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When Christ and His Saints Slept: A Novel…
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When Christ and His Saints Slept: A Novel (edição 1996)

por Sharon Kay Penman (Autor)

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1,828596,780 (4.26)1 / 307
In the wake of King Henry I's death in 1135, the Countess of Anjou, his beautiful daughter, prepares to claim the throne despite the reservations of the late ruler's barons, but her position is usurped by her cousin. As church bells tolled for the death of England's King Henry I, his barons faced the unwelcome prospect of being ruled by a woman: Henry's beautiful daughter Maude, Countess of Anjou. But before Maude could claim her throne, her cousin Stephen seized it. In their long and bitter struggle, all of England bled and burned. Sharon Kay Penman's magnificent fifth novel summons to life a spectacular medieval tragedy whose unfolding breaks the heart even as it prepares the way for splendors to come--the glorious age of Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Plantagenets that would soon illumine the world.… (mais)
Membro:coliver8135
Título:When Christ and His Saints Slept: A Novel
Autores:Sharon Kay Penman (Autor)
Informação:Ballantine Books (1996), Edition: Illustrated, 784 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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When Christ and His Saints Slept por Sharon Kay Penman

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This historical novel covers the decades-long struggle between King Stephen and Empress Matilda (Maude), which eventually ends with the coronation of Henry II, Maude's son. Rich in detail, the novel gives a good sense of the brutal and violent times in which it is set, and how the average people suffer as the nobility fight for power. I also liked the author's inclusion of the fictional Ranulf, as his viewpoint offers good insight into the various characters. ( )
  mathgirl40 | Jan 19, 2021 |
The story of the founding of the House of the Plantagenet. Most of the book was focused on the 18 years of wars between Maude of Anjou (daughter of Henry I) and Stephan of Blois (Prince of Normandy). Maude was the only legitimate child of Henry I and had been promised the throne; but on his deathbed Henry I gave the throne to Stephan, thus initiating an English Civil War. I thought the most interesting part of the book was the last 200 pages which relates the life of Henry II and his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. This is the best book I've read in 2020 and I will most certainly be reading the others in this series. 762 pages ( )
  Tess_W | Jul 14, 2020 |
I wanted to read some historical fiction that was well-written but also well-researched. I googled 'best historical fiction' and concluded that Sharon Kay Penman was an author to try. After reading this book, I intend to read all her books! Great book. A bit overly romanticized, but excellent all the same. Offered new insights into the people and events. ( )
  rodweston | Apr 23, 2020 |
What can I say that hasn't already been said about Sharon Kay Penman? Her novels are superb. Subject matter and research are wonderful.
Poor Stephen. He's a good man, kind, compassionate, forgiving, humorous. He makes a great buddy, but these qualities alone do not make an effective ruler. He lacks ruthlessness and a firm grasp of political reality. His cousin Maude, on the other hand, has all of the latter but none of the former. In addition to being female, good heavens! No man would choose to be governed by a woman, even a strong one, it just isn't "manly". So they choose the weaker willed Stephen, and it plunges England into 20 years of civil war and lawlessness.
This is the first of four novels about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine and their offspring. Oh well, I did read them backwards and still have SKP's latest to read. I can safely recommend her books to anyone. ( )
  a1stitcher | Jun 22, 2019 |
This is excellent history on a seldom touched upon subject, 12th century English history, more specifically, the succession crisis which ensued when Henry I, son of William the Conqueror died without a male heir. He designated his only surviving legitimate daughter, Matilda (Maude) to succeed him. Instead, his far more popular nephew, Stephen, usurped the throne, leading to almost 20 years of non-stop war and bloodshed, before Maude’s eldest son, Henry, finally prevailed, becoming one of the most successful English kings in history as Henry II. In addition to the main characters, several other historical personages are presented, most notably Eleanor of Aquitaine, Louis VII of France and several religious figures of the era.

While the subject is ripe with possibility, execution of this piece of historical fiction was sub-standard in my opinion. First, the book was about 200 pages too long, becoming agonizingly repetitious at times. I can’t testify to the accuracy of the history, but have to believe that about half a dozen of the twenty or so sieges and maneuverings could have been omitted without detracting from the work. Second, the dialogue was not well done and was at times laughable. I can’t say for a fact how 12th century English nobles conversed, but I’d be surprised if it were anything like presented in this novel. Finally, the characters were so one dimensional as to become almost cartoonish. Perhaps Eustace, Stephen’s presumptive heir was a bad person, but maybe not the worst person in the world, all the time, to everyone, with no redeeming value whatsoever.

In any event, despite reading every evening for an hour or two, it seemed to take forever to finish the book. The key word being “seemed”. ( )
  santhony | Mar 26, 2019 |
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Never before had there been greater wretchedness in the country ... And they said openly that Christ and His saints slept.
The Peterborough Chronicle
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Stephen was never to forget his fifth birthday, for that was the day he lost his father.
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In the wake of King Henry I's death in 1135, the Countess of Anjou, his beautiful daughter, prepares to claim the throne despite the reservations of the late ruler's barons, but her position is usurped by her cousin. As church bells tolled for the death of England's King Henry I, his barons faced the unwelcome prospect of being ruled by a woman: Henry's beautiful daughter Maude, Countess of Anjou. But before Maude could claim her throne, her cousin Stephen seized it. In their long and bitter struggle, all of England bled and burned. Sharon Kay Penman's magnificent fifth novel summons to life a spectacular medieval tragedy whose unfolding breaks the heart even as it prepares the way for splendors to come--the glorious age of Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Plantagenets that would soon illumine the world.

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Autor LibraryThing

Sharon Kay Penman é um Autor LibraryThing, um autor que lista a sua biblioteca pessoal no LibraryThing.

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Sharon Kay Penman conversou com membros do LibraryThing de Aug 10, 2009 a Aug 21, 2009. Leia a conversa.

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