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Credo by Melvyn Bragg
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Credo (original 1996; edition 2004)

by Melvyn Bragg

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A book about the religious side of life in the post-Roman British Isles. It is well researched and written, and reminds me that i'm not sad not to be a Catholic. If this is a life goal, I'm not up for these people. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jun 23, 2014 |
Set in the latter half of the 7th Century, this book tells of the lives of two people, both based on historical figures, Padric and Bega. In an era where great sacrifice in the name of faith was an aspiration, these two were given the grace to sacrifice their life together to the greater good of their people. Bragg has done a creditable job of documenting the details of this era with precision and without allowing his own values and sensibilities to distort the truth of that era. Like most historical writers who are in love with a timeline, Bragg sometimes packs in a bit more information than the reader cares to deal with but this is a sweeping drama of a fascinating time and is well worth the time. ( )
  turtlesleap | Mar 2, 2012 |
Weaving the known historical facts of the latter half of the 7th century with his own imagination Bragg has created an epic read. Telling the story of the conflict of the Celts; Picts and native British against the Saxon invaders in 7th century BC Britain; also the differences between the Celtic church and the Roman Catholic church. This is a time that shaped Britain. Love and belief, both Pagan and Christian; the ambition of men to rule and to use religion towards that end; the missions to convert people to one belief and the idea that the one true belief comes from Rome and the Pope combine to form a compelling story. The central character is Bega, an Irish princess, who is forced to flee to Britain where she becomes a nun. Her tutor Padric, a Celtic prince, returns to his homeland in the north of Britain determined to expel the invading Saxons.

A wonderful story. The hardship of life; the landscape; the beliefs of his characters are all well described. The story is believable and reflects the times. If you are at all interested in this period of history this book is well worth reading. ( )
3 vote calm | May 28, 2010 |
Boy, this book is heavy, in several senses of the word. A historical novel based on the religious and ethnic tensions of Dark Age Britain, it follows the life of the semi-fictional nun Bega, who travels from Ireland to Cumbria and becomes embroiled with all the great names of the day: Wilfrid, Cuthbert, King Oswy of Northumbria, Colman of Lindisfarne. A romance thwarted by her vow of celibacy threads through the book, but threatens to be swamped by the history: at one point I wondered if the whole thing was just a preamble to a reconstruction of the minutes of the Synod of Whitby. Some of the characters and incidents are nicely drawn, and Bragg does (mostly) manage to engage our sympathy with Celtic Christians whose religious outlook borders on the psychotic, but who valiantly resist both the arrogant uniformity of the Church of Rome and the monstrous oppression of the Saxon kings, while fighting a rearguard action against Celtic paganism. The author's historical learning is wide, but often too near the surface, and he does not have the deft novelist's touch of a writer such as Edith Pargeter or Rosemary Sutcliff. The book could probably have been about two thirds of the size without serious loss of content, but I got through it unscathed - and better informed about the period. MB 13-v-2010 ( )
1 vote MyopicBookworm | May 13, 2010 |
Life is too short ( )
1 vote liehtzu | Mar 17, 2009 |
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Credo (UK) = The Sword and the Miracle (US)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0340667060, Paperback)

Britain during the Dark Ages is the setting for the fascinating story of Bega, a young Irish princess who became a saint, and her lifelong bond with Padric, prince of the north-western kingdom of Rheged. This dramatic, far-reaching tale brings to life a land of warring kings, Christians and pagans, and tribes divided by language and culture, illuminating a little-known yet critical period in British history.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:57 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Set in the 7th century, Bragg's new novel recreates the story of Bega, a young Irish princess who flees to Britain following the murder of the man she was to marry and devotes herself to disseminating the Christian faith.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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