Rutherfurd, Edward "The Forest" - 2000
After having read and enjoyed "London", I was really looking forward to another one of Edward Rutherfurd's historical novels. Sometimes, you read one book by an author and then put so much hope into his next one that it can only be a disappointment. Not in this case. "The Forest" is just as exciting and detailed as "London".
Edward Rutherford describes the history of the New Forest, from William the Conqueror until today through the people living there. This book has it all, from the Normans to the Spanish Armada, the days of witchcraft, smuggling and Jane Austen, the people stay faithful to the forest that is giving them their livelihood.
If you love England, this is the book for you. If you love Ireland and/or Edward Rutherfurd, I also recommend "Dublin" and "Awakening"
From the back cover:
"Few places lie closer to the heart of the nation's heritage than the New Forest. Now, Edward Rutherfurd, weaves its history and legends into compelling fiction. From the mysterious killing of King William Rufus, treachery and witchcraft, smuggling and poaching run through this epic tale of well-born ladies, lowly woodsmen, sailors, merchants and Cistercian monks. The feuds, wars, loyalties and passions of generations reach their climax in a crime that shatters the decorous society of Jane Austen's Bath, and whose ramifications continue through the age of the Victorian railway builders to the ecologists of the present day."
Find a link to all my reviews on his other novels here.