Dead Man's Hill, George Peter Algar

Dead Man's Hill, George Peter Algar

This book is the sequel to the Shepherd Lord which told the story of the early life of Lord Henry Clifford, who was forced into hiding after the Yorkist victory at Towton in 1461, raised as a shepherd and was only able to reclaim his lands and titles after the victory of Henry Tudor at Bosworth in 1485.

The book covers a period of around twenty five years, starting with Henry VII established on the throne and Clifford married and a major power in the North of England. The first significant historical event of be covered is a Yorkshire revolt of 1489 in which Henry Percy, fourth earl of Northumberland, was killed. We finish with the Scottish invasion of 1513 which ended at Flodden, where the Scottish army was crushed and King James IV was killed.

The main focus of the story is life on the border, with a background of the ever-present conflict between English and Scottish borderers which continued on regardless of the official state of relations between the two countries. Clifford has enemies, but there is no over-arching villain and the plot is episodic, with a series of threats and opponents to overcome. The main thread that links the book is thus the conflict with the Scottish borderers, and the author has a good feel for the nature of that conflict in this period, with cross-border links almost as common as rivalries but brutal violence never far away. Overall this is an entertaining read with a good feel for life in England as the scars of the Wars of the Roses began to fade.

Author: George Peter Algar
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 271
Publisher: Austin Macauley
Year: 2012

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