In a Dark Wood Wandering: A Novel of the Middle Ages

In a Dark Wood Wandering A Novel of the Middle Ages In this novel set in the th century during the Hundred Years War between France and England Hella Haasse brilliantly captures all the drama of one of the great ages of history

  • Title: In a Dark Wood Wandering: A Novel of the Middle Ages
  • Author: Hella S. Haasse Anita Miller
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 199
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • In this novel, set in the 15th century during the Hundred Years War between France and England, Hella Haasse brilliantly captures all the drama of one of the great ages of history.

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      Published :2019-07-13T15:25:02+00:00


    About “Hella S. Haasse Anita Miller

    • Hella S. Haasse Anita Miller

      Hella S Haasse 1918 2011 was born in Batavia, modern day Jakarta She moved to the Netherlands after secondary school In 1945 she debuted with a collection of poems, entitled Stroomversnelling Momentum She made her name three years later with the novella given out to mark the Dutch Book Week, Oeroeg The Black Lake, 1948 As with much of her work, this tale of the friendship between a Dutch and an Indonesian boy has gained the status of a classic in the Netherlands Titles such as Het woud der verwachting In a Dark Wood Wandering, 1949 , Een nieuwer testament Threshold of Fire, 1966 and Mevrouw Bentinck of Onverenigbaarheid van karakter Mrs Bentinck or Irreconcilable in Character, 1978 have been greatly enjoyed by several generations.



    508 thoughts on “In a Dark Wood Wandering: A Novel of the Middle Ages

    • This is a beautiful translation of a masterpiece of medieval historical fiction. It is a story about loyalty, love and loss. It is about France during the Hundred Years' War with England, and in particular the life of Charles, Duke of Orléans. The book starts with the christening procession of baby Charles, but most of the first part of the book describes the terrible state that France was in at that time. The king, Charles VI was insane, the nobles were fighting amongst themselves, the populac [...]


    • Assassination of Louis I, Duke of Orleans, in 1407Hélène "Hella" Serafia Haasse is far better known in Europe, and particularly in the Netherlands, than she is in the U.S. She has been called the “Grand Old Lady” of Dutch literature. Born in 1918 in the Dutch East Indies, in her early years she moved repeatedly with her family back and forth between various places in the Netherlands’ colonies in SE Asia, and to the Netherlands itself on occasion. She was about twenty when she settled in [...]


    • I’ve always been interested in the period of the Hundred Years' War, the battle between France and England that inspired many stellar moments in Literature and Theatre. This book by Hella S.Haasse immediately attracted my attention (partly due to its beautiful cover) and it came highly recommended by esteemed friends and many members of our community. Now, upon finishing this opus, I can say that I enjoyed it -at parts- but there were certain issues that prevent me from classifying it among t [...]


    • In a Dark Wood Wandering: A Novel of the Middle Ages is a vast multi-generational saga set in the first decades of 15th century France and England. It’s not an easy read but it is deeply satisfying, filled with wonderful characters and by the end I felt that I had survived terrible times in a world so completely different from our own as to almost defy comprehension. At the center of the story is Charles of Orleans, son of Louis, Duke of Orleans and Valentine Visconti. Charles is an unlikely h [...]


    • Many years ago I went through a stage when I read every historical novel I could get my hands on, from Gone With The Wind through all of Cecilia Holland's fine tales. For years since I have avoided them until I ran across a review of Hella Haasse's In A Dark Wood Wandering, Originally written in Dutch in 1949 - it was wildly popular in Holland - it was not completely translated into English until 1989. Most of the work had been completed years earlier, but the death of the translator and subsequ [...]


    • This is beyond exceptional. 6 star historical fiction as it is rarely, rarely written any longer. This is translated from the Dutch and holds all the verse in French. Completely within medieval eyes of the Charles, Duke d'Orleans (1394-1465). This character's birth and Baptism herald the first pages, and his last breaths, the last. But primarily it is the tale of French nobility during that dangerous 15th century- and especially during the 100 years War with England as the primary adversary. Fra [...]


    • I have read this book many times and absolutely love it. If you're interested in Medieval French history or the Hundred Years War this is the best of the best."In a Dark Wood Wandering" is tied with "Gone With the Wind" as my favorite book of all time.


    • The drama of the Hundred Years War is not easily forgotten. Neither are the royal cast of characters from France’s mad King Charles VI, his wife and Queen Isabeau, his brother Louis, his nephew Charles d’ Orleans to England’s Richard II and Henry Bolingbroke. These are just the beginning of the characters Hella Haasse brings to life in her novel, “In a Dark Wood Wandering: A Novel of the Middle Ages”. It has been oft-noted in other reviews that Haasse’s almost 100-age prologue deters [...]


    • This wonderful novel depicting the life and times of Charles of Orleans has been sitting in my "to be read" mountain for a long time. I was hesitant to read it because I thought that in some ways it would be dry and dull.I was wrong, very wrong. A surprisingly "readable" novel, that brings the characters and times to life on the page. Well worth a look at for a glimpse of a fascinating period.


    • Not much like the historical fiction being published these days, which tends to sensationalize as well as glamorize the lives of kings, queens, and courtiers. This reads more like history, which is how it should be. It is also a very fine work of literary imagination as well as careful historical research. Really quite beautiful. The story of the life of Charles d'Orleans, nephew to Charles VI of France, who was a dreamy reclusive boy until he was thrust into the middle of a blood feud after the [...]


    • Internationally, ‘Het woud der verwachting’ by Hella Haasse (‘In a dark wood wandering’) is her magnum opus. And rightfully so.(It has taken me some time. That’s partly due to logistics and my laziness: I read mainly in public transportation, forensing. The dimensions and the weight of my edition made me read this novel only at home, with other priorities over here. As a side effect, in the mean time I have read a number of other books. Hence this one took me from April 17 to June 2 to [...]


    • Historical fiction is not easy to write, with the result being most books that fall into that genre are simply unbelievable. However, Hella Haasse hit the bullseye with this magnificent volume based on the life of Charles d'Orleans, who lived during the turbulent 15th century and the Hundred Years War between France and England.The reader is pulled into the fabric of the Houses of Orleans, Valois, Burgundy, and Berry. Each character has a solid foundation so the reader buys into their motives, w [...]


    • Surprisingly compelling. I expected this one to be very dry, especially because it's a book in translation -- and not a recent translation, at that. And it does have a dryness about it, admittedly, but it worked for me in this context. I think I learnt more about French history from this than I've learnt anywhere else (except maybe that book on Joan of Arc and Yolande of Aragon).Unfortunately, I read this over quite a loooong period of time, because dissertations are distracting, so my memories [...]


    • This is one of my favorite books and this is the third time I'm reading it in 10 years. (partly because I love it and partly because I have a poor memory.)It's a nice long book with Dukes and Duchesses, Kings and Knights. And so well written I get lost in it. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to disappear into a good read.


    • 2.5 / 5Poehhh, het is me na 147 dagen zowaar gelukt om dit uit te krijgen. Op zich heeft Haasse niks verkeerd gedaan met dit boek, omdat het eigenlijk onmogelijk is om zo'n ingewikkelde geschiedenis gevuld met intriges, geredetwist, kuise juffers, struise prinsessen, korzelige hofmeesters en wrevelige koningen zowel begrijpelijk als boeiend te houden. Op het gebied van begrijpelijkheid is Haasse wel geslaagd. Ondanks de ingewikkelde onderlinge relaties van de feodale heren (die om de 10 pagina's [...]


    • The dilemma of any historical novel is the question: Is it history or literature? No doubt, in part due to Shakespeare, most English-speaking readers have a confident familiarity with the English monarchial succession: Richard II, Henry IV (Bolingbroke), Henry V (Prince Hal), and Henry VI. The narrative arc and heroic-tragic framework create a compelling literary treatment of the Hundred Years' War. Aside from Jeanne d'Arc, however, the dramatis personae on the continent remain obscure. Haasse's [...]


    • A real classic, a passionate, poetic and moving novel which captures the colur and feeling of 15th century France.This compelling epic brings to life the Hundred Years War through the life of Duke Charles D'Orleans,son of the Louis of Orleans and the ambitious and alluring Valentine Visconti. Charles at a young age marries the young widow of English King Richard II, Isabelle of France. After Isabelle's death he marries the young girl that will become the love of his life Bonne of Armagnac.After [...]


    • Writers have a natural reason to find the minds of other writers interesting—hence, the proportion of literary figures represented among the heroes of biographical novels is high compared to the general population. Hella S. Haasse, in this case, was attracted by Charles d’Orléans (1394 –1465), the author of celebrated poems. There was so much more to fill a 600-page novel than just the writer’s inner life, however; few poets have the fortune to be a royal prince of France, or the misfor [...]


    • This is one of the best historical fiction novels I've read, and that encompasses quite a few. Many historical fiction writers try to form-fit history into a romantic tale, when history tends to the comic, tragic or simply outrageous. Happy endings in the Middle Ages did not come to many families, be they Princes and Dukes, or lowly serfs. Hella Haasse does not force history into a narrative; instead her narrative flows through it, bringing the story along, as she teases out the powerful forces [...]


    • I started the book, started , and then vanished from the face of the earth. I'm back now. It was a thick read, but I enjoyed most of it. What I liked best (and what I believe the book is best known for) is all the great historical details you get by reading about one man's life. This is the kind of history I like best -- what people wore, how they thought, what their lives were like. What was expected of this person in his relationship to his mother, or this person in relation to men she didn't [...]


    • Now that's what I call historical novel! Thoroughly researched, beautifully narrated. Haasse managed to squeeze in 600 pages a massive piece of French- English history, number of historical figures, some better known, some almost forgotten. She presented character of Charles D'Orleans in a very favorable light topping her account with contrasting accounts by his contemporaries. Charles' dialog with king Louis XI is nearly like a counterpoint to everything we were asked to believe about him and h [...]


    • Abandoned. Twice. I found an old bookmark in it at p.120; tried again for a group read and with more incentive got to p.248. But I'm fairly bored. The insane king of France I felt a strong pity for and I persisted for him. Otherwise I don't care about the people, while the plot only depresses me: it's about dukes' feuds, the elite houses of France in-fighting, and I can't care about the fight, either. Nobody's standing up for a cause I can sympathise with, it's just power-struggle, and that's ra [...]


    • This wonderful historical novel was one of the first I read as an adult and it started me down quite the path. An extremely well written and researched book, it created the benchmark that I believe all historical fiction should strive for.


    • Nee, de status van het boek klopt niet, dat weet ik. Ik heb dit boek niet uitgelezen. Maar waar ik de paar keer dat ik met een boek ben gestopt, dat deed omdat het 'nu' niet ging - om wat voor reden dan ook - maar op een later tijdstip vast wel, daar stop ik nu met dit boek terwijl ik niet van plan ben om het ooit nog weer op te pakken om te lezen.Niet omdat Helle Haasse niet goed schrijft - want dat is niet zo, althans Als Haasse er naar gestreefd heeft om aansprekende hoofdpersonen neer te zet [...]


    • This took place during the period of the Hundred Years War in medieval France. It was mainly through the eyes of Charles d'Orleans from childhood until the end of his life. It was easy to understand and relate to Charles and his viewpoints, although his ideals kept him a hostage prisoner in England for a long time. The other main characters, too, were easy to understand and relate, too, and of course, we've all known a number of people who share the familiar characteristics. Joan of Arc appeared [...]


    • Withdrawn from Kirklees Libraries Museums and ArtsTranslated by Lewis C Kaplan. Revised and Edited by Anita Miller.A map of England and France circa 1410Cast of Major Characters - November 24, 1394Family trees of the four houses-Valois-Orléans-Burgundy-BerryThe introduction is a story unto itself.Prologue:In the middle of the journey of our life,I found myself in a dark wood,For the straight way was lost. - Dante AlighieriOpening: Valentine, Duchess of Orléans, lay in her green-curtained bed o [...]


    • This is one of the best historical novels I've read and was almost, but not quite, a 5 star!! The ONLY drawback was not having a bit more of the Maid of Orleans (she was so important to this era) and an explanation on the demise of the Duke of Burgundy. I made a guess but no substantiation as to what happened. Hella Haasse did a great deal of research to pull this story off and I certainly appreciated it. This was a translation and I can't imagine someone doing a better job. I could smell the ai [...]


    • Couldn't finish this one. I guess I wasn't in the mood.This might be worth another shot someday. I really liked the other two by this author I read: The Scarlet City and Threshold of Fire: a novel of fifth century Rome. Maybe it lacked something in translation, I don't knowIsn't the title a quote from Dante's Inferno?


    • I read this book many years ago. It is one of the best fictional accounts of the French Monarchy in the middle ages ever written. This book was first published in 1949. I didn't get my hands on it until the early 90s, and I loved it then. I may read this one again just for fun. If you are at all interested in European History, or the Middle Ages, this one is highly recommended.


    • I was caught with wonder by the quest of Charles d'Orleans, who becomes a kind of medieval Everyman. The novel is slow but rich and satisfying, with descriptions that evoke the spirit of medieval France and of the long journey of this life.


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