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.
This is not my usual sort of book. But I guess one of the perks of working in a public library means that you can grab something on impulse just because it crossed your desk. Whatever the reason was I started reading this book, which meant that unless it was atrocious I was most likely going to finish. And finish I did, so you can work it out for yourself.
From the new glass bridge which spanned the inscrutable waters of the Grand Canal, the tram purred downhill and glided gently into the heart of the city.
It was the opening of this book that persuaded me to buy it. The way Ní Duibhne pokes fun at that certain class of Dublin people. It made me smile, but because I knew that there really are people who think that way. Or at least there used to be, now with the demise of the Celtic Tiger maybe there are less of them than there once were.
Whether we listen with aloof amusement to the dreamlike mumbo jumbo of some red-eyed with doctor of the Congo, or read with cultivated rapture thin translations from the sonnets of the mystic Lao-tse; now and again crack the hard nutshell of an argument of Aquinas, or catch suddenly the shining meaning of a bizarre Eskimo fairy tale: it will be always the one, shape-shifting yet marvellously constant story that we find. together with a challengingly persistent suggestion of more remaining to be experiences than will ever be known or told.
I think maybe I’m just not in the mood for studious type books. At least, that’s the excuse I’m making for not really enjoying this book. Then again it may simply be that we’re all aware of these great themes that so many myths and fictions retell over and over again. Back in 1949 it was all original and new and so of course deserved all that attention. Now? Well the writing style is a little on the ponderous side and I think I’ve read most of these arguments before.