by Howard Pyle

Published by Dover Publications

A review by John Irvin


“Then why doth he not stand forth like a man and befriend me and my father openly, even if it be to his own peril?” –Myles Falworth

            From the back cover blurb:

            The year 1400 opened with more than usual peacefulness in England. Only a few months before, Richard II—weak, wicked, and treacherous—had been dethroned, and Henry IV declared King in his stead.

            But it was only a seeming peacefulness, lasting but for a little while; for though King Henry proved himself a just and merciful man—as justice and mercy went with the men of iron of those days—and though he did not care to shed blood needlessly, there were many noble families who had been benefited by King Richard during his reign, and who had lost somewhat of their power and prestige from the coming in of the new King.

            Among these were a number of great lords—the Dukes of Albermarle, Surrey, and Exeter, the Marquis of Dorset, the Earl of Gloucester, and others—who had been degraded to their former titles and estates, from which King Richard had lifted them.

            These and others brewed a secret plot to take King Henry’s life, which plot might have succeeded had not one of their own number betrayed them.

Men of Iron by Howard Pyle, A Review

            I read this book two or three times all the way through as a child and teenager. I’d always listed it as my favourite then and it’s still dear to me now.

            Today is my 100th blog post! I thought it fitting to write something about an old favourite from long ago.

            Written in Old English style, this book is a historical fiction about a boy who becomes a man—knighted and vowed to take vengeance on his father’s enemy.

            If you like to read the classics—maybe Shakespeare or Milton—Pyle’s work in this tale of a knight, his lady, and the cause of justice for his family name is one you should enjoy.

            I’m planning to get this book for a Christmas present for my nephew when he’s old enough to read and grasp the character-driven plot behind the thee’s and thou’s. Don’t tell him that, it’s our little secret.

            So, take my recommendation and click this link to go buy it: MEN OF IRON.

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