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To William Rufus’ corrupt and opulent court comes the young Norman Ralph des Aix – Eager to win his knight’s fee from the new English king. But although fortune – and King Rufus – seems to smile on him, Ralph rapidly discovers that to be King’s favourite is bewildering – and not always pleasant. And many feel that the rundown holding of Chenna’s Tun, deep in the heart of the New Forest, is a poor reward for his services. In the remote heart of the great wood, Ralph and his passionate young wife, Sybil of Fallowdene, are relentlessly drawn into the growing conflict between the greedy sophistication of the Norman court and the dark world of the Saxon forest with all its hidden rites. A net of danger closes round Ralph, Sybil and the glittering, lonely figure of King Rufus. And to be truly lord of his own manor, Ralph learns that he must bear the ancient title, King of the Wood, with all its mysterious and barbaric responsibilities...
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Valerie Anand was born in London and grew up in Kent and Surrey; she attempted her first work of fiction at the age of six. In her twenties she became a journalist and wrote several short stories, before her first novel, Gildenford, was published. She still works part time as a journalist, and lives in Surrey with her husband.From Publishers Weekly:
The death of King William II in a hunting accident serves as the convergence point for several satisfying plot lines in Anand's ( To a Native Shore ) fifth historical novel. After William Rufus, eldest of William the Conqueror's three sons, succeeds his father in 1087, royal siblings Henry and Robert (called Curthose) shift through various turbulent alliances as each conspires to wrest the throne for himself. The King ignores entreaties to marry Edith of Scotland and produce a successor; instead, he takes as a lover the skilled Norman rider and huntsman, Ralph des Aix. Although reluctant to enter into the relationship, Ralph nonetheless learns to care deeply for the King while he counts the days until he gains his promised knighthood and manor, and the freedom to establish his own family. When he becomes head of the manor at Chenna's Tun and weds beautiful, rebellious Sybil of Fallowdene, Ralph is drawn to the ancient pagan woodland rites and relishes his role as King of the Wood during Beltane's (May Day) carnal revelries in his woodland--where the fated regicide occurs. Betrayal, violation and eventual acquiescence to circumstance overlap imaginatively in this complex novel in which two kinds of kingship, each shadowed by compelling but proscribed practices, provide an effective dual theme.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Headline, 1988. Condition: Fair. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Seller Inventory # GRP84244574
Book Description Headline, 1988. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition. inscription Signed by Author on fep. page edges browning. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Signed by Author. Seller Inventory # 900260
Book Description Headline Book Publishing, London, 1988. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. Good condition used 1988 First Edition Hardback with intact Dust Jacket, published by Headline Book Publishing, London. Author: Valerie Anand. ISBN: 0747200548. Approx dims: 220mm h x 145mm w x 35mm d. Intact clean glossy condition dust jacket with slight creasing to edges, plus slight rubbing and signs of handling. DJ intact spine. Dust Jacket over very good condition green cloth boards with gilt title lettering to spine. 374 clean tanned pages of English text, no inscriptions. Page ends tanned. Image shown is actual book for sale. Synopsis: ''A novel about William Rufus, one of the more interesting and unusual Medieval monarchs, it also serves as a fourth book in the author's Gildenford trilogy, following the lives of the descendants of Brand of Fallowdene.''. Seller Inventory # ABE-1491987913991
Book Description Paperback. Condition: Fair. A readable copy of the book which may include some defects such as highlighting and notes. Cover and pages may be creased and show discolouration. Seller Inventory # GOR005804180