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The Wedding Shroud (Tales of Ancient Rome #1)

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  1,146 Ratings  ·  168 Reviews
This Australian paperback version of the book is no longer available. Please see the world territory edition ISBN 9780987340719.

Unfortunately, prior editions of books can't be removed from the Goodreads site once added. Apologies for any confusion.

"All the drama and sensuality of an historical romance, plus a sensitivity to the realities of life in a very different time an
Paperback, 486 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Pier 9
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Khanh (the Grinch)
May 17, 2013 Khanh (the Grinch) rated it it was ok
A meticulously researched and well-written book that falls short of my expectations overall because of the weakness of the main character and the absolutely ridiculous turn of the plot after the second half. Warning: this is a very long review, containing a lot of ranting and disbelief on the reviewer's part.

Caecelia is a young Roman half-caste. Her mother was a noblewoman brought down from her high station in life by her marriage with a commoner, as a stragegic alliance, which brought her no en
Lauren K
May 21, 2011 Lauren K rated it it was amazing
This review was first posted @ The Australian Bookshelf

It has been awhile since I have given a five star rating to a novel and The Wedding Shroud is certainly worthy of this. If I wasn’t a fan of historical romance before, I certainly am now! The Wedding Shroud is a tale of early Rome and it had me hooked from the very first page.

At 18 years of age, Caecilia has only ever experienced genuine love and care from one man in her life, her father. When he dies she is sent away to live with her aunt
Feb 23, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: australia, c21st, 11review
I hope that Elisabeth Storrs has written the sequel to The Wedding Shroud by the time I set off on my next long-haul flight. It’s always difficult to find the right book to while away the long hours: I want something not too arduous for a brain disoriented by lack of sleep and muddled time zones, but I don’t want my mind insulted by inane pap either…

The Wedding Shroud is a well-written historical novel with a twist. It’s set way back in Rome’s ancient past when they were yet to become the most p
Judith Starkston
The subtitle of this historical romance is “A Tale of Early Rome,” but it should also say “A Tale of the Etruscans.” I always think of the Etruscans as a mysterious people predating and then overlapping with the Romans before disappearing from history—about whom, I thought, we knew very little. Elisabeth Storrs showed me how fully their world can be imagined based on the evidence of archaeology and ancient sources. From translucent silken gowns, gold embossed mirrors, realistic paintings, ...more
Sep 11, 2015 Kazy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
*Received from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review*

This was an infuriating read. I didn't want to continue, but had to know what happened at the end of the story. I didn't want to continue because quite frankly, I got bored. There was too much detail. Things were explained too much. The traditions and religion was spoken of too often. More than needed to understand the story. But I had to keep going because I wanted to know if Caecilia fell in love with Mastarna, and vice versa. If Masta
Ben Kane
Oct 17, 2012 Ben Kane rated it really liked it
Elisabeth Storrs first became fascinated with the mysterious Etruscan people, ancient neighbours and enemies of the city of Rome, when she saw the remarkable funerary carving that depicts a husband and wife under the same shroud. It is a picture of equality between the sexes that would never have been seen (at least as far as we know) in Rome. Driven by her fascination with this, she set about writing a novel that has as its central character a young Roman woman, Caecilia, but which is primarily ...more
May 29, 2015 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book more than I did.
Set in 406 BC, this novel told of a political marriage between an unwilling Roman girl and a noble Etruscan meant to bring peace between two cities who hate each other. The opening sentence "Her whole world was orange" grabbed me--her Roman wedding. She returns to Veii with her husband, is married in Etruscan rites but then the book lost me halfway through. She does nothing to accept her husband's culture until she's under the influence of an aphrodisi
Dec 28, 2011 Hafiza rated it really liked it
I love Historical Fiction, but I am tired of the usual Tudor-Anglo-French setting.
When I saw this book with a heroine centric focus set in Ancient Rome- I was exited.
The plot was really engrossing and I found myself reluctant to put it down.
The historical details were fascinating and it is obvious that the Author spent a lot of time in researching the background.
The writing was smooth, the pace was good.

However the heroine Cecelia was a ninny. It's hard to give a book 5 stars when you want to ki
I’m an avid reader of Historical Fiction and I was not disappointed with this fascinating story that takes in early Rome before they were the most powerful. I don’t believe I’ve read about early Rome so this was the perfect book to start with. The plot was masterfully written and the character building is inspiring. The author depicts Caecilia in a light to admire. She is a heroine I would like to read more about. I hope there will be a sequel to this fabulous story.
Dec 30, 2010 Tracy rated it it was amazing
Elisabeth Storrs resurrects the lost world of the Etruscans in her masterful novel The Wedding Shroud set in 407 B.C. Long overshadowed by the Romans, the earlier Etruscan culture of ancient Italy is brilliantly revealed through the eyes of the novel's heroine, a young Roman woman named Caecilia. The daughter of an awkward plebian and patrician union, Caecilia is used to seal a peace treaty between Rome and Veii, a nearby Etruscan city. Her scheming male relatives force her to marry Vel ...more
b00k r3vi3ws
Apr 02, 2015 b00k r3vi3ws rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copy
I do love historical fiction and also a good romance. Club them together, add some political twists and some drama – I am sold!

Cecelia has been brought up as a modest young woman – as expected from Roman women in those days. Growing up, she knew love in two forms. First from her loving father who died when she was still very young. Then she met Drusus, her cousin’s friend while living under the guardianship of her uncle. Drusus and Cecelia loved each other and wanted to get married, but her unc
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘This is our wedding shroud’, he said, ‘Eventually it will embrace us in death.’

‘The Wedding Shroud’ opens in 406 BCE, and brings to imagined life the Etruscan culture of ancient Italy. The novel’s heroine, a young Roman woman named Caecilia – the daughter of a patrician mother and a plebeian father – is married off to secure a peace treaty between Rome and Veii. Caecilia is married to Vel Mastarna, a powerful and wealthy Veientane in Rome, and then is taken to Veii where a second marriage cerem
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
A beautiful, detail rich, historical fiction story that simply amazed me. I was surprised I didn't let the beginning frustrate me since I have a tendency to give up on books that have a lot of unfamiliar detail that I must learn. And boy did I learn plenty from this book.

I knew nothing about the Etruscans before this book. I'm sure I was taught about the war between the Etruscan city of Veii and Rome but before this book, I'll tell you I didn't care to remember anything I previously learned. Yo
Jan 24, 2013 Marg rated it really liked it
Shelves: aww2013
I really want to know what happened next!
Jul 04, 2012 James rated it it was amazing
It has been almost a year since I picked up the work of an Australian historical novelist.

The last 'Aussie' novel I read was the epic ‘Shogun’ by Sydneysider James Clavell. It was a work that was full of rich detail and also presented a meeting of two very different worlds: those of Protestant England and feudal Japan. Since historical fiction focusing on the meeting of different cultures has always intrigued me, I decided to pick up ‘The Wedding Shroud’ by another Sydneysider, Elisabeth Storrs
Emmeline (The Book Herald)
I was kindly given this ARC by Lake Union Publishing in return for an honest review.

"I am Aemilia Caeciliana. Today I am Rome. I must endure."

What. A. Tale!

Okay, this book in terms of the research and the depiction of the time period, it was stunning.
If you ever wanted to know what the Etruscans were like, then here is a book that delves deeply in cultural practices, religion, and marital rights, etc...

Honestly, so many things in this book made me cringe. Not necessarily in a bad way, it's j
Mar 22, 2015 M.L. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Wedding Shroud Interesting time period. Historical details are well written and well-placed in the flow of the book. It would be difficult to get them all right no matter your pedigree and readers will always find fault or quibble with some detail. For me there were two jarring occurrences. One was the use of the word angel several times in Caecelia’s expression of worship of different deities. I realize that this word that conveys a Judeo-Christian concept to me can represent something ...more
May 22, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel was very unusual, different to what I had imagined when I started it, but I came to really enjoy it. The author did a wonderful job in portraying the contrasts between the two cities Veii and Rome--only twelve miles apart and yet vastly different. The central character Caecilia is Roman born yet Etruscan wed and it is her altering perspectives that we as the reader are shown throughout the novel. I really liked Caecilia and therefore found myself connected to her story.
The reason I fo
Deborah Pickstone
Caecelia is rather irritating but - she is a young woman, a girl, really, and I think she's fairly true to many girls of her age at marriage. Stubborn, that is. Also xenophobic, which I am sure would have been true!

We know next to nothing about the Etruscans, so Ms Storrs really had a clear field and has imagined a rather attractive lifestyle with some less nice and definitely not politically correct add-ons. Rome presents as quite unpleasant; I think her heart was in Etruria from the outset!

I w
Summer Ann
I only got about 25% into the book but I had to give up. The main protagonist was just completely unlikable to me.
Gary Inbinder
Dec 02, 2011 Gary Inbinder rated it it was amazing
Rome and Veii - 406. B.C. Eighteen year old Caecilia, the orphaned daughter of a plebian Tribune and his patrician wife, is given in marriage by her maternal uncle and adoptive father Aemilius to Etruscan nobleman, Vel Mastarna. The political marriage is ostensibly intended to cement a shaky truce between the two warring cities. Caecilia has formed attachments to two young Roman patricians, her cousin Marcus and his best friend Drusus; she feels no attraction to Mastarna, a battle scarred enemy ...more
Nov 29, 2012 Lucy rated it really liked it
Elisabeth Storrs brings us life in the Etruscan times when Rome and Veii (an Etruscan city merely 12 miles away)were enemies. The heroine, Caecilia, a Roman born from a plebian father and patrician mother (back then a problem from the onset), is given in marriage to a Veii as a peace treaty of the two regions.

Caecillia, having been brought up as a cloistered and extremely modest young Roman girl, is brought into a world that in every way contrasts her own. Married to Val Mastarna, a wealthy and
Jan 05, 2013 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a good book. It's complex yet not hard to understand, and it has amazing characters that linger on in the mind (yes, I'm thinking of Mastarna.) I fell in love a little with him, and wow, the way the book ends, you really root for this couple.

I've seen some comments about Caecilia and would like to add my two cents. She's just 18 when BOOM, she's told she's being given in marriage to a man (a complete stranger, and 20 years older than her) who is the enemy of Rome! (It's some politi
M. Locke
Nov 17, 2011 M. Locke rated it it was amazing
A Compelling story of Ancient Rome and the Etruscans

Talk about the difficulties in arranged marriages! In The Wedding Shroud, author Elisabeth Storrs tells the story of a Roman woman, Caecilia, who is wed to a complete stranger, the Etruscan noble, Vel Marstarna, in order to cement a truce between the two nations. Caecilia has already experienced the difficulties of being the offspring of a marriage between a commoner and a patrician, never fully fitting into Roman society, when she is further t
I love how kindles can make a chunky, long historical fiction book manageable. yesterday i took the long flight home from spain to san francisco alone, and this book kept me company. it just drew me in right from the start. i loved how descriptive it was, so much can tell that she really spent a ton of time doing her historical research. i've seen things in museums about the etruscans, studied them a teency bit in college, but they were never really brought to life the way they were ...more
Jan 14, 2013 Natalie rated it really liked it
Wow. What a fascinating time period to read about. This historical fiction novel takes place in 406 BC in the ancient civilization of Veii. I would like to do more research about the Etruscan people as it was very interesting! This civilization was quite powerful and more advanced than their neighbor Rome, which was just 12 miles away. The unusual thing about this society was their apparent equality among men and women. Women were encouraged to help in business, attend meetings and social events ...more
Debra Eve
Feb 12, 2012 Debra Eve rated it it was amazing
Several other reviews have given plot specifics, so I'll skip those and discuss what I love about this book. I'm a former archaeologist who left the field because "publish or perish" almost killed my passion for the it. These days, I'm always looking for stories that bring ancient sites and cultures to life.

I know Elisabeth must have read hundreds of academic journals to impart such detail to her story, but she does it so seamlessly, you feel you've been transported to Italy in the fifth centur
Victoria Brown
Oct 28, 2012 Victoria Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing The Wedding Shroud, I realized why it took Ms. Storrs ten years to write it. The history of the ancient Romans and the Etruscans of Veii in 406 to 405 BC was meticulously researched. The story moved along quite well, and I was completely engaged in what was going to happen with Caecilia and Mastarna. It was especially interesting to learn about the differences between the two cultures in regards to women. However, a personal comment: there were a few occasions where I felt the ...more
Dec 28, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: love-it
Loved the way Elisabeth Storrs paints such a vivid and personal picture of life during this tumultuous time in Italy's history. It really brought to life my studies of ancient cultures many years ago. Also loved the courageous yet uncertain and vulnerable main character. On reaching the end I couldn't read the last two pages and had to put the book aside for a while, 1. because I didn't want the story to end, and 2. I needed to gather myself before standing and facing the heroine's final ...more
Julie Rose
Sep 25, 2013 Julie Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved how quickly and seamlessly I was immersed in Etruscan (and early Roman) life. This was a fascinating view into those cultures, but even more, it was a compelling story of cultural identity (and a nice love story to boot). I learned a lot, and I was particularly pleased that Caecilia was not anachronistic--she acted and reacted as (one presumes) a girl raised in that time and place would. Looking forward to getting the next book!
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Elisabeth Storrs has long held an interest in the history, myths and legends of the ancient world. She is an Australian author and graduated from the University of Sydney in Arts Law, having studied Classics. She lives with her husband and two sons in Sydney and over the years has worked as a solicitor, corporate lawyer and governance consultant. She is a co-founder of the Historical Novel Society ...more
More about Elisabeth Storrs...

Other Books in the Series

Tales of Ancient Rome (3 books)
  • The Golden Dice (Tales of Ancient Rome, #2)
  • Call to Juno (Tale of Ancient Rome, #3)

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