×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The White Company
     

The White Company

4.2 21
by Arthur Conan Doyle
 

See All Formats & Editions

“...[W]orth a hundred Sherlock Holmes stories.” That was how Arthur Conan Doyle characterized The White Company, the book he considered his best work. Set against the background of the Hundred Years War, an extended conflict between France and England, The White Company rivals the best works of historical romance. Not only is it richly textured with

Overview

“...[W]orth a hundred Sherlock Holmes stories.” That was how Arthur Conan Doyle characterized The White Company, the book he considered his best work. Set against the background of the Hundred Years War, an extended conflict between France and England, The White Company rivals the best works of historical romance. Not only is it richly textured with accurate historical detail, it features several memorable characters: Sir Nigel Loring and Alleyne, his squire, as well as Hordle John, a lovable rogue, and Allewyn, the master archer.

Editorial Reviews

EBOOK COMMENTARY
"Creates the pattern of innocent, chivalrous, justice-loving, public-spirited, imperial Englishmen"

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412197038
Publisher:
eBooksLib
Publication date:
04/21/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
476 KB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter I

How the black sheep came forth from the fold

The great bell of Beaulieu was ringing. Far away through the forest might be heard its musical clangor and swell. Peat-cutters on Blackdown and fishers upon the Exe heard the distant throbbing rising and falling upon the sultry summer air. It was a common sound in those parts -as common as the chatter of the jays and the booming of the bittern. Yet the fishers and the peasants raised their heads and looked questions at each other, for the angelus had already gone and vespers was still far off. Why should the great bell of Beaulieu toll when the shadows were neither short nor long?

All round the Abbey the monks were trooping in. Under the long green-paved avenues of gnarled oaks and of lichened beeches the whiterobed brothers gathered to the sound. From the vineyard and the vine-press, from the bouvary or ox-farm, from the marl-pits and salterns, even from the distant iron-works of Sowley and the outlying grange of St. Leonard's, they had all turned their steps homewards. It had been no sudden call. A swift messenger had the night before sped round to the outlying dependencies of the Abbey, and had left the summons for every monk to be back in the cloisters by the third hour after noontide. So urgent a message had not been issued within the memory of old lay-brother Athanasius, who had cleaned the Abbey knocker since the years after the Battle of Bannockburn.

A stranger who knew nothing either of the Abbey or of its immense resources might have gathered from the appearance of the brothers some conception of the varied duties which they were called upon to perform, andof the busy, wide-spread life which centered in the old monastery. As they swept gravely in by twos and by threes, with bended heads and muttering lips, there were few who did not bear upon them some signs of their daily toil. Here were two with wrists and sleeves all spotted with the ruddy grape juice. There again was a bearded brother with a broad-headed axe and a bundle of faggots upon his shoulders, while beside him walked another with the shears under his arm and the white wool still clinging to his whiter gown. A long, straggling troop bore spades and mattocks, while the two rearmost of all staggered along under a huge basket of fresh-caught carp, for the morrow was Friday, and there were fifty platters to be filled and as many sturdy trenchermen behind them. Of all the throng there was scarce one who was not labor-stained and weary, for Abbot Berghersh was a hard man to himself and to others.

Meanwhile, in the broad and lofty chamber set apart for occasions of import, the Abbot himself was pacing impatiently backwards and forwards, with his long white nervous hands clasped in front of him. His thin, thought-worn features and sunken, haggard cheeks bespoke one who had indeed beaten down that inner foe whom every man must face, but had none the less suffered sorely in the contest. In crushing his passions he had well-nigh crushed himself. Yet, frail as was his person, there gleamed out ever and anon from under his drooping brows a flash of fierce energy, which recalled to men's minds that he came of .a fighting stock, and that even now his twin-brother, Sir Bartholomew Berghersh, was one of the most famous of those stern warriors who had planted the Cross of St. George before the gates of Paris. With lips compressed and clouded brow, he strode up and down the oaken floor, the very genius and impersonation of asceticism, while the great bell still thundered and clanged above his head. At last the uproar died away in three last, measured throbs, and ere their echo had ceased the Abbot struck a small gong which summoned a lay-brother to his presence.

"Have the brethern come?" he asked in the Anglo-French dialect used in religious houses.

"hey are here," the other answered, with his eyes cast down and his hands crossed upon his chest.

"All?"

Two and thirty of the seniors and fifteen of the novices, most holy father. Brother Mark of the Spicarium is sore smitten with a fever and could not come. He said that--"

"It boots not what he said. F ever or no, he should have come at call His spirit must be chastened, as must that of many more in mythis Abbey. You yourself, brother Francis, have twice raised your voice, so it hath come to my ears, when the reader in the refectory hath been dealing with the lives of God's most blessed saints. What hast thou to say? "

The lay-brother stood meek and silent, with his arms still crossed in front of him.

"One thousand aves and as many credos, said standing with arms outstretched before the shrine of the Virgin, may help thee to remember that the Creator hath given us two ears and but one mouth, as a token that there is twice the work for the one as for the other. Where is the master of the novices?"

"He is without, most holy father."

"Send him hither."

The sandaled feet clattered over the wooden floor, and the iron-bound door creaked upon its hinges. In a few moments it opened again to admit a short square monk with a heavy, composed face and an authoritative manner.

You have sent for me, holy father?

Yes, brother Jerome, I wish that this matter be disposed of with as little scandal as may be, and yet it is needful that the example should be a public one." The Abbot spoke in Latin now, as a language which was more fitted by its age and solemnity to convey the thoughts of two high dignitaries of the order.

The White Company. Copyright © by Arthur Doyle. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and began to write stories while he was a student.Over his life he produced more than thirty books, 150 short stories, poems, plays and essays across a wide range of genres. His most famous creation is the detective Sherlock Holmes, who he introduced in his first novel A Study in Scarlet (1887). This was followed in 1889 by an historical novel, Micah Clarke. In 1893 Conan Doyle published 'The Final Problem' in which he killed off his famous detective so that he could turn his attention more towards historical fiction. However Holmes was so popular that Conan Doyle eventually relented and published The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1901. The events of the The Hound of the Baskervilles are set before those of 'The Final Problem' but in 1903 new Sherlock Holmes stories began to appear that revealed that the detective had not died after all. He was finally retired in 1927. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died on 7 July 1930.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
May 22, 1859
Date of Death:
July 7, 1930
Place of Birth:
Edinburgh, Scotland
Place of Death:
Crowborough, Sussex, England
Education:
Edinburgh University, B.M., 1881; M.D., 1885

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The White Company. 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although not as well-known as the Sherlock Holmes series, this may be one of Doyles best works. It really defines the genre of medival adventure romances. Not as difficult to read as the Mort d'Arthur and his settings and characters are better defined than Stevenson's the Black Arrow. I only wish he'd written more books of this type.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FrugalChariot More than 1 year ago
The creator of Sherlock Holmes penned this novel of Sir Nigel, an old diminutive knight who ventures out to battle the French. You'd be hard-pressed to find a pluckier, more noble character in all literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago