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Below the Salt by Thomas B. Costain

Below the Salt (1957)

by Thomas B. Costain

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264443,112 (3.86)27



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This 1957 historical novel is laid in the time of King John and depicts, at times quite vividly, the England of the early 13th century. There is a modern skeleton on which the medieval story is hung, but the modern part of the story is of little interest and could easily have been omitted. One Richard and his squire, Tostig, do heroic things and one cannot help but admire Tostig, whose life is full of good deeds not amply rewarded. Among other historic events Tostig plays a vital role at Runnymede, when King John is forced to sign the Magna Carta. The book contains the usual disclaimer, asserting everybody in the novel is fictitious. This is obviously false, since clearly there are numerous historical persons in the book, including King John and Stephen Langton. I found the historical part of the book attention-holding and fun to read. The same cannot be said of the 20tth century part of the novel. ( )
  Schmerguls | Aug 13, 2012 |
Interesting, once it finally got to the actual Below The Salt part of the story, which was actually quite an enjoyable read. However, the ending was very bad, and, to me, seemed absolutely senseless.

Another issue I had with the book was that is seemed to be trying very hard to focus my attention on one basically stock character, when in fact there was another character who was showing growth and was more pertinent to the story. ( )
  millhold | Mar 3, 2011 |
Interesting story, not compelling, liked the inclusion of a potential woman on the throne, romanticized history ( )
  Jeanperry | Jan 4, 2011 |
A rich and fascinating look at Norman Saxon England. The framing story is cool, too. ( )
  MerryMary | Feb 20, 2007 |
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John Foraday had always been quiet and imaginative, and this was the only fault his grandmother had found in him.
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