A Standard of Literature Feb 21, 2013
by Donald N
A fan of historical novels, I first read Man on a Donkey some 50 years ago. In the first few pages something struck me: I couldn't find any words of Latin origin. The writing had the fresh, bold, raw sounds of Anglo-Saxon. The effect was a presence so vivid that I could feel the textures of the fabrics and feel the world Ms. Prescott depicts. And it is an exciting world, with the visions of a maid, the savagery of Henry VIII, the heroism of his victims, the realistic mix of virtues and vices. Moreover, it is genuine history in splendid writing. Now I can't help measuring all other writing according to this standard, to my mind the greatest novel in English.