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Sarum (1987)

por Edward Rutherfurd

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
3,647662,658 (3.97)193
Covering the entire course of English history, this epic follows five families that mirror the social and political forces that have shaped Britain--the Wilsons, the Masons, the Porteuses, the Shockleys, and the Godfreys. A masterpiece that is breathtaking in its scope, Sarum is an epic novel that traces the entire turbulent course of English history. This rich tapestry weaves a compelling saga of five families who preserve their own particular characteristics over the centuries, and offer a fascinating glimpse into the future.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 66 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I greatly enjoyed Sarum. All 1033 pages of it.

Sarum is the first Edward Rutherford book I tackled, although his New York book has stared at me with longing on a shelf for years. Starting at the end of the last Ice Age, Sarum follows the generational paths of five families through time to the modern day. The book hits all the strong beats: the building of Stonehenge, the Roman Invasion of Britain and their colonization, the Dark Ages, Saxon Britain, the Norman Invasion, the War of the Roses, the High Middle Ages and the Black Death, the coming of Protestantism and Queen Elizabeth II, the English Civil War, the conquest of India and the American Revolution, Trafalgar and Waterloo, the Great Wars of the 20th Century. Sarum left me with a great sense of breadth and time and gave me an appreciation for age and the passing of time. Everything starts and everything ends -- cultures, religions, industry and business, technology, reigns great and small. That which felt eternal at the time it happened passed and soon became someone else's archeology.

The highlights of the book are the grisly Stonehenge chapter (nearly a novella in itself), the building of the Salisbury Cathedral and the horrible chapter on the Black Death, followed by the Revolution and the Cavaliers in the Civil War. Of the five families, two are the main focus of the book: the horrible decedents of Tep, the river man who has always been there since before the Ice Age ended, and the Shockleys, decedents of a Saxon Thane whose fortunes rise and fall with England's. For 1500 years those two families have back and forths, constantly crossing paths until finally joining in the 20th century. The other families (Caius Porteus's decedents, the family of Nooma the Mason, and the Godefrei's) play second fiddle -- save in the Cathedral chapter -- to the others.

Sometimes the chapters felt a little too short and that generation ended too soon but, generally, I read this book with Wikipedia and my (nonfiction) history of England open to flesh out some of the details where the book glossed over. Overall, I enjoyed the rich detail Rutherford supplies in with the every day lives of his inhabitants of Sarum to give grounding in the time period. No politics get injected in the background of historical period detail -- it is told, straight, to help couch the feelings and motivations of the characters.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read some meaty historical fiction or to get an entertaining grounding in the history of Britain. Although some of the archeology in the early part of the book is a little wobbly now (book came out in 1987), the rest is solid and was backed by my reference books.

Five stars. ( )
  multiplexer | Jun 20, 2021 |
novel spanning stone age to 20th cent in Salisbury area
  ritaer | Jun 19, 2021 |
I don't really remember under what circumstances I purchased this massively epic historical novel--they must have been extrordinary, as I don't usually go for this genre--but I am so glad that I did end up reading it! Aesthetically, this novel is touch-and-go; it is easy to tell that Rutherford is primarily a historian, not a writer. The plotlines sometimes meander or become implausible, the characterization tends, for the most part, to the two-dimensional, and the dialogue ranges from engaging to awful. However, the structure of the novel redeems the flaws and foibles of its author in an exciting and captivating way. The action of a book spans tens of thousands of years, chronicling the history and lives of people which have nothing in common, save for their home. Sarum injects humanity and emotion into history by making a series of biographies of the inhabitants of Salisbury, England, tracing from the late Ice Age to the present day and making stops in the pre-Roman Celtic civilization, late-Roman Saxon invasions, post-Norman conquest period, the Elizabethan era etc. The author also tries his best to follow the same families through these time periods, giving himself a quick short cut as far as characterization is concerned (many of the generations have the same traits--for example, the Saxon Shockley family are bold, amiable, and not terribly clever) but also giving the reader a sense of continuity and familiarity which is quite comfortable and keeps the sweeping narrative in tighter perspective. This book is an excellent read for anyone with an interest in history. ( )
  pollytropic | Feb 20, 2020 |
Unremarkable. ( )
  DanielSTJ | May 5, 2019 |
This is an epic novel that spans the entire history of a village/settlement in England called Sarum.

I'm finally done! Took me about 3 months for the audio (for a book approx. 1000 pages in print). I seem to have trouble with really long books. They can hold my attention for a while, but for most of them, not throughout. Some parts I liked, but others I just wasn't listening. For this book, because it spanned thousands of years, there were different characters at different times, and because of that, they were kind of like short stories, which I'm not a big fan of. Overall, I'm giving it 3 stars, “o.k.” from me. I won't likely be reading anything else by Rutherfurd, though. ( )
  LibraryCin | Apr 2, 2019 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 66 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
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This book is dedicated to those who built
and to those who are now trying to save
Salisbury Spire
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First, before the beginning of Sarum, came a time when the world was a colder and darker place.
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Wikipédia em inglês (3)

Covering the entire course of English history, this epic follows five families that mirror the social and political forces that have shaped Britain--the Wilsons, the Masons, the Porteuses, the Shockleys, and the Godfreys. A masterpiece that is breathtaking in its scope, Sarum is an epic novel that traces the entire turbulent course of English history. This rich tapestry weaves a compelling saga of five families who preserve their own particular characteristics over the centuries, and offer a fascinating glimpse into the future.

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