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Dunstan af Conn Iggulden
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Dunstan (original 2017; udgave 2018)

af Conn Iggulden (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1424148,746 (3.61)3
In the year 937, King Aethelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, readies himself to throw a great spear into the north. His dream of a kingdom of all England will stand or fall on one field and the passage of a single day. At his side is Dunstan of Glastonbury, full of ambition and wit, perhaps enough to damn his soul. His talents will take him from the villages of Wessex to the royal court, to the hills of Rome from exile to exaltation. Through Dunstan's vision, by his guiding hand, England may come together as one great country or fall back into anarchy and misrule.… (mere)
Medlem:wkaufer
Titel:Dunstan
Forfattere:Conn Iggulden (Forfatter)
Info:Penguin UK (2018)
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Dunstan af Conn Iggulden (2017)

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This is the first novel I have read by this popular historical novelist, but I think it may well be the last. While superficially a page-turner (for the most part), this didn't for me carry the feel of 10th century England, a period I have read a fair amount about - it felt too modern. The author also plays rather fast and loose with some of the details of history. While some of this is to simplify complex details, e.g. people with very similar names, and is understandable up to a point, he has some real historical characters living far longer or far shorter than in reality. He also has King Edwy committing suicide, which I think is ridiculous - even if this wouldn't have been officially recorded, there would be later rumours and gossips about something so dramatic and shocking. There are also some anachronistic names, e.g. a royal champion called John Wyatt and a monk called Father Keats. Possibly worse for most readers is that Dunstan is really a pretty unpleasant character here, and I especially disliked the way he bullies and emotionally manipulates his younger brother Wulfric from their childhood throughout their lives. As one of the leading churchman of the early Medieval period, Dunstan exerted a huge influence on England at this period when it was first coalescing into one country, building Glastonbury Abbey and being architect of the coronation of King Edgar, creating rituals still used today (well, not since 1953 at the moment, of course). However, this novel probably does not do him justice and was disappointing. ( )
  john257hopper | Oct 13, 2019 |
I always sort of enjoy books like this, but in my opinion they are much of a muchness. This one in particular seemed to get a bit bogged down in weaving in the historical events surrounding the real life character of Dunstan. Although a good story was filled in between the gaps I just felt the chosen style was a bit bitty. I guess that is the nature of a book spanning the whole of one characters life. Having said all that it read easily and I found myself interested to see where it would go and how Dunstan would end up at the finale. I believe that the authors other books are not historical fiction, so I may look into these to see what they are about. ( )
  fothpaul | Feb 13, 2019 |
Born into a time of conflict, Dunstan and his brother Wulfric are sent to the abbey at Glastonbury for their schooling. Bullied and beaten Dunstan loves learning but tries to protect his brother. After an incident in which Dunstan appeared to have a vision he is taken under the care of a wealthy noblewoman but in taking his revenge on the boy responsible for horrific injuries to his brother, Dunstan gains the enmity of the entire abbey. Escaping, Dunstan joins the court of the King in Winchester and over the next few decades his star rises and falls as he witnesses England changing under the rule of seven different kings.

Following on from his series on the Romans, Genghis Khan and the Wars Of The Roses, Iggulden now turns his attention to a pivotal period in English history, the forging of the nation itself from a series of divided kingdoms. Dunstan was a real character, a sainted churchman but in Iggulden's hands he almost becomes an anti-hero, not afraid to sin greatly in order to effect change. As with all his novels, the writer has a real talent for producing a fast-paced, exciting read but also with lots of evidence of painstaking research. Many historical novels fall because they focus on one aspect or the other, Iggulden always hits the sweet spot. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
This was my long-overdue introduction to the writing of Conn Iggulden. I should add that I knew nothing about St Dunstan before reading it, although if I had, I would surely have felt a kind of proprietary interest in him, as a local Somerset lad and the man responsible for Glastonbury Abbey's first flowering. Iggulden gives us a thoroughly worldly saint, shrewd, ambitious and unscrupulous, very rarely sympathetic and yet always fascinating: the partial architect of a new, united England.

Dunstan is barely into his teens when, in the 920s, his father brings him and his younger brother Wulfric to Glastonbury to pursue their studies. The abbey then is a cold place, stranded on its island in the middle of the salt marshes, accessible only by poling a boat through the reeds. The young Dunstan is captivated by the possibilities of the place, not only by the Latin, Greek and music of the monks' regime, but also the allied skills: the knowledge of medicinal herbs; reading and writing; the crafting of ironwork in the forge; and, more than anything, the pulleys and weights used on the abbey's building sites. He is a sharp boy, but not a lovable one: too ready to brawl rather than forgive, he swiftly makes enemies among both masters and boys, and spawns vendettas which, when they come to maturity, will threaten his life itself...

For the full review, due to be published on 29 April 2017, please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2017/04/29/dunstan-conn-iggulden ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Apr 26, 2017 |
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In the year 937, King Aethelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, readies himself to throw a great spear into the north. His dream of a kingdom of all England will stand or fall on one field and the passage of a single day. At his side is Dunstan of Glastonbury, full of ambition and wit, perhaps enough to damn his soul. His talents will take him from the villages of Wessex to the royal court, to the hills of Rome from exile to exaltation. Through Dunstan's vision, by his guiding hand, England may come together as one great country or fall back into anarchy and misrule.

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