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Edwy the Fair or the First Chronicle of Aescendune A Tale of the Days of Saint Dunstan   By: (1836-1890)

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In "Edwy the Fair or the First Chronicle of Aescendune: A Tale of the Days of Saint Dunstan" by Augustine D. Crake, readers are transported to a captivating era in British history. Set in the days of Saint Dunstan, this historical fiction novel provides a unique blend of enthralling storytelling and insightful commentary on the events of the time.

Crake weaves a rich tapestry of characters, each playing a significant role in the narrative. From the nobleman, Edric of Aescendune, to the revered Saint Dunstan himself, the author skillfully brings these figures to life. Their aspirations, struggles, and triumphs are vividly depicted, allowing readers to immerse themselves fully in the story.

The plot is engaging and keeps readers on the edge of their seats throughout the book. Edric's journey from his comfortable life in Aescendune to unforeseen adversities, both personal and political, creates a sense of urgency and intrigue. The author masterfully intertwines historical events and fictional storytelling, drawing readers in and making them emotionally invested in the characters’ fates.

Crake's attention to detail is commendable, as he paints a vivid picture of life during the reign of Saint Dunstan. The descriptions of the muddy streets, ancient abbeys, and grand feasts transport readers to this bygone era. The author's meticulous research is evident, and his passion for history shines through, making the book an educational as well as an entertaining read.

One of the book's strengths is Crake's ability to handle multiple storylines without losing sight of the central narrative. The subplot involving Edric's love interest, Elfleda, adds depth and emotion to the story, while also highlighting the societal norms and expectations of the time. This exploration of the characters' personal lives alongside the grand events taking place further enhances the overall storytelling experience.

"Edwy the Fair" offers not only an engrossing tale but also a glimpse into the political and religious struggles of the time. The conflicts between various factions, both within the church and the government, provide a thought-provoking backdrop to the story. Crake expertly captures the tensions and power struggles, allowing readers to understand the historical context in which the characters operate.

While the book may be considered a slow-burn, with a deliberate pacing that gradually builds tension, it rewards patient readers with a satisfying climax. The author's ability to create a sense of anticipation and resolution is commendable, leaving readers with a feeling of fulfillment and a desire to know more about this fascinating period of history.

Overall, "Edwy the Fair or the First Chronicle of Aescendune: A Tale of the Days of Saint Dunstan" by Augustine D. Crake is a captivating historical novel that seamlessly blends fiction with real-world events. Crake's mastery of storytelling, attention to detail, and well-rounded characters make this book an enjoyable and enlightening read for fans of historical fiction and anyone interested in medieval England.

First Page:

Edwy the Fair or the First Chronicle of Aescendune:

A Tale of the Days of Saint Dunstan,

by the Rev. A. D. Crake.


It has been the aim of the Author, in a series of original tales told to the senior boys of a large school, to illustrate interesting or difficult passages of Church History by the aid of fiction. Two of these tales "Aemilius," a tale of the Decian and Valerian persecutions; and "Evanus," a tale of the days of Constantine he has already published, and desires gratefully to acknowledge the kindness with which they have been received.

He is thus encouraged to submit another attempt to the public, having its scene of action in our own land, although in times very dissimilar to our own; and for its object, the illustration of the struggle between the regal and ecclesiastical powers in the days of the ill fated and ill advised King Edwy.

Scarcely can one find a schoolboy who has not read the touching legend of Edwy and Elgiva for it is little more than a legend in most of its details; and which of these youthful readers has not execrated the cruelty of the Churchmen who separated those unhappy lovers? While the tragical story of the fate of the hapless Elgiva has been the theme of many a poet and even historian, who has accepted the tale as if it were of as undoubted authenticity as the Reform Bill... Continue reading book >>

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