A Novel

Cornwell, Bernard

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The rascally Thomas of Hookton, aka Le Batard, and his band of not-so-merry mercenaries are bidden by the Earl of Northhampton to unearth the lost sword of Saint Peter in this recreation of the Battle of the Poitiers in 1356 wherein a severely outnumbered English army defeats the French and captures the Poiters and French King John II.

Publisher: New York :, Harper,, 2013.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 0061969672
Characteristics: 417 p. :,maps ;,24 cm.


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Nov 08, 2014

The thing that has most fascinated me is in the Historical Note at the end of the novel: that since the 1350's there has been a 3,000% rise in the price of ale.
So I'm trying to figure out what a pint cost in the 1350's: Let's say a pint now costs a pound. There are 12 shillings to a pound, (old money) and there were 12 pence to a shilling, and two halfpennies to a pence and 4 farthings to a penny. So what kind of coin was used to pay for a pint in the 1350's? A slice of a farthing, which in itself is about the size of an American penny? I can't do it without a calculator! (See what I mean about it being fascinating?)

Sep 05, 2013

I'm lovin' Cornwell again. The Sharpe Novel were great reads, I became Cornwell a bit burned out with the Sharpe concept. 1356 is a breath of fresh air, and his hero, Thomas of Hookton is a welcome change. This is the first T of H novel I've read. A compelling and historically accurate account of the Battle of Poitiers. I've made a lifetime study of the 10th-15th Centuries. This was, (as usual with Cornwell), a painstakingly researched story. I enjoyed it immensely and sure you will as well.

Jul 22, 2013

I always liked the Sharpe books (and the TV show). But this book I put down in disgust after encountering blinding, rape, evisceration, and castration by page 49.

If I want to read about The Hundred Years' War, I'll stick to real history books, not Cornwell's fiction.

Jul 03, 2013
  • JCLGreggW rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This was my first exposure to Cornwell, one of the leading lights in historical fiction. I enjoyed 1356 quite a bit once I got past the first fifty pages or so, which were a bit slow. But once the action gets going, though, it's a compelling read, culminating in the Battle of Poitiers, which is completely riveting. Cornwell adds fictional flourishes and characters to one of the major battles of the Hundred Years' War between England and France. Here, the English armies are running amok in France, trying to provoke a battle, and they get one. Cornwell adds subplots abound the battle, giving each character a stake in the outcome, including a holy relic, a sword owned by St. Peter. 1356 works as a standalone, although the major character, archer and leader of men, Thomas of Hookton, appears in other Cornwell books.

Apr 05, 2013
  • zipread rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

1356 --- by Bernard Cornwell --- This is Cornwell’s most recent offering and a book well worth waiting for. The author’s web site provides this thumb-nail sketch: “Thomas of Hookton, a veteran of Crecy and many other battles, is the leader of a mercenary company of bowmen and men-at-arms who ravage the countryside east of Gascony. Edward, Prince of Wales, later to be known as the Black Prince, is assembling an army to fight the French once more but before Thomas can join, he must fulfil an urgent task. A fascinating hero and the pursuit of a sword with mythical power, thought to be concealed somewhere near Poitiers – Go with God and fight like the Devil….in 1356.” This book shares much with Bernard’s previous novels: excitement, suspense, and lots of action. One thing the author is exceptionally good at is in setting the scene ---- putting you right back there in time and place. Meticulous in his detail he describes the weapons, the armour, the horses and the lay of the land. You are there. You hear the swish of the speeding arrows. You hear the clang of the armour. You hear the cry and shout of the soldiers. You won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough to read this novel.

Apr 02, 2013
  • Bibi71 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The cover caught my attention and as I flipped through it I just had to give this book a read, so glad I did! 1356 was a fantastic read, I couldn't put it down. First book I've ever read of Bernard Cornwell, I'm absolutely hooked! I will definitely be searching for more to get my 'Cornwell' fix!

Feb 05, 2013
  • deRougemont rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Another excellent tale by Cornwell. He is every bit as comfortable in a 14th century setting as in the 19th and he proves that he is not limited to "Sharpe" and the Rifles. His books set during the Hundred Years War are a delight to read and well researched.

Dec 20, 2012
  • Palomino rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I always thought Bernard Cornwell was cheesy and wooden, read only because of historical detail. Lately I've really been enjoying the medieval books. This one has a (wooden) romance, a bit of magic (or not, you decide), a charming hero, all kinds of historical detail, and a plot that kept my interest all the way through. More, please.

Dec 14, 2012
  • ETF rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Amazing books by Bernard. Too bad they don't have more of them in audio books. :(


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Jun 24, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Men always laugh at the jests of princes.

Jun 24, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The rules keep you alive.

Jun 24, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The best marriage is between a blind woman and a deaf man.

Jun 24, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A man cannot break an oath and keep his soul.

Jun 24, 2013
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Woman brought sin into this world, brother, and they have never ceased to bring it.


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