Falstaff: A Novel

Skyhorse
Free sample

Shakespeare’s beloved comic figure spins his own outrageous tell-all, in an award-winning novel by the author of Mrs. Shakespeare: The Complete Works.
 
Winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Guardian Fiction Prize
 
William Shakespeare’s bawdy knight, irascible and still lecherous at eighty-one, believes that history hasn’t done him justice. To correct the record, Jack Falstaff decides to tell his life story in his own fashion. Leaving nothing to the imagination and adding more than a few embellishments, he reveals what history and the Bard of Avon overlooked or avoided: what really happened the night Falstaff and Justice Shallow heard the chimes at midnight; who really killed Hotspur; how many men fell at the Battle of Agincourt; what actually transpired at the coronation of Henry V; and just what made the wives of Windsor so merry.
At the same time, Falstaff’s sprawling narrative offers us a tapestry of the Middle Ages: the Black Death and May Day; an expedition to Ireland and a pilgrimage to the Holy Land; nights at the Boar’s Head; the splendor of London Bridge; and hundreds of other sights, sounds, and people recalled in-between scabrous opinions and irreverent meditations. Like its reckless and rowdy protagonist, Robert Nye’s Falstaff is vivid, oversized, and big as life.
 
“[A] delightfully raucous, slyly insightful fable.” —Publishers Weekly
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About the author

Robert Nye is a novelist and poet who was born in London. His novels include Falstaff, Mrs. Shakespeare: The Complete Works, and The Voyage of the Destiny. He lives in Ireland.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Skyhorse
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Published on
Feb 14, 2012
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Pages
464
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ISBN
9781628720136
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / Medieval
Fiction / Humorous / General
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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A brilliant, lush, sweeping historical novel about the rise of the most powerful woman of the Middle Ages: Hild

In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods are struggling, their priests worrying. Hild is the king's youngest niece, and she has a glimmering mind and a natural, noble authority. She will become a fascinating woman and one of the pivotal figures of the Middle Ages: Saint Hilda of Whitby.

But now she has only the powerful curiosity of a bright child, a will of adamant, and a way of seeing the world—of studying nature, of matching cause with effect, of observing her surroundings closely and predicting what will happen next—that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her.

Her uncle, Edwin of Northumbria, plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief. Hild establishes a place for herself at his side as the king's seer. And she is indispensable—unless she should ever lead the king astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, for her family, for her loved ones, and for the increasing numbers who seek the protection of the strange girl who can read the world and see the future.

Hild is a young woman at the heart of the violence, subtlety, and mysticism of the early Middle Ages—all of it brilliantly and accurately evoked by Nicola Griffith's luminous prose. Working from what little historical record is extant, Griffith has brought a beautiful, brutal world to vivid, absorbing life.

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