|From: Greensleeves (Original Message)||Sent: 9/14/2007 1:15 AM|
I've had this in my stack of book sale finds forever. The © date is 1972 & the author of A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury is Edith Parteger aka Ellis Peters who writes the Brother Cadfael mysteries (methinks there is a BBC show on them or there used to be). The focus of the novel is on three Henrys....Henry "Hotspur" Percy, Henry IV aka Bolingbroke, & Henry V aka Prince Hal, & it starts with the deposition of Richard II & ends after Hotspur's death in battle with the House of Lancaster, which he created & then attempted to topple.
I enjoyed reading this very much & did not want it to end the way it did but I reckon you cannot change history. The characters are quite believable & what I liked was that the author did not make a villain of the piece out of any of them, but attributed honor & valor to them all. The prince was an especially sympathetic character, torn between his loyalty to his father & to Hotspur, in whose charge he was for a time in the Welsh Marches. Henry IV was given the usual paranoia one would expect from a usurper, which colored his thinking & changed everything around him. Hotspur is portrayed as the winner of Diogenes' search, a truly honest man wanting the good of the realm & trying to reconcile that with what he has done to upset the natural order of things & how it's adversely affected his family.
Near the end when Henry IV was mopping up after the battle & charging the ringleaders of the rebellion who survived the conflict, Hotspur's uncle pipes up & says well, look to your good self for your charge of treason mister, as you just did the exact same thing to Richard as we tried to do to you, & the only difference is, you succeeded. He also pointed out to Henry that at least Hotspur had the guts to face him in open conduct, & not do to him what he had done to Richard (allegedly starving him to death at Pontefract after promising him his life).
Ooops I typo'd the author's name....that's PARGETER not Parteger