The Proud Villeins

The Proud Villeins

by Valerie Anand

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A sweeping, often moving tale of English medieval life, this novel depicts historical events--ranging from 1040 to 1215, when the Magna Charta was signed--from the perspective of a family of serfs. When Norman knight Ivon de Clairpont is taken prisoner in England, he repeatedly tries to escape from his Danish master's holdings near York. Crippled during his last attempt, he grudgingly settles down to life as a thrall, marrying another serf but continually reminding their children of their heritage as free people. His grandson, Ivon Oddeyes, is caught up in the harrying of the North--the execution of all men of arms-bearing age and the ravaging of the landordered by William the Conqueror because of the region's continued support of King Harold. Having hated Normans all his life, young Ivon, a talented potter, rejects a chance to gain freedom by denying his French heritage. Later generations suffer the terrible fates that awaited serfs (villeins) who attempted to better themselves. Anand's (Crown of Roses) robust novel, the first of a projected series, depicts the Middle Ages in a more realistic light than is often the case. (Sept.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
In this novel, the first volume of her generational saga ``Bridges Over Time,'' Anand revisits the England of the Conquest she first described in Gildenford ( LJ 6/15/77. o.p.) and its sequels. The villeins are the bond-born descendants of the Norman knight, Sir Ivon de Clairpont, who was captured in 1036 and enslaved. The chief characters are his grandson, known as Ivon Oddeyes, and Oddeyes' granddaughter Margaret, who takes the story to 1215. Readers of the earlier novels will be pleased to see Thane Brand, the main character of Gildenford , make a brief but telling appearance in the story. Anand's style is sweet but brisk, avoiding the usual sentimentality of similar novels. It is reminiscent of Norah Lofts's ``Knight's Acre'' trilogy and will delight both Anand and Lofts fans. Recommended for public libraries.--Mary Ann Parker, California Dept. of Water Resources Law Lib., Sacramento

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Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Bridges over Time
Edition description:
1st U.S. ed
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.30(d)

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