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The Forest by Edward Rutherfurd

Updated on October 19, 2014

The Forest is a historical novel that covers a thousand years in the life of people who lived in The New Forest, which is an area of environmental interest on the south coast of England.

This area was designated a royal hunting area by William of Normandy when he became King of England having defeated the English at the battle of Hastings in 1066AD.

The book begins soon after this event, focusing on settlements in the area and families that lived there at the time, some factual and some fictional.


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The first section of the book delves into mystery that has never been solved, who killed William Rufus, King William II, the son of William of Normandy. The king was hunting in the New Forest when he was shot with an arrow and killed, but nobody knows for sure who shot the arrow and whether it was an accident or intentional.

Subsequent sections cover other significant periods in English history, such as The Spanish Armada of 1588, the division of England between Protestants and Catholics, the English Civil War, the Monmouth Rebellion and much more.

If you enjoy reading about life in the Middle Ages and love historical novels in general, this is a good read for you.

Edward Rutherfurd has done a tremendous amount of research on the area when writing this book and it shows. He brings the area in the Middle Ages to life, painting wonderful mental images of what it must have been like to live in Medieval England under Norman rule, and in the centuries that followed.

The stories follow generations of several families who lived in parts of the forest, and great attention is placed on detail of the relationships, encounters, and ways of life of the people of each time period.

This author has also written a number of other historical novels which come highly rated, and if stories about England hundreds of years ago interest you, Edward Rutherfurd is an author that you should become acquainted with.

I have definitely enjoyed reading The Forest this past summer and I highly recommend it.

Have You Been To The New Forest?

Have You Been To This Lovely Place?

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More About The New Forest

Since we are fortunate enough to live close to The New Forest we visit often, and there are some lovely places that we love to walk and drive through where we can admire the scenery and the wildlife.

I created another page that features The New Forest, so if you would like to learn and see more, just CLICK HERE.

Have you read this book or any others by Edward Rutherfurd? Do you like historical fiction? Please leave a comment to let me know what you think.

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    • TonyPayne profile image
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      Tony Payne 3 years ago from Southampton, UK

      @Adventuretravels: It is a lovely area isn't it. I feel so lucky to have grown up in this part of the world.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      I love the new forest, the ponies and the landscape. It's near the sea too! I used to live there long ago -I miss it terribly at times. I haven't read this book but it sounds very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    • Expat Mamasita profile image

      Expat Mamasita 3 years ago from Slovakia

      I haven't read any of Edward Rutherford's books but you have certainly tempted me with this one.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I'm not much of a fiction reader, in fact, I really never read fiction - do love business/marketing/history/politics though :)

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