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9780099279075

The Forest

Rutherfurd, Edward

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9780099279075: The Forest

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.

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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 Inside Flap:

In The Forest, Edward Rutherfurd, whose greatly admired Sarum and London have captivated millions of readers, now unfolds the saga of nine turbulent centuries in the life of the quintessential English heartland: the New Forest.

The New Forest lies in a vast bowl scooped from England's southern coast. To its west runs the river Avon, from Sarum to the harbor at Christchurch, and to its east the port of Southampton. In the heart of the New Forest itself, some one hundred thousand acres of forest and heath sweep down to the Solent water and the Isle of Wight and overlook the English Channel just beyond.

From the time of the Norman Conquest to the present day, the New Forest has remained a mysterious, powerful, almost mythical place. It is here that Saxon and Norman kings rode forth with their hunting parties, and where William the Conqueror's son Rufus was mysteriously killed. The mighty oaks of the forest were used to build the ships for Admiral Nelson's navy, and the fishermen who lived in Christchurch and Lymington helped Sir Francis Drake fight off the Spanish Armada. The New Forest is the perfect backdrop for the families who people this epic story -- a story that makes clear the connections between the dark, dangerous, sensuous life of the primeval forest and the genteel life of Georgian and Regency society.

There are well-born ladies and lowly woodsmen, sailors and smugglers, witches and Cistercian monks, who live in the lovely abbey of Beaulieu. The Forest's Lady Adela is the cousin of Walter Tyrrell, who is blamed for the death of Rufus, son of the Conqueror. There is Brother Adam of Beaulieu, who is content with his service to God until a poaching incident puts him in contact with an intriguing young woman named Mary Furzey. There is the merchant Totton family of the harbor town of Lymington, and the Penruddocks and Lisles of Moyles Court. The feuds, wars, loyalties, and passions of many hundreds of years reach their climax in a crime that shatters the decorous society of Bath in the days of Jane Austen.

Edward Rutherfurd is a master storyteller whose sense of place and of character -- whether fictional or historical -- is at its most vibrant in The Forest. Like Sarum and London, it is a gripping novel of living history.

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. 178 x 108 mm. 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.. 178 x 108 mm. 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. Book Condition: New. 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. . 2001. New Ed. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099279075

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; 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. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780099279075_rkm

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Book Description Arrow. Book Condition: New. 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. . 2001. New Ed. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099279075

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Book Description 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 111mm x 178mm x 40mm. Paperback. 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 killin.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 912 pages. 0.480. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099279075

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