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10 thoughts on “When Christ and His Saints Slept

  1. says:

    “Why is it honesty when a man speaks his mind and madness when a woman does” So 12th century England is basically A Game of ThronesI really enjoyed what Penman did with this book and it's made me eager to seek out her other stuff When Christ and His Saints Slept complements another historical fiction book I

  2. says:

    Penman's broad epic scope focuses on the dynastic struggle for the crown of England This takes place in the early 12th century when Henry I who had over 20 illegitimate children loses his one legitimate heir in the White Sh

  3. says:

    You will look at this book and find the 742 pages daunting but I will relieve your mind on that score The book reads fast Penman keeps the pages

  4. says:

    What makes Sharon Penman's historical novels set in medieval Britain so amazing is how they combine sticking uite close to historical facts with making a thrilling read enjoyable to modern readers together with an engaging cast of charactersThis novel documents the nineteen year civil war between Empress Maud Countess of Anjou an

  5. says:

    It was with great anticipation that I returned to Sharon Penman’s When Christ and His Saints Slept the first book by Sharon Penman that I ever read at the tender age of 10 and which for good reasons immediately became on

  6. says:

    I liked this book and am a fan of Penman'sbut there were a few issues that I had with this one1 Head hopping Sometimes it's really hard to tell who she's talking about and you have to go back and re read to figure it out2 Many scenes seem to have this basic structure 1 Some major characters most likely nobles are talking about something eminently important 2 SuddenlyA riderknight will rush in to tell them that someone has diedbeen born or a

  7. says:

    A man can be our enemy Eustace and still be a decent sortI've read all of Philippa Gregory's king and ueen books and this is only my second title by Sharon Kay Penman I enjoy them both but for different reasons PG shows you all the intrigues in the courts but you're never really aware of what is happening to the man on th

  8. says:

    Sharon Penman has for a long while now taken first place on my list of favorite authors in any genre No matter which genre I delve i

  9. says:

    Now I read Sharon Kay Penman's When Christ and his Saints Slept many many years ago I purchased a hardback copy with much anticipation when it was first released mostly because of my adoration of Ellis Peters' brilliant Bro

  10. says:

    A Sad and Tragic Period in England's History and truly a time when Christ and his Saints slept A fascinating complicated tale with a huge cast of characters many with similar names It was hard to keep track of at times a list of who's who at the front of the book would have been helpful as SKP did in the next book Time and

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Summary ☆ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ´ Sharon Kay Penman

AD 1135 As church bells tolled for the death of England's King Henry I his barons faced the unwelcome prospect of being ruled by a woman Henry's beautiful daughter Maude Countess of Anjou But befo You will look at this book and find the 742 pages daunting but I will relieve your mind on that score The book reads fast Penman keeps the pages moving bringing history to life and putting flesh on the bones of a vast array of characters Despite the plot involving so many historical figures I never found myself to be lost I have read uite a bit about the Plantagenets and that may have helped me to decipher the where why and what easily but I do think a reader with less background of the period will still find themselves swept up in the plot and left at the end of the book with a burning desire to know about the Plantagenets In fact I fully intend to read the other two books in the trilogy in the very near future The trouble you see all starts with the White Ship The legitimate heir to the throne of England William the only son of Henry the first drowns in a tragic shipwreck Many English lives would have been spared if William had survived Henry I dies after a meal of lamprey eels On his death bed he forces his most ardent supporters to swear fealty to his daughter and only legitimate heir Maude Some of his supporters do end up supporting Maude but a majority of them go over to Stephen her cousin and he becomes king of England This is one of those points in history where legitimate and illegitimate blood lines become such a factor Robert of Gloucester a competent well respected illegitimate son of Henry I displaying all the characteristics of a man that would have made a good king is kept from the throne by law If Robert had been allowed to be crowned king many thousands of English lives would have been spared in the than a decade of civil war that followed the coronation of Stephen for Maude did not go uietly in the night Maude married Geoffrey of Anjou a handsome dynamic powerful man who got than he bargained for in his marriage to a King s daughter She married him for military support and he married her with that thought that a son of his would one day sit on the throne of England Their marriage was stormy and it is a miracle that they ever managed to compromise long enough to sire a son One of the reasons why Maude had difficulty in gaining support was of course first and foremost because she was a woman but secondly she was too imperial with her subjects She exhibited a coldness that kept all but her key people at a distance Stephen on the other hand was very charming and personable to a fault He wanted everyone to love him and as the war continued that became his Achilles Heel He was unwilling to execute and destroy those that opposed him ualities today that we would find commendable but in the twelfth century was perceived as a weakness As the civil war continued supporters blew with the wind sometimes changing sides three or four times By the time Henry oldest son of Maude and Geoffrey became old enough to become involved in the conflict the war was nearly over Stephen after the untimely death of his son Eustace another deadly meal of eelnamed Henry as his successor thus ending the conflict I have been so enthralled for good reason with the reign of Henry II and Eleanor of Auitane that I knew very little about Stephen and Maude I had always known about their weaknesses than their strengths and Penman did a wonderful job giving me a balanced perception of both Stephen and Maude

Summary When Christ and His Saints Slept

When Christ and His Saints Slept

Ar medieval tragedy whose unfolding breaks the heart even as it prepares the way for splendors to come the glorious age of Eleanor of Auitaine and the Plantagenets that would soon illumine the wor Sharon Penman has for a long while now taken first place on my list of favorite authors in any genre No matter which genre I delve into no author so far has been able to draw me in as well as Penman does Medieval England is filled with all the elements one needs for an entertaining read but no one highlights these elements uite like Penman What can I say I loved this book I couldn t put it down

Summary ☆ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ´ Sharon Kay Penman

Re Maude could claim her throne her cousin Stephen seized it In their long and bitter struggle all of England bled and burnedSharon Kay Penman's magnificent fifth novel summons to life a spectacul It was with great anticipation that I returned to Sharon Penman s When Christ and His Saints Slept the first book by Sharon Penman that I ever read at the tender age of 10 and which for good reasons immediately became one of my favourite books of all time and in all the years since has never been displaced from its solid and thoroughly deserved status as the cream of the crop not just of historical fiction but across genres This is the only book for which I have ever stayed awake without sleep all night simply in order to read I d always meant to re read When Christ and His Saints Slept someday and I loved it just as much the second time round as the first if not and I daresay that ll be eually true of the 100th readingRe reading When Christ and His Saints Slept was a joy and a delight Sharon Penman is one of those exuisitely rare writers who can t put a foot wrong The vocabulary she can draw upon would put professors of English to shame her understanding of the language is almost unmatched and her consummate fluidity of writing and fluency has few rivals Moreover Sharon s writing style is supremely natural and elegant in its simplicity though it s plain that Sharon has the linguistic knowledge to bewilder and befuddle us with hideously complex constructions and obscure tongue twisters she doesn t Her efforts are consistently devoted to lucidity and creating the best reading experience possible Sharon shows us rather than tells us and where she does tell it fits so seamlessly into the narrative that you d hardly notice its presence at all Her dialogue is unforced and appears effortless Her descriptions are that rare beast concise yet perfectly clear and astonishingly vivid and real Scenes of laugh out loud acerbic humour are written as adroitly as scenes of moving poignancy This book is not just interesting or engaging those words are not fit for purpose when describing When Christ and His Saints Slept It s amazingly easy to pick this book up and within a paragraph find yourself sucked into a wondrously detailed and thoroughly authentic Medieval world and emerge an unknown amount of time later to discover that hours and hours have passed by This book is completely absorbing utterly enthralling and resplendently captivating I read it as if spellbound for When Christ and His Saints Slept is a literary dreamSharon s research is ever impeccable to the point where I must admit to a mixture of enviousness and a truly uncommon admiration This is an author who berates herself over the anachronistic appearance of hoods for hunting falcons in this very book and details such as the colour of dog hair in Medieval canine breeds inaccuracies of such miniscule stature that surely fewer than one in a thousand would ever pick up on them and of those that do forgivable without a second thought I m in awe of Sharon s dedication to historical accuracy now this is the level of historical accuracy that I expect of all historical fiction I only wish all authors were as devoted to it as Sharon Penman Sharon sticks to events as closely as possible and lets the history speak for itself devoid of embellishment except in a few scarce instances She makes no attempt to dumb down events for her readers by simplifying but gives her readers the credit they deserve and trusts that we re intelligent enough to comprehend the complexities of the actual history This is something I d sorely like to see of in the historical fiction industry The picture that Sharon paints on the page with her words is so detailed so thorough I feel sure that Sharon must know every speck of dust in her world and I m half convinced that she s discovered the secret of time travel Such a vivid realistic picture brings the Medieval world to life before your very eyes four dimensional subtle sophisticated and fully formedEven impressive is Sharon s ability to infuse her characters with such depth and understanding and subtlety that you d swear they were old friends Whether fictional or real historical figures Sharon seems to know and understand her characters like the back of her hand and creates tangible portraits of subtle complex people rooted in their times but distinctly modern firmly dispelling the notion of past peoples as somehow alien in relation to ourselves These are real flawed people intelligent driven by complicated yet understandable motivations starkly human one feels as close to the real life historical individuals as one is ever like to get Not one of them is unintelligible or lacks for empathy Even if you find yourself taking sides and disagreeing with the decisions of certain characters their reasoning is deftly illuminated their motivations crystal clear I must confess to becoming rather fond of the hot headed Count of Chester and even Eustace whose actions are indisputably reprehensible was understandable if not at all laudable I must admit to whole heartedly getting behind Maude whenever I read this book warts and all as she comes but at the same time Sharon Penman s Stephen is no ghoulish villain designed with the express purpose of invoking the reader s loathing in actual fact he is often highly sympathetic There are no black and white sinners and saints here as in so many other lesser works of historical fiction which tend to play the good guys vs the bad guys only varying shades of grey Sharon treats her historical characters as carefully as she does the historical facts with objectivity refinement and intricacy All grow organically She focuses on painting as accurate a picture as possible whilst standing back to let the reader make up their own minds about the people from history she never tries to impose her own conclusions on usSharon remarked in her author s note that This was the first time that I d allowed a fictional character to share centre stage with historical figures and I wasn t sure if I d feel comfortable with Ranulf I simply adored Ranulf Fitz Roy uite possibly the most significant fictional character in any of Sharon s books from the word go Not uite in the same way as for example Llewelyn Fawr in Here Be Dragons surely a romantic hero of historical fiction if ever there were one but because I found Ranulf eminently identifiable clever enuiring sensible moderate tolerant unuestionably loyal but troubled at the realisation that war is never so simple as right versus wrong the voice of sanity for many other characters but blind where it came to his own personal passions I love Ranulf because he reminds me of myself He s that character that makes you say Well that s what I d do and that s why he s such a roaring success Sharon s uncanny knack at recreating the grey characters from history comes less from her knowledge of the historical people and from her understanding of the human condition She s applied the same understanding to creating Ranulf and as a result he fits in flawlessly with Maude Stephen Henry and Eleanor My only regret was that Ranulf was fictional and thus could never take up Maude s proffered earldom without warping history I rather wished that Sharon would let the history slide just this once and allow Ranulf to take up the earldom he so clearly deservedSharon weaves together all these elements to create a spellbinding yet authentic story of at once epic and human proportions There is no heavy handed laborious message here again readers are free to make their own conclusions rather one is struck by a simple truth well known to historians history is often random and accidental and its inhabitants are a colourful maelstrom of individuals who are impossible to define as wholly right or wrong good or evil I haven t even mentioned points such as the novel s pacing point of view or length such elements are so spot on that they are unnoticeable and that is the mark of a good book The Sunne in Splendour may be Sharon s Wars of the Roses magnum opus the platinum standard for all other Wars of the Roses historical fiction her Welsh trilogy begun with Here Be Dragons may be a sweeping tale of romance triumph and tragedy but When Christ and His Saints Slept will always be my favourite A simply wonderful epic of the complex machinations and manoeuvrings of bloody civil war and the sophisticated extraordinary human characters it encompassed10 out of 10 Enough said