Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Serpent's Tale

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The Serpent's Tale

By Ariana Franklin

The Serpent's Tale
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    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Jan 2008,
    384 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2009,
    416 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Kathy Pierson

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About this Book

Beyond the Book

The Serpent's Tale is set during a richly interesting time in English history (approximately the same time period as Ken Follet's The Pillars of the Earth and Ellis Peters's Cadfael novels, which many may know best through the 1990s TV series starring Derek Jacobi). Through Adelia's all-access pass to Henry II, readers hear tell of ongoing political intrigues and scheming power plays. Threads of these histories can become tangled quickly; so, a cursory overview of royal lineage and a simplified path of the English crown may prove helpful in illuminating some the historical events that form the backdrop to The Serpent's Tale.


A Plantagenet Primer
Henry II (1133-1189), the first Plantagenet* king, was born and brought up in France but lived to rule England for 35 years. His name will always be tied obliquely to the murder of Archbishop Thomas à Becket at Canterbury Cathedral in 1170, even though he's often lauded as one of the most effective of all ...

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