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Conscience of the King by Alfred Duggan
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Conscience of the King (1951)

by Alfred Duggan

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Cerdic/Coroticus: Honestore of Anderida to King of Wessex and only 6 murders to do it! Using his usual faux-memoirs format, Alfred Duggan has done a great job re-creating the Arthurian Age. Cerdic is a survivor, and even a success story, though he sheds a lot of moral "Baggage" during his struggle to survive. The linguistic fact, that the first king of Wessex has a name that is "Celtic" in origin has puzzled the professionals for centuries. Reread constantly. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Dec 6, 2013 |
Alfred Duggan's CONSCIENCE OF THE KING is a marvelous tale of the founding ruler of Wessex, the kingdom of the West Saxons. It's marvelous because he is a wicked man, a backstabber and a traitor. And yet you find yourself rooting for him, even when Artorius shows up trying to save Britain for the British. Such is the power of a narrator to win you over to his side no matter how wrong that side is.Like the best of historical novels, it's a visit to another time and other ways of thinking. Cerdic is born around 500 AD, the same time more or less as THE CIRCLE CAST. He's born a Roman but of Saxon descent, and his journey takes him from Roman Britain to Saxon Britain to Saxony and back. It's the Dark Ages of Britain, when Roman civilization is collapsing without any Saxons civilized enough to take it over. Alfred Duggan captures the nostalgia his hero feels for the comforts of civilization even as he's destroying it for his own reasons.CONSCIENCE OF THE KING is not a passionate book; Duggan's hero is a conniver who barely feels much sentiment for his own son, and doesn't regret his murders. But it is a fascinating book. I'm looking forward to his other two Saxon novels, THE KING OF ATHELNEY, about Alfred the Great, and THE CUNNING OF THE DOVE. He really brings another time and place to life, and with tremendous historical accuracy. It is hard to find a movie that does that. ( )
  AlexEpstein | Jun 27, 2011 |
This is one of my mother's old books, that I first read as a teenager. It is the story of Cerdic, who started life as a Roman citizen of Britain just before the Romans pulled out. As his grandparents were proud of their Woden-born descent, he grew up speaking German as well as Latin, so he was able to integrate into the new order and after many adventures he ended up as the first king of Wessex. This is probably the book that first got me interested in the Dark Ages. ( )
  isabelx | Jan 2, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0304366463, Paperback)

Cerdic Elesing, King of Wessex and ancestor of all subsequent British monarchs, narrates in this fictional biography how he murdered, cheated, looted and lied his way to the great position he ultimately held - and in the process served with the great Roman leader Ambrosius and the Saxon warlord Aella, and was the foe Arthur defeated at Mount Badon.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:04 -0400)

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