The Forest

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9780099279075: The Forest

Few places lie closer to the heart of England's heritage than the New Forest. This work covers from the cruel forest laws of the Normans and their passion for hunting, to the founding of Beaulieu Abbey by capricious King John; from the very real dangers of the Spanish Armada to the elegance of Georgian Lymington; and more.

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Review:

With such novels as Sarum and Russka, Edward Rutherfurd has laid claim to James Michener's longtime turf: the immensely researched, meticulously detailed epic of place, in which the characters tend to play second fiddle to the setting. The Forest is the most ambitious example yet of Rutherfurd's art. This time the location is that bosky patch of English real estate known as the New Forest. Other writers have tackled the area before. But The Forest is surely the definitive chronicle, with all the local stories, legends, and apocrypha woven into an irresistible narrative--think of Thomas Hardy's power and drama filtered through a very modern sensibility.

Opening with the assassination of King William II in 1099, the book covers nearly a millennium's worth of history. Rutherfurd creates generation after generation of adroitly realized characters, the best of whom defy our generic expectations: the canny Brother Adam, for example, is that rarest of literary creatures, a virtuous man who doesn't end up being simply bland and anodyne. Rutherfurd may be at his best when dealing with big-canvas events like the bloody Monmouth Rebellion of 1685. But he's no slouch at detailing more microcosmic conflicts, like this head-butting contest between two buck deer:

Her buck had hit firmer ground and his feet suddenly got a purchase on the grass. His hindquarters shivering, he dug in. She saw the shoulders rise and his neck bear down. And now the interloper was slipping on the wet leaves. Slowly, cautiously, their antlers locked, the two straining bucks began to turn. Now they were both on grass. Suddenly the interloper disengaged. He gave his head a twist. The jagged spike was aiming at the buck's eye.
Bestial behavior? Perhaps. Yet the level of human folly and brutality scattered throughout The Forest makes the foregoing passage resemble an outtake from Bambi--and gives this sylvan saga a very memorable edge. --Barry Forshaw

From the Back Cover:

“Not all good things come in small packages. If you like books that are big, Edward Rutherfurd is your man. He writes wonderful sagas, tales that cover centuries, always keeping these long stories lively by telling us about the events and conflicts of people’s lives. Rutherfurd does the painstaking research; the reader has all the fun.”
–Seattle Times

“Many of the most memorable characters are women–Adela the Norman, bold in the face of injustice; her descendant Alice Albion, almost brave enough to defeat the hatred of the civil war; tough old Adelaide, so loyal to ancient grievances that she can’t let her sweet niece Fanny take hold of love.”
–Kansas City Star

“The novel covers 10 centuries, tracking a half-dozen or so families and their fates, their fortunes, and intrigues moving the stories along. But the trees have tales to tell, too. As fiction, it works like a charm. . . . English majors will love this, and so will almost anyone else who starts page 1 and follows Puckle, Godwin Pride, Cola the Huntsman and their descendents along Rutherfurd’s twisting road.”
–New York Daily News

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Few places lie closer to the heart of the nation s heritage than the New Forest. Now, Edward Rutherfurd, weaves its history and legends into compelling fiction. From the mysterious killing of King William Rufus, treachery and witchcraft, smuggling and poaching run through this epic tale of well-born ladies, lowly woodsmen, sailors, merchants and Cistercian monks. The feuds, wars, loyalties and passions of generations reach their climax in a crime that shatters the decorous society of Jane Austen s Bath, and whose ramifications continue through the age of the Victorian railway builders to the ecologists of the present day. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099279075

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Few places lie closer to the heart of the nation s heritage than the New Forest. Now, Edward Rutherfurd, weaves its history and legends into compelling fiction. From the mysterious killing of King William Rufus, treachery and witchcraft, smuggling and poaching run through this epic tale of well-born ladies, lowly woodsmen, sailors, merchants and Cistercian monks. The feuds, wars, loyalties and passions of generations reach their climax in a crime that shatters the decorous society of Jane Austen s Bath, and whose ramifications continue through the age of the Victorian railway builders to the ecologists of the present day. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099279075

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Book Description Arrow, 2001. Book Condition: New. 2001. Revised ed. Paperback. Few places lie closer to the heart of England's heritage than the New Forest. This work covers from the cruel forest laws of the Normans and their passion for hunting, to the founding of Beaulieu Abbey by capricious King John; from the very real dangers of the Spanish Armada to the elegance of Georgian Lymington; and more. Num Pages: 912 pages, genealogy tab maps. BIC Classification: FV. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 178 x 111 x 41. Weight in Grams: 484. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099279075

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Book Description Arrow. Book Condition: New. 2001. Revised ed. Paperback. Few places lie closer to the heart of England's heritage than the New Forest. This work covers from the cruel forest laws of the Normans and their passion for hunting, to the founding of Beaulieu Abbey by capricious King John; from the very real dangers of the Spanish Armada to the elegance of Georgian Lymington; and more. Num Pages: 912 pages, genealogy tab maps. BIC Classification: FV. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 178 x 111 x 41. Weight in Grams: 484. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099279075

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