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Book Reviews: Down The Rabbit Hole + The Greatest Knight

Down The Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a former Playboy Bunny by Holly Madison
A ghost written whinge fest full of florid insults by a hatchet faced former kept woman of Hugh Hefner. She whines with no particular shame about mean girls, how the Playboy Mansion is full of dog piss and how Hugh Hefner does not seem to be aware that the 70s are over. Go away you no talent and take this narratively purposeless ‘book’ with you.

~
The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the power behind five English thrones by Thomas Asbridge
This excellent biography tells of the unanticipated rise of a landless younger son to revered knight to regent of England through a time of destructive conflict. Most recently you may have seen William Hurt play William Marshal in the 2010 ‘Robin Hood’. William Marshal was a Norman who was a knight, a tournament champion and served five kings (Henry II, the young king, Richard the Lionheart, John and Henry III). He was a member of the royal court, a warrior, helped draft the Magna Carta, married Strongbow’s daughter and in his 70s saved England from invasion.

Unlike many of his contemporaries he lived to be over 70 and died in his bed. His era was brutal and almost incomprehensible and he was almost forgotten for a long time. But now he is recalled and brought vividly to life in this account of the rise of the warrior aristocracy and the man who defined it.

Best Lines:
“It would fall to William Marshal to ensure that the Lionheart still had a kingdom to rule on his return.”

“Marshal had now outlived three anointed kings.”

“John would not prove to be an easy king to follow.”

“Blank disregard.”

“This desperately incautious remark.”

“I do not know the reason for the banishment, not would it be wise for me, even if I did, to speak of it or even undertake to do so.”

“Most evil robber.”

“The cost to John’s standing and reputation in the realm was ruinous.”

“England was placed under Papal interdict.”

“The tide turned irrevocably against John.”

“Foul as it is, Hell itself is made fouler by the presence of John.”

“Had now served, and survived, four crowned and anointed monarchs.”

“I have has enough of your advice.”
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