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The Best of Men (Laurence Beaumont #1)

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  25 reviews
It is 1642, and Laurence Beaumont has just returned to England after six long years fighting -- and avoiding fighting -- in the European Wars. Having fled his home to escape the responsibilities of his noble birthright, he has been a lowly infantryman in Spain, a spy for the Germans, and a cardsharp in a Dutch brothel. He has seen horrors visited upon men, women, and child ...more
Hardcover, 684 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Jonathan Cape (first published May 12th 2009)
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Tess
I received this book as a giveaway through Goodreads first reads.
Laurence Beaumont is a man who no longer wishes to live. He was betrayed by a woman, this sort of thing frequently happens to heroes they really should do something about it. In return for saving a fellow traveller he is told a prophecy about his love life and exhorted to go home. Upon returning home he meets up with a friend Ingram and through disastrous consequences an acquaintance turns out to be the man who Juana (the treachero
...more
Scotchneat
642 pages. Historial fiction. Usually, that means a hard slog, but Letemendia has a good hand when it comes to dialogue with the result being that it reads like a much lighter tome.

The eldest son of the Beaumont family returns home from fighting in the Lowlands and Spain, carrying some emotional baggage, a sort of prophecy from a Nubian slave, and some secret papers. His return is at the beginning of the English Civil War during the reign of King Charles I. I liked that Beaumont is reluctant, no
...more
Laurence O'Bryan
Hi, just started this a few days ago after a Twitter recommendation.

It's set in 1642 and is about an adventurer who returns to England at the start of the war between Charles I and the English parlimantarians and puritans, which culminated in the English Civil War and Charles' execution.

So far the war hasn't started and the protagonist, Laurence, has returned to his family near Oxford with a blighted past.

I like losing myself in a good story and I look forward to reading more.
Liz
I really enjoyed this book. A period piece with an excellent story line which showed clearly how allegiances and loyalties are divided during civil war. Nothing is what it seems initially. This one would be worth re-reading after a while.
Martin Fautley
set in the Civil War, intrigue and counter plot
Ceri (welshy)
There’s a civil war being fought in and while Laurence Beaumont is fighting in it, he’s also deciphered a coded plot with the help of his old tutor Seward. They discover that it’s a plot to kill the King but who’s written it and who was written too?
Set in England in 1642, it’s told in the third person narrative. This book was ok, I especially liked the character of Beaumont who stands to gain a lot with his noble birthright but being a bit of a cad he just doesn’t find it appealing. The other ch
...more
Brittany
Dec 02, 2009 Brittany rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of historical fiction, those studying the civil war
How I Came To Read This Book: I believe Random House sent me a galley copy awhile back.

The Plot: Laurence Beaumont is a noble-born Englishman returned to his home country after six years spent abroad. A ruffian of sorts known as everything from a military turncoat to a conniving cardsharp, Beaumont's family is delighted at his return and the prospect of him taking on his title and family estate. However before he can worry about such things, Beaumont is thrust into matters of state as he uncover
...more
Lamepun
Reasons you should read this book:

- if you have nothing else to read and just want something long and involved, with history, romance (sex), action, then sure, it's okay.

Reasons I didn't like this book:

- the writing was perfectly adequate but bland.

- the protagonist is so 'perfect'. Like, he displays twenty-first century attitudes towards sexuality, race and religion, and everyone else is a product of their time.

- supposedly, he's 'the best of men' but to me he seems like a bit of a prick.
...more
P.d.r. Lindsay

I really wanted to enjoy this book. I’d read the author review in the Historical Novel Society’s journal. I knew she’d spent 10 years researching and writing the novel. The size - nearly 700 pages - didn’t put me off. The cover information said that in 1642 one man had to unravel a coded plot to kill the King. Great I thought this would be a 17thC C.J. Sansom style, political intrigue plot which I really enjoy. Everything should have added up to a good read. So why did I not enjoy the book.

I t
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Teresa
Our “hero”, Laurence Beaumont, is back in England in 1642 after a period of fighting in the European Wars. However, keeping a low profile is not on the agenda, as Beaumont has accidentally come into possession of coded letters which include a plot to assasinate King Charles I. What ensues is an historical romp taking in the lives of peasants and noblemen, action on the battlefield and in the bedroom.

Beaumont is an exciting, vibrant character and he has an excellent supporting cast although I fee
...more
Regina
I won the book on Goodreads. I loved the book. The historical detail and intrigue, romance and twists and turns of the events of the time were capturing. The presentation is well researched making you feel as though you are really there. For me the story worked very well and I recommend the book to anyone who is into historical fiction and enjoys a story with many angles and facets.
Irish
If you are into intrigue, suspense and action then this book is for you. The historical detail is overwhelmingly and it is used to further draw the reader into the story. The characters work well together. The aristocrats, the politicians, the betrayal and the betrayed. It is one of those books that are hard to put down.
Vontel
Interesting historical fiction taking place during the English civil war/wars, 1642-1651. It preceded Oliver Cromwell's "rule"--the subject of Hilary Mantell's books. I'll look forward to Letemendia's next book, as I'm sure there will be, although let's hope it doesn't take another 10 years.
Lissa
Overall the novel was good. On a scale from 1 to 10 I would give it a 6. I liked the characters Laurence Beaumont and Mistress Isabella Savage. I thought that they were meant to be together.

Throughout the novel I was often confused if the novel was during the present time or just a memory from the past. As well, I wasn't sure who was speaking to whom several times through the novel.

I would have prefered more description of each character. When I read a novel, I like to picture it in my head. (I
...more
Patricia
Great historical read. Though I do have to admit this type of book is my indulgence--a big read to get lost in and in a time period of so much roughness and intrigue and romance. Most enjoyable.
Phyllida
Another rollicking good read! Looking forward to the sequel due out this year.
The Commuting Bookworm
Only just started this, this morning. Its a bit of a house brick becuase it is hard back, but got to page 32, and its got me gripped already so looking hopefull. The main charecter seems to be Laurence Beaumont and I can already see how his path has passed with other charector just coming in to it. this story is set just as the Civil war is about to start, in 1642, so its a bit later than my favourite period but I won't hold that against it.

I was quite impressed with this debut book
Chloé
**I received it via First Reads**
Wow. What a book. Seriously, do not get afraid by the fact that it's historical fiction or that it has a couple hundred pages. It is superb - and a page-turner. You get captured by the story and cannot stop reading it. It does feel like a movie, the writing is wonderful and the storyline is intriguing. You won't regret reading it, it is worth it until the very end. A beautiful surprise overall.
Irish
It is a great historical fictional. The work is well researched and presented making it easy for the reader to believe that they are there. The characters work well together and the dialogue carries you along keeping you flipping the pages... it has all the elements of history, romance, allegiance, war and deceit all a making of a great story.
Gus Glen
No more or less than I expected, a book you pretty much can judge by it's cover. A well-researched historical novel with all the usual sub-plots of conspiracy and romance.
I quite enjoyed it and would have finished it much more quickly if it hadn't been for the lure of playing angry birds, which has seriously eaten into my reading time.
Lonna Cunningham
Interesting and engaging characters, a view of a time in history I knew very little about, which made it more interesting as I truly did not know how it would all play out. The details of everyday life certainly made the tale come alive, and I certainly enjoyed the book.
Lori
I enjoyed this book so much, I went right out and bought the sequel, "The License of War."
Jessica
Solidly written and pretty well plotted, if a bit tough to follow in places.
Mary G.
What an epic story. It would be great movie. It really captured my interest.
Susan
Susan marked it as to-read
Oct 29, 2014
Keelia
Keelia marked it as to-read
Oct 21, 2014
Irina
Irina marked it as to-read
Sep 25, 2014
Kristen McDermott
Kristen McDermott marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2014
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Aka V.C. Letemendia

Claire Letemendia was born and raised in Oxford, England, and lives in Toronto. After completing a doctorate in Political Theory and lecturing for some years, she chose to pursue a career as a writer and editor. Since childhood, she has been fascinated by the English Civil War. The Best of Men, ten years in the making, is her first novel.
More about Claire Letemendia...
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