Essex Dogs: The epic Richard & Judy Summer Book Club Pick 2023 from a Sunday Times bestselling historian (Essex Dogs Series 1)

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Essex Dogs: The epic Richard & Judy Summer Book Club Pick 2023 from a Sunday Times bestselling historian (Essex Dogs Series 1)

Essex Dogs: The epic Richard & Judy Summer Book Club Pick 2023 from a Sunday Times bestselling historian (Essex Dogs Series 1)

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A new champion has entered the front line of historical fiction to stand shoulder to shoulder with Bernard Cornwell. The Essex Dogs get a front row seat in the expedition and eventually find themselves involved with the military leaders around Edward.

These cookies help provide information on metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc. EDIT: My initial review now complained about some unexpected revelations at the very end of the story which were left hanging. I thought this might be a Richard Sharpe and the Rifles in the 100 years war type of story based on that comparison.They walk; they ride; they fight and when they win, burn down whole villages, killing or chasing away the common folk who live there. You were a good little liar,” Udo later tells Nico, and delights in the prospect of breaking the boy’s spirit, which is more fun and a greater challenge than killing him outright. I enjoyed seeing the story through the eyes of the Essex Dogs and all the side characters, discovering their backgrounds and their own individualities.

The story ends with the Battle of Crecy, the first major battle of the Hundred Years War and there are a couple of minor teases about plot threads for the probable next book but no cliffhanger ending thank God. This foul-mouthed, dishevelled brotherhood is ‘led’ by Loveday FitzTalbot from whose point of view we witness most of the action. There’s Father, a bona-fide priest who’s been corrupted by his battlefield experiences and is now a bloodthirsty devil… Pismire, small, quick, and deft at infiltrating enemy camps… Romford (a good Essex name) a formidably skilled longbowman trying to escape his past… and Loveday FitzTalbot, their commanding officer, wise, thoughtful, and committed to getting his boys safely back home to England. I was disturbed by Jones' end note in which he suggests he played loosely with the facts of this event.There’s also two Welsh archers that could hit a fly’s ass from 300 feet; they are Welsh speakers and don’t understand English. As they trudge through wind and rain, I was reminded of the scenes in Kenneth Branagh’s film of Henry V in which he leads his bedraggled army. I found the story dragged for quite awhile before plot elements were developed sufficiently enough to initiate some drama.

The history is impeccable as you would expect, but the characters left me cold and I just never felt I knew them properly.

In summary, an expert, no holds barred, description of what I expect medieval warfare was really like. I usually don't read historical fiction from this period - 1300's - I stick to the 1930's and 40's, mainly because my own father was in the thick of world events at the time. It offered me a unique blend of entertainment and education, and may do the same to you as well, as long as there is an understanding that certain elements are fictionalized for the sake of the narrative. Rooted in historical accuracy, and told through an earthy cast of archers, men-at-arms and misfits, Essex Dogs delivers the stark reality of medieval war in the round – and shines a light on ordinary people caught in the storm.

Often sent in first, much like our modern day elite forces, they went in blind not knowing what was awaiting them and it’s this opening scene that endeared me to the men instantly. He is that rare, very rare, historian that seems to understand that if you want your books to sell then the average reader has to like them and be entertained by them. A colorful and contrary mix of English, Welsh, and Scots, the Dogs range from the temperamental Father, whose days of preaching were already long past when he suffered brain damage from a falling roof tile, to Romford, a young, cocksure archer who has a habit of getting in trouble. The characters with the most substance are the historical figures themselves, and I found myself wishing to see much more of them - I found the Black Prince’s characterisation to be interesting and compelling in particular.And I think its strength is in bringing that time period to life, much like Dan Jones has always managed for me in his nonfiction books. I would love to give you some examples of his imaginative cursing but most of them – actually all of them – are far too rude to repeat. For ten years Dan wrote a weekly column for the London Evening Standard and his writing has also appeared in newspapers and magazines including The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, GQ and The Spectator. By implicitly connecting these two very different events, nearly 600 years apart, and, in effect, turning the earlier invasion into a medieval version of D-Day, Jones adds extra drama and interest to the novel’s beginning but at the expense of historical accuracy, since chronicles of the time make clear that in 1346, unlike in 1944, the English troops took the beach unopposed.

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  • EAN: 764486781913
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