Sunday, November 4, 2012

An Honourable Estate (Elizabeth Ashworth)

This story of England, 1315-1322 (?), was really well written and well-researched. It is the story of Mabel and William Bradshaw, minor nobles during the time of Edward II's reign. With famine and taxes pushing his tenants to the breaking point, some having already died, William joins up with a rebellion against his overlord, the Earl of Lancaster, and fails miserably. He and several of his friends become outlaws, dependant upon the forest for survival. Meanwhile Mabel is left alone on their estate, having no choice but to believe that her husband has died. Years pass and both William and Mabel are forced to make decisions neither would have made under ordinary circumstances.
The imagery and dialogue were both very well-written and realistic. The characters were all relevant to the story, and Edward II was shown in a very unbiased light. The only complaint I had with this book is that the time frame was not very well laid out. By that I mean that the only way I knew a year has passed in the story was by the mention of a change of season. I was a little surprised to find out in the end exactly how much time has passed.
I did enjoy this book and I do recommend to those interested in a quick read about medieval England.

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