Book: Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication date: 1987
Summary: This multi-generational, multi-family saga begins with the end of the last Ice Age in England when water cut through to make the English Channel, separating the island from the continent. We get to see the building of Stonehenge and the Salisbury Cathedral. There are fights between Celtics and Romans, between Romans and Saxons, between Saxons and Vikings. Among all the fighting, we find inter-marriage, cultural exchange of craft and art, and other kinds of blending and accommodation. Sarum jumps and skips through history to the modern day.
Thoughts: I read another chunkster-sized novel by Edward Rutherfurd on the way home from Ireland, lent to me by one of my tour companions: Book Review: Ireland Awakening by Edward Rutherfurd. Ireland Awakening was so helpful in my understanding of Irish history, that when we started talking about taking a trip to England next year, I knew I wanted to read Sarum. Sarum proved to be a helpful and fun introduction to the history, one that I’m drawing on now as I read a nonfiction book about the history of England.
Appeal: History lovers and anyone planning a trip to England.
Other Reviews: Val at Val’s Random Comments liked Sarum but thought later Rutherfurd books are better: Sarum – Edward Rutherfurd. Of the two I’ve read, I thought the later book, Ireland Awakening, was more tightly plotted and had better connections between the generations. So, in my limited sample size, I would agree. I’m looking forward to reading a third Rutherfurd book, London, sometime in the next few months.
Ms. Caboo of Bookalicious Babe Book Reviews enjoyed Sarum and, like me, wants to visit southwest England because of it: Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd. As far as I can tell, Swapna Krishna of S. Krishna’s Books hasn’t read Sarum, but she took some amazing photos when she visited the area: Old Sarum, Stonehenge, Salisbury, and Avebury.
Have you visited England? Or do you live there? What books do you recommend in preparation for a trip?