The Wedding Shroud (Tales of Ancient Rome, #1)
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The Wedding Shroud (Tales of Ancient Rome #1)

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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  495 ratings  ·  107 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...more
Paperback, 486 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Pier 9
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Khanh (Kittens, Rainbows, and Sunshine)
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...more
Lisa
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...more
Lauren Murphy
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...more
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, delici...more
Ben Kane
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
Stephanie
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.
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...more
Hafiza
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...more
Tracy
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 Mastarna...more
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...more
Marg
I really want to know what happened next!
James
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...more
Maria Grazia
It got me hooked from the first words in the Prologue - "Her whole world was orange" - and I couldn't put it down for a while. THE WEDDING SHROUD is a surprising page-turner , about-500-page- thick, dense with tension, emotion and sensuousness, crowded with unforgettable vivid characters: Cecilia, Mastarna, Tarchon, Marcus, Drusus, Larthia, Ulthes, Erene, Artile, Arruns, Cytheris, Tulumnes, and even dead Seianta. Elisabeth Storrs combines detailed research and remarkably talented writing in her...more
Debra Eve
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...more
Lucy
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...more
Gary Inbinder
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
M. Locke
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...more
Rebecca
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...more
Natalie
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
Victoria Brown
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 au...more
Melissa
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 decisio...more
Heidi
Wonderfully crafted story rich with historical detail - and wrongly described as a romance unless you are describing the author's romance with a place and time long ago.

Set in Rome around 400 BC, the novel depicts an era of Rome, I've not read much about. As Cilla, the novel's unlikely and occasionally flighty heroine, moves to the Etruscan city of Veii, both the plot and historical lesson deepens.

Ms. Storrs has earned another fan. I'm looking forward to reading the next installment.
Julie Rose
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!
Carla
This is the perfect book to read on a long flight. From the very first page I was totally transported back to very ancient Rome. Storrs writing is beautiful, her story rich and her characters well developed. I was really sad when I finished the book and was tempted to start is over. I am a huge historical fiction fan who has now found a new favorite author, I cannot wait for book 2!!!
Ashley
Reads like a first draft, with next to no description and very little understanding of Roman culture. There weren't "half-castes" in Rome at all, you were whatever your father was and whatever you married into. The pace was breakneck and not in a good way; I hardly felt like I knew who anyone was. I'm so sad this isn't better written, as it's so hard to find fiction set in the early republic and especially so that takes place in the domestic sphere. The prologue was so promising, so I really had...more
Chris Swann
While I appreciate the historical aspect of this story, I agree with another reviewer that the protagonist is not engaging. Things happen to her, and she makes dumb choices. She's largely a victim, which doesn't tend to make for a compelling narrative.
Nic
Incredible! Hooked me from page 1. Elisabeth is writing the sequel - thank goodness - hurry Elisabeth, I cannot wait!!
Ladyethelfleda
I really enjoyed this book and made me wish there were more historical novels about etruscan society.
Lfk
I don't normally read Roman era fiction but the eloquent language and attention to detail have got me hooked.
Maureen
I loved the historical aspect of this book. It takes place in the early 400s B.C. I knew nothing of the Etruscans or their history with the Romans. I learned much of these cultures.
The story started interestingly with a young lady assigned to marry the enemy to broker a treaty. As she attempts to find her life in a new place while not abandoning her old life, she finds out about herself, somewhat.
However, the next phase of the story slowed down for me as she vacillated between the two cultures....more
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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, governance consultant and business writer.

The Wedding Shroud is the first bo...more
More about Elisabeth Storrs...
The Golden Dice - A Tale of Ancient Rome (Tales of Ancient Rome, #2) Dying for Rome: Lucretia's Tale (Short Tales of Ancient Rome #1)

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