Bernard Cornwell’s excellent escape mechanism

Had it with interesting times? Our colleagues here at the Library in the Sky seem to revel in the chaos of the moment, but we are tired of excitement and wonder if some of you might not be equally exhausted and in search of some escapist fare. So here are some escapist thoughts. We are huge Trollope fans here, but what we love are the parliamentary novels and the Chronicles of Barsetshire, both of which are a little more exciting than might be good for you what with the market attacking like that sea beast in the Laocoon statue (above) and candidates attacking each other likewise. You can get some of the Trollopian Barchester village atmosphere in Angela Thirkell who actually set her long shelf in the fictional Barsetshire, and you can get village atmosphere with weird hilarity in E.F.Benson’s Mapp and Lucia novels, but you gents may find those if not exactly twee, at least a little too removed from the world, and in that case we would recommend any of the wonderful historical series the great Bernard Cornwell has produced over the years. They’re full of guns and arrows, but all the action is action that can be handled by a resourceful soldier without intervention from national banks. If you’re unfamiliar with Cornwell’s stuff, we suggest starting with the Grail Quest series featuring an archer who might as well be the young Clive Owen and taking in the battle at Crecy where longbows won the day. A good part of the series is set in what is now Dorset which might as well be Barchestershire. If you like that – and you should – you will be looking ahead with pleasure to the January release of Agincourt.

-Nemo Wolfe

Published in: on October 16, 2008 at 1:21 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’d suggest starting with the Grail Quest series as well. That’s the series that got me hooked on Cornwell’s writing.

  2. And then on to the most excellent King Alfred trilogy.

  3. Yes, I hear the King Alfred trilogy is by far one of his best.

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