"It was in the first week of October in the year 1391 that I first came face to face with the man who owned me…the man whose lightest word was to us, his villeins, weightier than the King’s law or the edicts of our Holy Father.…"
So began the story of Martin Reed - a serf whose resentment of the automatic rule of his feudal lord finally flared into open defiance. Encouraged by the woman he loved, Martin Reed began a new life - a life which was to culminate in the building of the House, and the founding of the dynasty who were to live there.
©1959 Norah Lofts (P)2014 Soundings
"Become a part of the House"
I found this book ages ago, when I was 20, in a box in the attick. Noone knew where it came from. It was in english and very difficult english at that. I started reading it (I'm danish) and when I got to the end I started again. Over more than three decades I read this book about once a year, I got caught in it every time. Eventually I bought the two following books on a trip to London. Loved them too, but Martin Reed's tale is the most exciting.
I love Martin, the founder of Old Vine. He went through asome very rough years and events before he built the house. There is so much history in these books and so many different caracters.
The Town House is the one book I would bring to a dessert island. If I could bring more than one, I would also bring The House at Old Vine, The House at Sunset - and the Harry Potter books.
"Well-researched historical novel"
The next book in the trilogy is good, too, the third quite disappointing. Norah Lofts really knows her history and her characters are totally convincing.
Both of them managed local dialect well, but not overdone.
I wouldn't want a film.....
I don't like this new way of reviewing books. You can't get a proper flow of your opinions. I have read and enjoyed almost all Norah Lofts' books. She really seems to be able to write convincingly about historical daily life and to make her characters real enough for you to care what happens to them and this is basically the test of a novel.
Truly fabulous story very well read, enjoyed hearing it. Wish that Norah Lofts had written more books and more are available
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