- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date:
- 26 May 2011
- Historical Adventure
Showing 1-4 out of 4 reviews.
A fascinating look at the making of American history.Among other adventures the book highlights the dramatic failings of American Hero Paul Revere in his one and only military endevour. Bernard Cornwell looks into; “...the often enormous gap between myth and reality.”“The gap is understandable when we're dealing with a quasi-historical figure like King Arthur who, if he exised at all, flourished in an age when record keeping was almost non-existent, but how could that happen to a man like Paul Revere who lived in an age of literacy and at a time when history was being recorded by newspapers, official records and diarists? The answer, of course, is that myth is more powerful than truth, and myth is necessary.”So, there were great American heros at Majabigwaduce but, according to their records, Revere was not one of them. Not until years later when Longfellow wrote him into his mythical poem.
Cornwell is writing more like Allan Eckert (the Winning of America series) here. I like it, but it doesn't grab me like his Sharpe books or his Aurthur books or his Saxon books did. I was a little embarassed at the performance of the Americans. They should have beaten the British! And I was horrified to learn about Paul Revere. I will sell all my Revereware on Ebay.
<i>The Fort</i> has been my first encounter with Bernard Cornwell, though more than one person has raved about him to me. Over all, I am not disappointed. His writing is very well paced and snappy. He seems to be adept at explaining aspects of his settings without pulling the reader out of the story. Unfortunately, this book suffers not in style, but in subject. The Penobscot Expedition is a fascinating and oft overlooked piece of early American history, and sheds some light onto one of the biggest names of the Revolution, Paul Revere. Unfortunately, the historical battle in Majabigwaduce consisted of several weeks of ill advised waiting, followed by a disappointingly anti-climatic surrender. Cornwell tries to fit it into a fulfilling narrative arc, but he has little leeway to work with. His characters are interesting, and their problems visceral, but as in real life, they just don't go anywhere. That being said, it is well written, and I do look forward to reading more Cornwell in the future, especial his Sharpe novels. My only real problem is his irritating habit of ending every section with a pithy, often fragmented sentence that briefly states what's going to happen next. It would be cute if it was not so infuriatingly, obviously repetitive.
Typical of Cornwell's books this new offering provides excellent characterisation and a well-paced and flowing plot. At times there were so many characters on display one had to go back and check on their origins. A glossary of characters could have been useful. I presume this book is another one-off American historical adventure similar to Redcoat. One minor issue I had with the book was that I felt the journal extracts before each new chapter were unnecessary as they interrupted the flow of the dialogue.
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