The Bloody Field Author:Edith Pargeter Here is that rarity, a historical novel that brings real figures back from the royal tombs and the scrolls of history, renders them utterly human and important to us, and yet remains wholly faithful to the known record. It is the story of the three English Henrys: he of Lancaster, the grim and haunted Henry IV; his son, the teen-age Prince of a ... more »restive Wales, the shining Hal; and Hal's beloved mentor, the magnetic and chivalrous Henry Percy, whom men and history dubbed Hotspur. All three are here as palpably as if they strode the earth today.
In prose of lucent clarity, the author shows us the forces that led these men to their ultimate clash at Shrewsbury on the Welsh border in July 1403 -- the Bloody Field of the title. The politics and pageantry of the novel are complex but clear and fascinating in Edith Parteger's hands, but are only the background to a narrative as throat-clutching as the sight of a rebel Percy standard with its blue lion flung against the Welsh sky, as stirring as the mingled battle cries of "Esperance, Percy!" and "Saint George!" at the final trial by combat. In the end, shaken and moved, the reader will know for certain which Henry is -- in Shakespeare's phrase -- the true "king of honour."« less