Britain, from 1154 to 1485. Roughly.
Robin Hood dir. by Ridley Scott
Directed by Ridley Scott ; Screenplay by Brian Helgeland
You all know the legend of Robin Hood, he stole from the rich and gave to the poor, living in Sherwood Forest with his band of merry men, his main nemesis being the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. And there have been many version of Robin over the years. My personal favourite still remains the tv show from the 80s Robin of Sherwood. It managed to get the balance between myth and reality just about right, in my opinion, of course. But even Kevin Costner’s version was damn fine fun. This is not.
So y’all know that I luuurve James Purefoy, mainly because he was so great as Mark Anthony in Rome, but also so adorable in A Knight’s Tale so of course I was predisposed to like this. Then again I wasn’t too impressed with Vanity Fair so it doesn’t always follow that actors I like = good films.
Author: Elizabeth Chadwick
William Marshall was a real person; born in relative obscurity he rose through the ranks to become “the greatest knight that ever lived” as well as Earl of Pembroke. He served under four kings of England, although this book only covers his exploits under two, Henry II and Richard I. He married Isabel de Clare, who was the daughter of Strongbow. And through her gained the rights to Leinster.
The Katherine of the title starts out this book as an orphan, raised by nuns, but heading off to the royal court at the whim of the queen. There she becomes betrothed to Hugh Swynford; she also meets the Duke of Lancaster, John of Gaunt. And it is John that she falls in love with, although at first he seems to dislike her.
Richard did not become frightened until darkness began to settle over the woods. In the fading light, the trees began to take on unfamiliar and menacing shapes.
We all know the myth of the “princes in the tower” and their evil uncle, Richard, who murdered them. Mainly because of Shakespeare’s play. This novel attempts to recreate the life of Richard of Gloucester, and the times in which he lived and died. And it does a great job of bringing the era to life. It also does an excellent job in dispelling many of the rumours about Richard and his rule. But more importantly than that Penman creates real characters that are entertaining and believable. The one huge problem with historical fiction, especially those novels written about real people is that you know how it the story is going to end.