The Two Kingdoms by
meriol Trevor (Constable £2.20)
The two kingdoms are the two halves of Northumbria. Deira and Bernicia; the period is the seventh century, a period of such dullness that only the historical imagination at its most intense could have made anything of it, In this book, unfortunately, the author's treatment matches the dullness of her theme. The pervasively turgid style is relieved only by the "Peg's Paper" quality of the love scenes; the dialogue is lifeless.
Sentences like: "King Oswy suddenly smiled his teeth showing white in his brown face", occur with depressing frequency. The book is richly endowed with every possible cliche for glance, garb and gesture.