|Image from http://www.bernardcornwell.net/books/azincourt-2/|
Before I submit my usual rambling, I want to begin with a hearty farewell to Anne who is moving on to
Bernard Cornwell was born in London in 1944 – a ‘warbaby’ – whose father was a Canadian airman and mother in Britain’s Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted by a family in Essex who belonged to a religious sect called the Peculiar People (and they were), but escaped to London University and, after a stint as a teacher, he joined BBC Television where he worked for the next 10 years. He began as a researcher on the Nationwide
Agincourt (Azincourt in French) is one of the most famous battles ever fought; the victory of a small, despised, sick and hungry army over an enemy that massively outnumbered it.
Azincourt, the novel coming soon, tells the story of that small army; how it embarked from England confident of victory, but was beaten down and horribly weakened by the stubborn French defence of Harfleur.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that read the book that our first comments were on how graphic the violence was, especially the sexual violence, so not one for the faint hearted! We were pleased with how historically accurate it was however some of us felt that the story got in the way of the history and that perhaps we should have read a nonfiction account of the time. However, because it was historically so accurate it did make the story quite compelling.
We did however feel it was a bit like chick lit for men, even the cover was quite masculine, and could get quite formulaic in parts. Some of the story felt rushed with odd bits of editing.
Next months read is down and out in Paris and London by George Orwell.
We're a fully subscribed book group at the moment, so if you have any
Until then, happy reading :)