The Proud Villeins

The Proud Villeins

by Valerie Anand, Fiona Buckley

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940158298769
Publisher: Speaking Volumes
Publication date: 05/02/2016
Series: Bridges Over Time , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 326
Sales rank: 717,477
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Valerie Anand (aka Fiona Buckley) is a British author of historical fiction. Under the pen name Fiona Buckley she writes the series of historical mysteries, set in the reign of Elizabeth I of England, featuring "Ursula Blanchard" (whose full name is Ursula Faldene Blanchard de la Roche Stannard). Under her own name she writes historical fiction based on the royalty of England and the Bridges over Time series which follows a family from the eleventh century through the nineteenth century.

Praise for Valerie Anand

“Valerie Anand has been building a remarkable body of work, a series of historical novels that have recreated England’s history both accurately and vividly.”
—The Anniston Star (The Proud Villeins)

“Anand’s interest is in the intersection of cultures—here, Norse and Norman—which she dramatizes effectively.”
—Kirkus Reviews (The Proud Villeins)

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The Proud Villeins 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Misfit on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Sir Ivon de Clairpont is a Norman knight with holdings of his own and comes to England as part of a large escort to Alfred Atheling. Suspecting treachery, Earl Godwinson and his men attack the group and slaughter Alfred and most of the knights, although some are spared and sold into slavery. One of those is Sir Ivon, who is bought as a thrall by Eric Olafson and taken to his lands in the north. Ivon always dreams of retuning to his holdings in Normandy, but after several escape attempts Ivon is finally crippled in the foot and unable to try again, and must accept his lot in life as a thrall. Ivon is married to another thrall Gunnar and the story eventually picks up again in 1065 with the story of Ivon's grandson in 1065, Ivon Oddeyes (a de Clairpont trait to have two different eye colors). After the battle of Hastings, Williams tires of the revolts in the north and sends his knights in to destroy all sources of rebellion with what has come to be known as the Harrying (or Harrowing) of the North. All males over the age of ten are murdered, homes burned and crops destroyed. With no food and no homes, the women and children of Eric's Dale head for York, but the harsh winter conditions and lack of food hamper their journey, leading some to take drastic measures to survive, and the memories of what the Norman knights did haunt Ivon Oddeyes for the rest of his life. Ten year old Ivon is taken in by monks, but his hatred for the Normans who destroyed his home and family is never lost, nor is his desire to be a free man, as his grandfather once was and he keeps a handle from a knife carrying the device of bridges (hence the Bridges over Time name of the series) from his grandfather and that device and the story of his free birth is passed down to subsequent generations. Ivon impresses a Norman lord and as a reward he is given his own land to serve as a villein, a tenant farmer and owned by the land, although it was not quite what Ivon expected, he did not understand that villeins were tied to the land and not free. The rest of the story follows Ivon Oddeyes and two subsequent generations of his family as Anand lets the reader see how the lesser folk deal with the wars of the lords and kings, including the Civil War between Stephen and Maude. Anand's writing is beautiful, but while the Harrying of the North and the destruction caused to the land and the villeins during the Civil War were terrifying, the rest of the book is a bit slow paced at times, and perhaps not for all readers. You're not going to see much of kings, knights, lords and ladies or battles, this book is about the lives of those who didn't rule and really didn't care who ruled as long as there was peace. For those interested in getting a look at the other side of the coin in medieval England this book and the subsequent books in the series might be of interest. The series in order, The Proud Villeins The Ruthless Yeomen Women of Ashdon The Faithful Lovers The Cherished Wives The Dowerless Sisters