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Found 2 results

  1. Andrew Greig wrote this as a result of the poem Fair Helen of Kirkconnel Lea, which is quoted in the book. It's set in the Scottish Borderlands circa 1590 full of not so much clans but family, loyalty, power struggles and marriages arranged or otherwise. Greig uses the old scots language in places and there is a guide at the back of the book in case you need one. I was familiar with most as a result of my mother but looked some of them up anyway. This is a historical novel and the history, although the story is fiction, feels accurate. It's very well written and totally believable. It's a straightforward story but the good guys are not all good and the bad guys are not all bad, which doees come as a surprise, as does the ending. Sir Walter Scott is one of the characters From Amazon : Harry Langton is called back to the country of his childhood to aide an old friend, Adam Fleming, who believes his life is in danger. He's fallen for Helen of Annandale and, in turn, fallen foul of her rival, Robert Bell: a man as violent as he is influential. In a land where minor lairds vie for power and blood feuds are settled by the sword, Fleming faces a battle to win Helen's hand. Entrusted as guard to the lovers' secret trysts, Langton is thrust into the middle of a dangerous triangle; Harry Langton is the narrator and the book pulses with action, he writes from his perspective in his present, of the events long past and narrates the events as the present. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Recommended
  2. Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction (one of only four to be shortlisted) this one is about a real person living his alleged life in 17th century Scotland. The action takes place mainly in Edinburgh. Greig successfully gives the flavour of the epoch without it being too difficult to understand - although the politics got away from me at times - and uses Scots dialect with a glossary of Scots words at the back. He renders the dialect in modern terms otherwise it would simply not be understood and he manages to do so effectively. I found myself chuckling at words my mother and grandmother used when I was growing up but haven't heard for a long while (a dress will forever be a frock, for example) and I still had to use the glossary at the end for some others. William Fowler led an active and varied life and died at the age of 52, which I imagine was fairly average for the time. A thoroughly enjoyable book, I looked forward to getting back to 17th century Scotland to find out what happened next. Recommended.
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