Gilbert Foliot, Bishop of London, has lived through Henry II’s reign and has witnessed the terrifying civil war between Henry II’s mother, the Empress Matilda, and her cousin, Stephen; a time so traumatic that it becomes known as the Anarchy.
The greatest letter writer of the 12th Century, Gilbert Foliot, Bishop of London, gives an intimate account of one of England’s most troubled eras. Central to his account is the life of a knight he first met over 50 years earlier, Harold of Hereford.
©2013 Stewart Binns (P)2013 Oakhill Publishing
"A fascinating mix of fact, legend and fiction... this is storytelling at its best." (Daily Mail)
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"Title a bit misleading, narration unconvincing"
Despite this book being called The Anarchy, at over 2/3's of the way through King Henry still hasn't died, Stephen of Blois hasn't even been mentioned.
It does do a whistle-stop tour through 12th century history, and prompted me to go check up the writer's facts and research more about events of the period.
It's..OK. As a ripping yarn of heroism and derring do, it's kind of fun. But the author's hand with dialogue is somewhat stilted and excessively formal, and Hal is more than a bit too good to be true. (At the point he and Eadmer picked their pseudonyms I just winced.)
The performance was generally ok, except that the reader's 'female' voices sounded a bit strained and unconvincing. And unfortunately, from the point where I realised that the main female voice for the early part of the book reminded me of Dr. Who's K9, it became a little difficult to take seriously.
Won't be reading or listening to the rest of the series.
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