The Resource The abbot's tale : a novel, Conn Iggulden

The abbot's tale : a novel, Conn Iggulden

Label
The abbot's tale : a novel
Title
The abbot's tale
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Conn Iggulden
Title variation
  • Dunstan
  • abbots tale
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In the year 937, the new king of England, a grandson of Alfred the Great, readies himself to go to war in the north. His dream of a united kingdom of all England will stand or fall on one field--on the passage of a single day. At his side is the priest 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 will either come together as one great country or fall back into anarchy and misrule... From one of our finest historical writers, The Abbott's Tale is an intimate portrait of a priest and performer, a visionary, a traitor and confessor to kings--the man who can change the fate of England
Writing style
Review
  • Once again, best-selling author Iggulden (Wars of the Roses: Ravenspur, 2017) burnishes what might appear to be dull historical fact into shiny fictional gold. Taking a seemingly minor historical character, Dunstan, Abbot of Glastonbury (later Saint Dunstan), and intertwining his personal story with the tenth-century struggle to unite the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms into one nation, he provides both a compelling fictional biography and an epic overview of the birth of England. As it reaches back into Dunstan’s childhood, we observe how both his personal goals (to build great cathedrals) and national ambitions (to crown kings and forge a dynastic juggernaut) inform his less-than-pious, often-brutal actions through the decades. Witness to and involved in the reigns of seven different kings during his lifetime, Dustan’s influence extends from the spiritual to the political as he wends his way from the crumbling halls of Glastonbury Abbey to the powerful back rooms of the Royal Court. A natural companion piece to Bernard Cornwell’s megapopular Saxon series, Iggulden’s page-turning narrative provides another piece to the often-challenging puzzle that is tenth-century England. -- Flanagan, Margaret (Reviewed 4/15/2018) (Booklist, vol 114, number 16, p27)
  • Having already taken on Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, and the War of the Roses, Iggulden (The Dangerous Book for Boys) successfully dramatizes the life of Dunstan, Abbot of Glastonbury and confidant of King Aethelstan, the grandson of Alfred the Great. At Aethelstan’s side, Dunstan takes part in the Battle of Brunanburh in 937 CE to protect England from Viking and Scottish invaders and is rewarded with the Benedictine monastery at Glastonbury, to which he is named abbot. Over the years, Dunstan will serve several of Aethelstan’s descendants, be named treasurer of England, become involved in court intrigues, and undergo banishment to Ghent. Upon his recall from exile, he travels to Rome to meet Pope John XII, is named archbishop of Canterbury, and helps build a cathedral there. Purported by the author to be a “found” document, this tale is narrated by Dunstan in wittily modest fashion. There are more than enough holes 
			in the historical record for Iggulden to fill out Dunstan’s life story imaginatively. And though this is less dramatic than Iggulden’s novels about other historical figures, it nevertheless immerses the reader in 10th-century England. (May) --Staff (Reviewed 03/12/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 11, p)
  • Dunstan of Glastonbury, a bright but selfish young man, finds himself hanging from a cliff. Encouraged to fall by his tormentors, who are crushing his fingers as he dangles, Dunstan requests a priest for a final confession. Pulling this "man of the cloth" over the edge with him, he uses the cleric's body to break his impact. Such perceived miracles inform the course of his life until a childhood chum, a grandson of Alfred the Great, suddenly becomes King of England through an untimely death. Visions of a future united England come quickly once Dunstan has the king's ear. Now, a well-placed abbot, Dunstan can unleash his ambitions and raise the funds to build empires for God. However, perpetuated lies come with a consequential price. Best-selling historical novelist Iggulden ("War of the Roses" series) offers a well-paced, believable peek into the brutal and often outright cruel world of tenth-century Europe. His attention to detail is illuminating and never tedious. VERDICT This gripping saga will appeal to historical fiction buffs, fans of Bernard Cornwell's "Saxon Stories" series, as well as anyone who yearns for a compelling, well-told story. --Russell Miller (Reviewed 02/01/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 2, p94)
  • /* Starred Review */ A 10th-century English abbot tells of his service to seven kings—a story of pride, vengeance, and blood—in a tale abounding with real historical characters. In 934 C.E., 15-year-old Dunstan of Glastonbury pulls his would-be killer down a cliff and lands on top of him. Only Dunstan survives. "It seems a man can fall a long, long way and live," he writes, "if he lands on a priest." His father had taken him and his brother, Wulfric, to an abbey to turn them into men. He's a highly intelligent lad who has a knack for making dangerous enemies and valuable friends. One day, he descends slowly from a tower scaffold using pulleys and counterweights. A witness believes Dunstan has been carried to safety by an angel. Dunstan confirms the lie and adds that he'd had a vision of a grand cathedral. King Æthelstan believes the miracle of Dunstan and the angel and later makes him Abbot of Glastonbury. Lady Elflaed promises to finance the abbey of Dunstan's vision. Meanwhile he wants to marry a girl, but he's persuaded instead to take an oath as a Benedictine monk. The girl had given him a venereal disease, anyway. Dunstan eventually becomes a "humble abbot" whose head is stuffed with pride and ambition. After King Æthelstan dies, Dunstan writes he "was a great man, but he failed to see the worth in me. It follows that he was not without flaw then." Dunstan tells a grand, lifetime-spanning tale filled with treachery and the deaths of kings—"no man lives forever," he writes, "not even a king. Especially a king." And it's about war, "the great engine of storytelling." Dunstan admits vile acts to the reader, such as ripping off a blackmailer's nose with red-hot tongs and letting people believe he'd done it to the devil, a legend still ascribed to him. Fans of the genre will love this masterpiece of historical fiction. (Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10657913
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Iggulden, Conn
Dewey number
823.92
Illustrations
maps
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Dunstan
  • Athelstan
  • Abbots
  • Great Britain
  • Great Britain
Label
The abbot's tale : a novel, Conn Iggulden
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
  • text
  • cartographic image
Content type code
  • txt
  • cri
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent.
  • rdacontent.
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
463 pages
Isbn
9781681777306
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
map
Specific material designation
regular print
Label
The abbot's tale : a novel, Conn Iggulden
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
  • text
  • cartographic image
Content type code
  • txt
  • cri
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent.
  • rdacontent.
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
463 pages
Isbn
9781681777306
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
map
Specific material designation
regular print

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