmata, he rides out on a desperate quest to save his son. His journey takes him into a vision of hell that outstrips even what he saw in Outremer. Disgusted by the senseless slaughter, Philip gradually becomes embroiled in the Cathar cause. And then he finds his miracle: Fabrisse Berenger, the beautiful, loving daughter of Cathar parents. She is bewildered by her strange wounds, but Philip is fascinated by them... and more fascinated by the serene goodness of Fabricia herself. Together, the pair must flee persecution under cover of darkness - but they cannot hold off the Pope's soldiers forever. Their destiny will be decided in the snows of the Black Mountains where Fabricia and Philip must make choices not just to save their lives, but their souls.
Already a great historian, Tracy Borman proves with this thrilling debut novel that she is also a born storyteller. As she helps to nurse the dying Queen Elizabeth, Frances Gorges longs for the fields and ancient woods of her parents' Hampshire estate, where she has learned to use the flowers and herbs to become a much-loved healer. Frances is happy to stay in her beloved countryside when the new King arrives from Scotland, bringing change, fear and suspicion. His court may be shockingly decadent, but James's religion is Puritan, intolerant of all the old ways; he has already put to death many men for treason and women for witchcraft. So when her ambitious uncle forcibly brings Frances to court, she is trapped in a claustrophobic world of intrigue and betrayal - and a ready target for the twisted scheming of Lord Cecil, the King's first minister. Surrounded by mortal dangers, Frances finds happiness only with the precocious young Princess Elizabeth, and Tom Wintour, the one courtier she can trust. Or can she? 'Watch out Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, I can see a new contender for the Queen of Historical Fiction!' Netgalley reviewer 'A fascinating read, felt very true to time period but with that personal touch . . . Five stars' Jeannie Zelos book reviews
In the dark and slimy streets of Wapping a prostitute is beaten half to death, a not uncommon fate in late 18th century London. So begins this gripping tale set in 1798 in the Port of London: a cruel villain holds sway over the underworld. His name is Boylin. His face is scarred by lime and his back by the two hundred lashes he received following a naval court martial. He holds Captain Tom Pascoe responsible for his suffering. They meet again when Pascoe becomes River Surveyor for the newly formed marine police. They've had orders to investigate a sudden fall in government revenue that is affecting the nation's ability to fight the war against Napoleon and stem the rising tide of Irish rebellion. Pascoe knows that Boylin is behind it, but he can't prove anything, yet. THE WATERMEN follows these two adversaries across London as they try to outwit one another. Working alongside Pascoe is Sam Hart, a Jewish immigrant with his own agenda, Pascoe throws the rule-book out the window, scouring East London and the docklands in search of information. But fate takes a cruel twist when the two men find themselves involved with the same woman - there's much more at stake than the fate of the nation.
John Pearce is going home. But he has to avoid capture by an Algerine warship, having his Pelicans pressed into a British frigate and that's before they are at risk of being hanged for desertion once home. Then there is the problem of Emily Barclay and their son Adam. By cunning and bluff he protects his friends, but not his troubled love life. In a whirlwind of action, there are forged wills, devious trades, contrived murders and dangerous spy missions, with so much deceit that Pearce does not know who to trust. All he can hope to do is survive.
England, 1311. In the dark of the North the devil lies in wait... Paul Doherty's most popular series character returns in the gripping nineteenth mystery in the Hugh Corbett series. If you love the historical mysteries of C. J. Sansom, E. M. Powell and Bernard Cornwell you will love this. 1296: King Edward I has led his army to Scotland, determined to take the country under his crown. But the fierce Scots have no intention of submitting to their oppressor and violent and bloody war breaks out. 1311: Sir Hugh Corbett, Keeper of the Secret Seal, finds himself back in Scotland and is revisited by the horrors he witnessed there fifteen years ago. An anonymous letter was delivered to the new king. It promised information about a fatal incident that could allow England to finally bow out of the war with the Scots. Tasked with finding out the truth about the murder, Corbett is forced to take risks he would rather avoid and put his faith in the words of strangers. But with an unknown traitor lurking in the shadows and danger around every corner, will Corbett be able to unravel the complex web of plots in time? What readers are saying about DEVIL'S WOLF: 'Doherty evokes the Medieval world brilliantly...tense and suspenseful, the mystery keeps you guessing until near the end...an excellent and enjoyable read' Amazon reader, 5 stars '[A] well written rendition of our historical past...A joy to read' Amazon reader, 5 stars 'Another well told story from a master storyteller...If you like historical adventures you will enjoy this vivid, well paced tale!' Amazon reader, 5 stars 'Vivid and lively. Another Hugh Corbett, please!' Amazon reader, 5 stars
From renowned author Lindsey Davis, creator of the much-loved character, Marcus Didius Falco and his friends and family, comes the fourth novel in her all-new series set in ancient Rome. We first met Flavia Albia, Falco's feisty adopted daughter, in The Ides of April. Albia is a remarkable woman in what is very much a man's world: young, widowed and fiercely independent, she lives alone on the Aventine Hill in Rome and makes a good living as a hired investigator. An outsider in more ways than one, Albia has unique insight into life in ancient Rome, and she puts it to good use going places no man could go, and asking questions no man could ask.
John Pearce is hiding in Gravelines with his mysterious companion, known to him as Oliphant. Although they find a crew willing to take them back to England, they learn on the journey that Pearce's old enemies, the Tolland brothers, are still active on the route, and may have been responsible for the murder of Catherine Carruthers. Back in England their problems continue: Pearce must seek to mend fences with Emily Barclay, in a relationship in which nothing is simple. And just as things may be looking up, it seems Henry Dundas has another role for him and Oliphant: a mission to North East Spain...
'A gripping chronicle of pitched battle, treachery and cruelty' ROBERT FABBRI. Provoked by the Dauphin's refusal to honour the terms of his father's surrender, Edward III has invaded France with the greatest army England has ever assembled. But the English lion's attempts to claw the French crown from its master are futile. After defeats at Crecy and Poitiers, the Dauphin will no longer meet the English in the field. Mired down in costly sieges and facing a stalemate, Edward's great army is forced to argee a treaty. But peace comes at a price. The French request that Blackstone escort their King's daughter to Italy to see her married to one of the two brothers who rule Milan - the same brothers who killed Blackstone's family to revenge the defeats they suffered at his hand. Blackstone, the French are certain, will never leave Milan alive...
'A gripping chronicle of pitched battle, treachery and cruelty' ROBERT FABBRI. Tuscany, 1358: Thomas Blackstone has built a formidable reputation in exile, fighting as a mercenary amid the ceaseless internecine warring of Italy's City States. But success has bred many enemies, and when a dying man delivers a message recalling him to England, it seems almost certain to be a trap. Yet Blackstone cannot disobey - the summons is at the Queen's demand. On his journey, Blackstone will brave the terrors of the High Alps in winter, face the Black Prince in tournament, confront the bloody anarchy of a popular revolt and submit to trial by combat. And every step of the way, he will be shadowed by a notorious assassin with orders to despatch him to Hell.
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