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The Last Valley

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  7 ratings  ·  4 reviews
The Last Valley is a 1959 historical novel by English author J. B. Pick. Set in southern Germany during the Thirty Years' War, the story centers on two individuals- a ruthless mercenary leader weary of war and a hapless intellectual fleeing destruction and starvation- as they each discover a fertile, idyllic valley, seemingly untouched by the devastation surrounding it. Th ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published 1959 by Little, Brown
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The Thirty Years War began in 1618
It started as a religious war – Catholics against Protestants.
But in their relentless pursuit of power,
princes of both faiths changed sides as it suited them,
And in the name of religion butchered Europe.

This is from the beginning from the movie The Last Valley, and it pretty much states the premise of the book. I had always been intrigued with the film, having watched it when I was younger. I was moved by the message, describing the horror of fighting over reli
Andrew Pessin
A really lovely book -- set in the middle of the 30 years war in the 17th century, the story of a village that manages NOT to get trampled by all the marauding armies -- basically a small army wanders into the hidden valley and decides to sit out the major battles outside and simply encamp there for the winter, during which some very touching relationships develop between the soldiers and the peasants, until spring comes -- and along with it, the imperialist army (catholic, holy roman empire) an ...more
The story is set in a war-ravaged Germany during the 30 years war in the early years of the 17th C. No one can remember why the war started, but everyone's boiling the stewpot further, Catholics allied with Protestants against Catholics on the one hand and Lutherans allied with Papists against Lutherans on the other, be they Swedes, Dutch, Italians, Spaniards, Poles etc. The country's an utter basketcase in which the tormented scholar Vogel has been on the run for years, fleeing one mercenary-ra ...more
Like many I expect I saw the film (Michael Caine, Omar Shariff) before I read the book. Neither has spoiled my enjoyment of the other and that is achievement in and of itself. In some places the film is word for word the text of the book and in others, especially in relation to the village priest there are some differences. Quietly impressive
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John Barclay Pick is a writer and journalist born in 1921 in Leicester. According to the jacket biography, J.B. Pick lived, at the time of publication, in Leicestershire, England. He was married to Gene Pick with two children, both sons (Peter Pick and David Pick). Pick received his education at Sidcot School, a Quaker institution in Somerset. He attended Cambridge University for a year but left a ...more
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