- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Lion Fiction; 1st New edition edition (October 27, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1782641548
- ISBN-13: 978-1782641544
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,071,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Abbess of Whitby: A Novel of Hild of Northumbria Paperback – October 27, 2015
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"Jill Dalladay has presented us with a well-crafted novel about one of the most enigmatic women in early Christian times in England. Hild was abbess and teacher at Whitby and is today venerated as a saint. From her pagan upbringing, her conversion to Christianity, her story is presented with a shape eye for historic detail together with finely drawn characters. This is a skillful and accomplished writing." (Peter Tremayne, author of The Sister Fidelma Mysteries 2015-07-03)
About the Author
Jill Dalladay is a classicist, historian, and former head teacher who pioneered the Cambridge Latin course. She lives in Whitby, England.
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Top customer reviews
It is in the third section, depicting Hild's life as a Christian and founder of two missions and the Abbey at Whitby, where the novel loses some of its force and vitality. It is still interesting, but it is as if Dalladay had to cover the last thirty years of Hild's life getting in all the known facts. Describing in greater detail Hild's religious development and her actual work training others would have kept the story at the same level of intensity of the first two parts. The famous Synod of Whitby where the conflict between the Roman Church and the Celtic Church came to a head also deserved more detail. However, the novel is exceptionally crafted and brings to life real people and events (the characterization of Wilfred is particularly vivid) of a tumultuous time. Readers who are knowledgeable about the time will enjoy this novel. Readers for whom the 7th century is a vast unknown should still enjoy a well told tale but might want to look up information about the kings, the religious leaders, and the events of this violent, turbulent yet fascinating age.
The title was very misleading as she did not become the Abbess of Whitby until the very end of the book; had the book started out with the end of her life and used a ‘flashback’ on her early life it would have made more sense. The first two parts of the book was about her family and her life before she resolved to dedicate her life to serving the monastery. Part three was about her conversion; I felt like that the jump from pagan to Christian was abrupt and rather flat, no inner struggle or self-questioning—for the time period it would have been a major life change. As a Medieval history buff, the book was very detailed in historical events however I found the character development was often overlooked to keep the story moving forward. The book kept my attention for the first 2/3 of the book and then I struggled with the last 100 or so pages. I would recommend to people interested in the time period but with reservations…
I loved reading Hild's story. Because this author as the previous one mentioned, bases the novel on real characters and events, I was able to follow along with what was happening to characters I had learned about from the other series. It was interesting to read the different authors' interpretation of historical events. And when I came across characters mentioned in the other books, it was like meeting old friends.
The book is very well-written. The character development is very complete, and I felt as if I got to know Hild well. I love the time period, and, because the author does such a good job of weaving in real characters and events, I learned more and more about the historical period.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Abbess of Whitby. I give it 5 stars and a PG rating.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.
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