A Morbid Taste for Bones
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- Ellis Peters Biography and Bibliography
Top Customer Reviews
This particular episode, coming in the 3rd year of production, is one of the more intriguing stories. The sets and costumes are all well broken in, the actors are very deep into their roles. We now have Cadfael sent against his will to bring back the bones of a young Welsh martyr. He feels for the community, he understands the monks needs, and he tries to find a balance between them. He does not what is expected but what he truly feels is right.
It's interesting because this was actually the first book written in the series, but since it was filmed late on in the TV cycle, the characters are quite familiar with each other and to the audience.
Derek Jacobi is excellent, and you get an interview with him on the DVD. If you're a fan of the actor or the series, definitely a great DVD to get!
Reluctantly Cadfael does as he is told and leads some of his brethren to rescue Winifred. By difficulties arise when Lord Rhysart and the good people of Gwytherin do not wish to give up the saint. Rhysart vows to protect her and her burial place to the death. Prophetic, since he is found murdered the next morning.
Cadfael must solve the mystery else he and his Benedictine brothers die themselves. After separating facts from lies, Cadfael sees to it that St. Winifred and Columbarnus both rest peacefully. Those fascinated by Medieval pagan rituals and customs will enjoy this mystery.
If you've never read any of the Brother Cadfael books by Ellis Peters you are in for a treat. This series originaly broadcast on the BBC are faithful adaptions about a master sleuth in Monk's clothing. Brother Cadfael is a monk with a difference and never what he seems. Given a choice, he would rather work in his garden or practice his herbal remedies. But too often, events force him to use his detective skills in response to mysterious crimes happening in his community, often finding himself at odds with the medievil times in which he lives.
This DVD release includes an audio commentary by Derek Jacobi and a Ellis Peters Biography, complemented by full frame, 2.0 stereo sound. A nice little package for Cadfael fans.
The setting of the story is 12th Century England, a period of particular turmoil. Henry I had died without a legitimate male heir, and he had designated his daughter Matilda as his successor, binding his nobles by oath to support her. Although many of them did, including her very able half brother, an illegitimate son of Henry made an Earl by his father, many of them threw their support behind her cousin, Steven. Matilda, or Maud as she is referred to, was a granddaughter of William the Conqueror and no push over herself. She fought her cousin from a base in coastal France, where the family held land in fief of the King of France and where marriage alliances had placed her as wife of Geoffery, the Duke of Anjou. With her Norman support in France and her loyal factions in England, she made enough of a threat to Steven's rule to ultimately obtain a guarantee of succession to the English throne for her son Henry, ultimately Henry II. Until that time, warfare turned most of England into a battle ground and life for everyone a matter of ceaseless uncertainty.Read more ›
I mention all this, even though these events occured after Cadfael's exploits take place in the mid-1100s, because it is important to understand the long history of tension between the people of Wales who are primarily descended from the Celts and the people of Norman descent who served as priests in the monasteries of Cadfael's era and beyond (the brothers were normally Anglo-Saxon). And, of course the aristocracy including Henry IV and V was Norman.
In "A Morbid Taste for Bones" (the first of Peter's 20 volumes on the life of Brother Cadfael the Benedictine monk), Cadfael is fairly new at his vocation, although he is in his fifties. At one point in the series a rather nasty priest says to Cadfael, "You came late to the church" to which he replies, "I came when God called."
Brother Cadfael is constantly challenged by the Norman monks who are "fathers" (can hear confessions and grant absolution) partly because of his age and his past career as a soldier who killed other men, but mostly because of his Welsh background.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cadfeal stories are so marvelous! Medieval police drama! All episodes are truly wonderful.Published 12 months ago by Penny J. Whitaker
It is a excellent example of good and evil while maintaining its focus on the story. Cadfael plays his role to perfection.Published on December 4, 2013 by John Griffis
This is a very entertaining series that gives you insight as to how Sherlock Holmes would solve crimes in the 12th century. This series is way too short. Read morePublished on November 13, 2013 by Eric
A well-documented and movie: and ironic also. Every time I watch the movie and refer to Saint Winifrid,,
I have to smile. :-)
I marveled at how the church could assume they held dominion over whatever would enhance its prestige. Read morePublished on February 19, 2013 by Barbara Castleton
AS AN ADVID CADFAEL WATCHER I HAD SEEN ALL 12 OF HIS MYSTERIES. I EVEN BOUGHT THE COMPLETE SET FOR MY SISTER. Read morePublished on July 19, 2011 by Barbara Christopoulos
Holy relics were a hot commodity in the Middle Ages -- people were always seeking saints' bones and possessions, and even bits of Christ's cross. Read morePublished on September 16, 2010 by EA Solinas
We've enjoyed most of the Cadfael episodes, but were not expecting the "atmosphere" that the director created in this episode. Read morePublished on January 4, 2008 by Emery Mitchamore