Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Sheriff of Nottingham by Richard Kluger


A revisionist version of the Robin Hood legend portrays Philip Mark, a poor Frenchman commissioned as Sheriff of Nottingham, who is caught between his high ideals and the tyrannical whims of King John.


There are many books around about Robin Hood and its time, it’s not so often that we find a book about the infamous Sheriff of Nottingham and when I found this one I just couldn’t resist picking it up.

It is very different from the sheriff of the legend though. Kluger decided to tell the story of the real Sheriff of Nottingham, Phillip Mark, a French man who rises to power under Kind John. Although the book is historical fiction and Kluger has real and fictional events and people in the story I think what is most interesting is the way he approaches the politics of the time. What exactly were the place and the power of the sheriff, where did the money come from and all the social structure that existed in Nottingham. Also the king’s foreign policies and long feud with the Pope are mentioned and explained. I found it an enlightening read for that period.

However the characters aren’t particularly attractive and as a novel I think it ends up being a bit dry. But if you’re interested in that period, like me, you will certainly find it appealing.

Grade: 4/5

10 comments:

  1. You are right about this book, I think becuase it comes across from a differing point of view than what I would say "normal" it doesn't seem as good.

    Still it is a book that I'm finding enjoyable, just because

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds interesting, I've never heard about a book about the Sheriff of Nottingham.
    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this concept....sounds right up my alley!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Funny! I was just thinking about this book the other day. If I'm not mistaken it is one taht I read quite a few years ago, and I couldn't remember the author. I remember liking it though!

    Lezlie

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's very interesting and provides lots of interesting details about the time and the work of the Sheriff.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, sounds interesting! Putting it on my wishlist :) Another Robin Hood story that gives much background info on the politics of the era is Maid Marian by Elsa Watson. I really enjoyed her version of the story.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Weird, I can't get it to come up on Amazon?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Arleigh, thanks for the recommendation. I must look for the Maid Marian book.

    Here's the Amazon link http://www.amazon.com/Sheriff-Nottingham-Richard-Kluger/dp/0140177035/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242742826&sr=8-7

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you! Amazon must be having an off day because Marie at Burton Review couldn't find a book on there today as well!

    ReplyDelete