Conscience of the King Paperback – Apr 1 2007
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About the Author
Alfred Duggan was born in Argentina in 1903. He was educated at Eton College and Oxford. He worked for the British Natural History Museum collecting specimens and travelled extensively pursuing his job for the museum. From 1938-1941, when he was discharged as medically unfit, he served in the London Irish Rifles and saw active service in Norway. His first book was published in 1950.
Top Customer Reviews
In "Conscience of the King" Duggan chooses as his protagonist -- he is certainly no hero -- a renegade Romano-Briton at the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasions and the fall of civlization in the 400s. He follows him from the very minor court of one of the last of the Roman officials to the armies of Aurelius Ambrosius and the comitatus of a German princeling. This is the best fictional account of how a sophisticated culture is broken slowly and how it is transformed into a barbarian frontier without money, architecture, comfort or security. If I were still teaching medieval history I would assign it to my classes who would get a great introduction to the early days of the Dark Ages. It is also written with a sly wit and a great eye for minor characters.
Look at the almost completely dark age between the leaving of the Romans and the consolidation of the English under kings to resist anarchy.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Like the best of historical novels, it's a visit to another time and other ways of thinking. Cerdic is born around 500 AD, the same time more or less as THE CIRCLE CAST. He's born a Roman but of Saxon descent, and his journey takes him from Roman Britain to Saxon Britain to Saxony and back. It's the Dark Ages of Britain, when Roman civilization is collapsing without any Saxons civilized enough to take it over. Alfred Duggan captures the nostalgia his hero feels for the comforts of civilization even as he's destroying it for his own reasons.
CONSCIENCE OF THE KING is not a passionate book; Duggan's hero is a conniver who barely feels much sentiment for his own son, and doesn't regret his murders. But it is a fascinating book. I'm looking forward to his other two Saxon novels, THE KING OF ATHELNEY, about Alfred the Great, and THE CUNNING OF THE DOVE. He really brings another time and place to life, and with tremendous historical accuracy. It is hard to find a movie that does that.
Delivery was punctual, and condition was as advertised.