I have some bizarre facination with the way Henty looks down on the lower classes, so i gave this one a try.
It concerns the son of an educated scholar and his friend, a lord's son, as they witness Wat Tyler's attempt to get the king of England to take notice of the serf class in the 14th century.
Although he gives some lip service to their grievances (yes the life of a peasant in the middle ages was aweful), you can really the taste the bile and contempt Henty feels for commoners. To him they should be satisfied with their lot in life and not trouble their betters. Instead of the white man's burden, it is the upper-class's burden. How dare they want to own their own land?
It has that annoying Henty characteristic of having an action scene, then spending the next 30 pages having the characters participating tell those who werent there in excruciating detail. Mainly so the heroes can keep saying "pish-posh, it wasn't anything." Then why keep describing it? If it were a serial, i might understand the need to recap, but I feel like shouting "I was there when it happened! You don't have to keep recaping it for me!"
If you want a upper-class one-sided opinion of Wat Tyler, here it is. As always a pity, because Henty chooses such excellent subject matter. If only he could see beyond his own birth.
finally, a book in English about the hundred years war from the French perspective.
It follows Bertrand de Guiselin, the constable of france, an ugly but heroic knight who held off the English for the first half of the war
The other review kind of spoils the mystery in this novel. But its a good one. A good example of the pits of capitalism.
More fun than his Fu Manchu stuff.
A generally good book about an uprising in South Africa.
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