June 2015 sees the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta at Runnymede and in this book Dan Jones presents a useful guide to bring the generaJune 2015 sees the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta at Runnymede and in this book Dan Jones presents a useful guide to bring the general reader up to speed. Dan Jones is of course, the author of the bestselling non fiction work THE PLANTAGENETS which sets out the dynasty's rise to power and eventual ruin over several centuries of medieval British history. The work is also the basis for the recent TV series, written and presented by the author.
The following blurb is from the inside jacket of MAGNA CARTA and an excellent summary of what the book is about:
'"On a summer's day in 1215, a beleaguered English monarch met a group of disgruntled barons in a meadow by the River Thames named Runnymede. Beset by foreign crisis and domestic rebellion, King John was fast running out of options. On 15 June he reluctantly agreed to fix his regal seal to a document that would change the world. A milestone in the development of constitutional politics and the rule of the law, the 'Great Charter' established an Englishman's right to Habeas Corpus and set limits to the exercise of royal power. For the first time a group of subjects had forced an English king to agree to a document that limited his powers by law and protected their rights."
This book is a joy to read, not just for a medieval-obsessive like myself, but for anyone with a general interest in history. It's one of those reference works that should be on every non fiction bookshelf. The writing style is clean and accessible, edged with dry humour and has broad appeal. Dan Jones educates his readers without patronising, and he never dumbs down the content. The history is straight, clear, and unfudged. Oh what a joy and a relief this is to come across. I have studied the Angevin period for more than forty years. I'm not university trained, but I am very well read in non fiction works of this era (12th and 13th centuries). Often the academic studies are dry and soporific. The eyes glaze over, the same 5 pages take an hour to read and the information doesn't stick, but unabsorbed, just passes through. Unfortunately the popular books with a less dense writing style are frequently unreliable and have to be double-checked and taken with large pinches of salt. Dan Jones, however, walks a perfect line between the popular and the academic. He puts over the need to know material with depth and complexity while telling it in a vibrant way that hold the reader's attention. That's a very rare talent indeed.
The book itself is a tactile thing of beauty. It's ornate, with gold embossing on the cover to give that added luxurious feel of holding the real thing in your hand. The paper is of thick, fine quality,perhaps gently hinting at parchment. The rich ornamentation and fabulous illustrations are put together in an uncluttered way that means the book is simple and practical to use. It is divided into ten easily digestible chapters beginning with an introduction that sets the scene and discusses the fame of Magna Carta and then continues to the historical background including an assessment of the reign of King John, not forgetting the input of his predecessors. He might have brought about Magna Carta by his policies and the way he dealt with his barons, but he wasn't acting in a vacuum and Dan Jones takes us through the wherefore and the why. There is a section on what happened between 1215 and now, and a couple of wonderful quotes from David Cameron and Winston Churchill which made me laugh - albeit wryly. Dan Jones has a wicked sense of humour and appreciates the ironies.
Having guided us through the history, the book follows with several appendices including the full text of the Magna Carta in the original Latin with an English translation alongside so the reader can see the exact wording for themselves. There are interesting short biographies of the barons involved in witnessing and enforcing the charter, and a timeline of the charter from its origins to where it sits now.
By the end of the book the reader has been given an in depth history lesson but in such a way that there's not a single moment of eye-glaze or stodge. Hooray! There are copious illustrations and page breaks that will suit those with shorter attention spans but at the same time, those who prefer a meaty read will not be let down. There's a lot of learning crammed into these 190 pages.
Any caveats? I suspect that there may be a few raised eyebrows among those in the know about the comment accompanying the illustration of King John's tomb in Worcester cathedral. The caption says it's made from 'carved wood' when it fact it's Purbeck marble. It seems a pity for that one to have slipped through the editorial net when King John is one of the major players. However, that really is a nit-pick when compared with the rest of the book's excellent content. Highly recommended. ...more
I confess that before I read Thomas Asbridge’s THE GREATEST KNIGHT” I was already curious about this new biography of William Marshal. The lives of J I confess that before I read Thomas Asbridge’s THE GREATEST KNIGHT” I was already curious about this new biography of William Marshal. The lives of John FitzGilbert the Marshal and his son William are a lifelong study subject for me outside my novel writing career. Since this work shared the title of my 2004 novel The Greatest Knight the life of William Marshal and even the same font and cloudy background as my UK cover, my interest was naturally piqued even more! William Marshal, circa 1246-1219 has been called the Greatest Knight who ever lived and we know about him through a rhyming biographical poem of over 20,000 lines commissioned by his family and written by a poet simply known as John. Despite the often highly positive spin the biography puts on the Marshal’s life, much of the “Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal” still rings true in its basics and the reader receives a strong flavour of the vigour of the Marshal’s character. It’s a vivid glimpse into the world of the 12th and 13th century aristocracy – their cares and concerns, their pleasures and politics. It’s the first secular biography of an Englishman and a work of incalculable value, not least because of its survival, which is a story in itself. That survival is the starting point of Thomas Asbridge’s work - how it was rediscovered at auction by historian Paul Meyer in the 19th century and how he lost the bid, but doggedly followed the manuscript’s trail, found it again, and translated it into the modern French of his own era along with a commentary. It’s a fascinating story that draws the reader in and is one of the book’s most positive and interesting aspects. Thomas Asbridge tells his tale in a strong, linear style that is entertaining and very readable which gives it wide appeal. You don’t have to be an academic to enjoy the writing. He mostly relies on the “Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal” as his source material and puts his own interpretations on the story, sometimes with results that might raise the eyebrows of those who know William Marshal well, but probably won’t be noticed by those who don’t. I have to say that general readers may be misled at times about the Marshal’s character because the interpretation, and indeed some of the stated 'facts' do not always stand up to scrutiny. Asbridge never seems to quite grasp the nuances. For example, John FitzGilbert, William’s father is portrayed as a brutal weathercock. But he was no more brutal than any other baron at the time, and it could be argued much less of a weathercock than a good number of his compatriots. Once he swore for the Empress he stuck to his word even though it meant the loss of an eye at Wherwell, and the potential loss of his son at Newbury, when John was the last man standing between King Stephen and the castle at Wallingford. The reader isn’t told this. Asbridge tells us instead that King Stephen was ‘determined to punish John’s presumption’ and so in the fading days of his power, came to seize John’s castle at Newbury. But it was more than just royal displeasure and vindictiveness that brought Stephen to Newbury. The point of the Newbury incident is that Stephen needed to get to Wallingford before the future Henry II returned from Normandy, but he knew if he marched directly to Wallingford from his current base at Reading that John FitzGilbert would come from Newbury, attack him from behind and he’d end up sandwiched between the defending garrison at Wallingford and the Marshal forces in the rear. So in order to have a good chance of success at Wallingford, he had to take out John Marshal first. John Marshal knew there was no one else; he was the last man standing between Stephen and the destruction of Wallingford. That puts the whole situation in a very different light. There’s the moment when John attacks his rival neighbour, Patrick of Salisbury. Asbridge tells us that this shows John’s capacity for ‘ruthless brutality’ – to attack a troop of more lightly armed men. What he doesn’t tell the reader is that these lightly armed men were actually on their way to slaughter John and were carrying their heavy armour with them ready to put on just before they attacked him. But John got wind of their intent and hit them first. Again, the reader is only told half the story and thus the nuances are changed. When it comes to William Marshal himself, I began to wonder how much notice Thomas Asbridge had actually paid to the Histoire although it seemed to be his main source of information. For example, he tells us that “The Marshal himself seems to have shown only limited interest in the likes of dancing (and) music.” In direct contradiction of this the Histoire tells us that William’s singing voice had a ‘pure, sweet tone’ and that he willingly sang for his comrades at a dance at a tourney and that it gave them ‘much pleasure and delight.’ (Lines 3471-3483) Many years later on his deathbed, William said one day that he felt like singing, as he had not in three years. This suggests that he had enjoyed song for most of his life. He also specifically called his daughters to sing for him and instructed them how to do so to the best of their ability and then joined in with them.’ (lines 18532-18580). This is a man with only days to live. It’s very, very obvious that he loved music, understood its technicalities, and it would have been one of the few joys left to him. Asbridge alters one scene in the Histoire itself by not reading the text in primary source and by misunderstanding the English translation, hence the matter of the pike. At a tourney at Pleurs, William Marshal got his head stuck inside his helmet and went to the smithy to have it prised off. In the meantime he had been judged ‘man of the match’ which means he had won the main tourney prize, of a fish – a large pike. The Histoire tells us this in the original Old French word for the creature “luz” It’s in prime condition and more than two and a half feet long. Pikes and swans were common tourney prizes at this time, as were other animals. One particular tourney even had a bear as the prize. Asbridge tells his readers that William has won a two and a half foot long spear! Common sense would surely tell one that a spear of two and a half feet in length isn’t actually a spear and not a useful thing to win, especially not for the champion of the show! Asbridge dresses William in an odd way too. He tells us he would have worn a shirt with detachable sleeves, a ‘fact’ that appears to be picked up almost verbatim from the Danziger and Gillingham book “1215”. Asbridge says that William would have worn “a shirt, often with detachable sleeves.” Danziger and Gillingham’s line (p22) says “a shirt with long sleeves that were often detachable.” Now then, neither Danziger nor Gillingham are clothing historians but I happen to know a few, and I challenge anyone to find any time in the 12th or 13th century when shirts with detachable sleeves were worn; tunics perhaps, later on under Renaissance influence, but never, never shirts. The description of the Young King, eldest son of Henry II is almost identical to the one on Wikipedia and the problem here is that the reader can’t know if this information is reliable because Asbridge doesn’t give proper sources or footnotes. There is no bibliography section, rather the books consulted are mentioned in the end notes which are far from reader friendly. They are arranged in a chapter by chapter format, but are quotes from pages without reference numbers, leaving the reader utterly baffled and having to hunt through the entire chapter for the lines in question. I was somewhat surprised at some of the dates Asbridge uses. Eleanor of Aquitaine receives the older research birthdate of 1122 instead of the now more usually accepted 1124. King John’s birth year is cited as 1167 when it looks more likely to be 1166. (See “Eleanor of Aquitaine Lord and Lady,” edited by John Parsons and Bonnie Wheeler, the chapter by Andrew Lewis on revising the birth date of King John. This also gives the revised birth date of 1124 for Eleanor of Aquitaine. Gerald of Wales also indicates the birth date of 1166 for John). William Longespee’s birth date is erroneously given as 1167 when we now know it was somewhere between 1175-80, shortly before his mother, Ida de Tosney married Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk. The reader is told that Eleanor of Aquitaine was at the coronation of her son the Young King in 1170. However she was in Normandy at the time, trying to prevent various agents of Thomas Becket making the crossing and preventing the coronation. (William FitzStephen Life of Becket). Asbridge has William setting off for the Holy Land in September 1183 and suggests that he just possibly may have arrived there in that same month in time to fight Saladin – which is patently impossible given even a jet propelled horse. Asbridge suggests in one of the many ‘may have’ moments occupying the narrative that Richard the Lionheart was determined to build a glorious reputation for himself in liberating Jerusalem and didn’t want William along on crusade with him in case the Marshal stole his limelight – he was jealous of him! That begs the question then, why did he promote William and his affinity to such prominent positions in his government? Why not just dump William if he was worried about the threat to his own glory? Asbridge also speculates as to whether William would be considered a coward for staying at home, but since someone had to rule the country and since William had already made the pilgrimage, it’s an argument that skates on thin ice – in my opinion. Asbridge accuses the Marshal of ‘grumping, wheedling and whining’ to Henry II for promotion and makes him sound like a child having a whinge in a supermarket. While the Marshal might have been pro-active in seeking promotion, and we know he complained to Henry II, “grumping, wheedling and whining” does not convey the resonances of the period and the way in which the reciprocation of patronage played out. Would Henry II, famous for his impatience, have listened to and sought the advice of a man who grumped, wheedled and whined? Absolutely not. Positives? The aforementioned story of the discovery and rescue of the manuscript is well written and fascinating. Dr. Asbridge also gives a fine reassessment of the Young King which is long overdue and puts him in his full political context. Rather than a foolish, spendthrift ‘Hooray Henry,’ this eldest surviving son of Henry II comes over as a politically astute young man frustrated by his father’s controlling, micro-managing policies. That aspect of the biography is excellent and recommended as food for thought. It’s a great balancer to the more usual negative assessments of the Young King. Ultimately, Asbridge’s “Greatest Knight” is an uneven work that doesn’t really get under the surface of the Marshal’s personality and there are some rather bizarre interpretations of the motivations behind some historical events without credible evidence to back them up. If it is taken too seriously or seeps into the public mindset, it has the potential to set back the progress made by more scholarly works of our understanding of the Marshal. If you do read this one, make sure you also read David Crouch on the Marshal to get a fully rounded picture....more
Absolutely brilliant. It's well set out and cuts through absolute mountains of dubious information about the Templars (and helicopters :-)! ) to bringAbsolutely brilliant. It's well set out and cuts through absolute mountains of dubious information about the Templars (and helicopters :-)! ) to bring the reader the straightforward no frills history. It's clear and simple. But easy to read doesn't mean under-researched or basic, not one bit. It has detailed references and understanding in depth which is distilled for the reader into handy chapter subjects. There's a chapter on the assassins for example, one on the grand masters with biographies. Another on the Templars in Paris, in London, on banking etc. There's a brilliant piece at the end which tells the reader how to know if they are studying 'pseudohistory'. Each chapter contains detailed footnotes, identifying just where Sharan Newman got her information. There's one historical error as another reviewer pointed out, but it's a nit-pick concerning the ID of Adela of Blois that got past the copy editing stage and not worth knotting one's knickers about in an otherwise fabulous work. It's going straight on my keeper shelf. Bravo Sharan Newman!...more
As the country heads towards a date with destiny and the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta in 1215, it's inevitable tAs the country heads towards a date with destiny and the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta in 1215, it's inevitable that the movers and shakers of that age will see their history step into the spotlight, and perhaps none more so than the great William Marshal. Largely unknown outside the circles of medievalists and re-eanactors until recently, he is now beginning to enter the mainstream consciousness as evinced by a couple of recent BBC2 documentaries about his extraordinary life and some new biographies to add to the three already out there - We have to wait until December for Thomas Asbridge's offering, but this one by Richard Brooks is available now.
Despite the title's sub-text that it's about 'William Marshal and the French invasion of 1217', the book is actually a fairly thorough biography of William's life. It does concentrate on the pivotal campaign of 1217 for approximately the last third of the book, but that leaves plenty of room to write a substantial biography to bring William to that point. The author has plenty of scope to explore the making of the man who was destined to lead the battle against the French invaders and begin the process of reuniting the country and setting it back on its feet after years of devastating unrest during the reign of King John. Had the Battle of Lincoln been won by the French in 1217, the country would have had a very different story today. William Marshal's victory was one of those destiny moments, something that Brooks squarely acknowledges and keeps at the forefront of his narrative.
Not including a glossary, bibliography and index, the book is 300 pages long and details William's story in succinct but never skimpy detail from cradle to grave. There are some excellent and unusual colour plates mid book, which add value and interest to the narrative and are a cut above the usual suspects. There are some very useful tables with content such as lengths of marches undertaken, the number of campaigns William fought in, his known tournament record. The straight narrative details of William's life are interspersed with fascinating facts. I did not know for example that soap was used as a weapon in medieval warfare - to make the decks of enemy vessels slippery, or that a live bear was presented as a prize at at tourney in 1215. Personally I love whimsies like this and it added enormously to my enjoyment of the work and kept me turning the pages.
I have read all of the Marshal biographies out there,including the 13th century Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal, and have studied the man in depth myself for 10 years, albeit to recreate him in novel form. This work is a very fine addition to the oeuvre. Richard Brooks understands the Marshal and brings out facets largely ignored by his other biographers. Brooks' Marshal is a talented military commander, shrewd, and well able to grasp the complexities of a situation from all angles. He's a statesman too. It's not war for war's sake but he will not shirk from fighting if he must and he understands tactics very well, including subterfuge. Reading Richard Brooks' fine, lucid and erudite prose, one is given a view of the Marshal in full, sharp clarity. Personally I feel that this biography of the Marshal comes the closest of all of them to understanding the man. There is not a great deal about his family life, but that is perhaps a facet for another biographer to tackle. The main thrust of this book is his military and diplomatic career and it is written with vivid, insight.
It is not without its moments of questionable history, however, and outright gaffs and it is a case of being wary and not taking everything as gospel. I was irritated by Brooks' constant referral to William's father as a 'weathercock' and 'disreputable baronial backwoodsman'. Indeed, I underlined the latter and wrote NO! in capital letters beside it. . John the Marshal changed sides just once in the war between Stephen and Matilda and in the early stages - rather like Matildine stalwart Brian FitzCount and all the others who swore to Stephen at the outset of the reign. That's not being a weathercock. He put his life on the line for the Empress at Wherwell and lost an eye, and then again at Newbury where he sacrificed his son in order to buy time for Wallingford. The lord of Wallingford, Brian FitzCount had vanished to become a monk, leaving John Marshal to stand alone. And as to being a backwoodsman - he was the King's Marshal. He controlled the Kennet Valley. Professor Crouch says of him 'He was no coarse bandit. He was more of a baron than a robber...He played the great game of politics with talent and perception...a preudhomme or 'man of standing' in his son's eyes.' With his marriage to Sybilla of Salisbury, he became brother in law to a French prince, the man next in line to the French throne. There's also the perplexing remark that William spoke English at home and didn't learn French until he went to train as a squire. That's blatantly wrong. The nobility spoke a version of French - Anglo Norman and it was William's first language. How on earth would he have managed in Stephen's camp among all those French speaking nobles if it wasn't his native tongue too? He possibly had a smattering of English but his first language was French. So that's one detail to take with a huge pinch of salt. Brooks says that William was called William to curry favour with his more illustrious relatives on his mother's side. He doesn't seem to have noticed that John Marshal had a brother called William, the vicar of Cheddar in Somerset who was actually Empress Matilda's chancellor, so it was a family name on both sides. Again, it indicates that the research might have been more thorough in this area. He also seems to think that William's father thought it a waste of time for William to learn to read and write, but that seems a strange conclusion to arrive at when William's father himself is indicated to be a literate man and would have known very well the value of literacy. Several times it is mentioned that William spent decades as a household knight. Literally speaking that might be true, but he was much more than that. A royal marshal was more than just a household knight. He was head of his employer's military office and responsible for the logistics of transport and security. Lesser men answered to him. To all intents, William became the Young King's Marshal in 1170 and developed from there, so I feel that the idea is to emphasis William's humble beginnings in an effort to show to what heights he rose, but in fact, while not exactly graced with privilege he didn't have to work in the bilges for all that long, and he came from good money, not the 'backwoods.' I would also say that William is not dreaming at peace in the Temple Church, although it's a nice fancy. He and his Templar colleagues are there armed and ready for battle. They are alert and on guard, waiting to fight at the Last Judgement because they are lying in a satellite of Jerusalem on earth where that battle will begin. If colour and paint remained, their eyes would be wide open. A final item I cannot let pass even if it is a nitpick (there are others but I've let them be) is the comment that William addresses the young future Louis VIII 'amorously' by calling him a 'demoiselle.' However, a 'demoiselle' in Anglo Norman is just a young person - in the male case an untried bachelor knight. So William isn't addressing him amorously. He's an old, wise man, calling the other one a young whippersnapper - a different nuance entirely!
Despite the above caveats and nit-picks THE KNIGHT WHO SAVED ENGLAND is going straight onto my keeper shelf and will be referred to and re-read. When Richard Brooks is on solid ground and covering the military aspects, this work shines a light into areas no other Marshal biographer has illuminated in the same way. The insights hold the ring of truth and Richard Brooks obviously understands his man very well indeed - and I would venture to say better than any of the Marshal's other biographers have done. He recognises the Marshal as a competent, gifted soldier and statesman through to the core against whom other national heroes 'appear hollow in comparison.' Exactly.
This is highly recommended reading for anyone interested in the history of the Middle Ages and a must for the legions of William Marshal fans out there.
Disclaimer. Osprey books were kind enough to send me a review copy. I don't usually review ARCS but I wasn't going to say no to this one - and I'm glad I did read it!...more
My second Nora Roberts. Very readable, very smooth. I loved this as a leisure time read. I also liked that the hero wasn't a control freak stalker typMy second Nora Roberts. Very readable, very smooth. I loved this as a leisure time read. I also liked that the hero wasn't a control freak stalker type this time. I can see why the author is so popular. I will be reading more....more
I really enjoyed this one. It can be read on several levels and if you have a saga reader in your family who only goes for story rather than depths, tI really enjoyed this one. It can be read on several levels and if you have a saga reader in your family who only goes for story rather than depths, they will like this just as much as someone exploring all the nuances about innocence and experience. A satisfying read....more
This is packed with a wealth of detailed information about medieval cookery. Particularly interesting is the information on cookery being based on theThis is packed with a wealth of detailed information about medieval cookery. Particularly interesting is the information on cookery being based on the four humours and how foods had certain properties that had to be considered during preparation. A must for any medieval buff's bookshelf....more
Excellent biography of Thomas Becket which draws on a wide range of sources. While there are one or two minor historical nit-pick errors, the main driExcellent biography of Thomas Becket which draws on a wide range of sources. While there are one or two minor historical nit-pick errors, the main drive of the narrative is well researched. It's a balanced view that doesn't make Becket a saint, but is sympathetic in bias. Henry II has the gloss stripped away from him and does come over as a controlling tyrant. And do you know what? I think (having been researching Henry II for a while now) I think Guy gets as close to the truth as anyone in his portrait of this king....more
I Really enjoyed this one of Barbara Erskine's and it's one I have no problem recommending. There are 3 story lines braided together and all work veryI Really enjoyed this one of Barbara Erskine's and it's one I have no problem recommending. There are 3 story lines braided together and all work very well in tandem. Barbara Erskine is definitely on form here. ...more
My best read of the year so far. I loved the layers of story telling, the descriptions of the food and the whole ambience. I've read quite a few goodMy best read of the year so far. I loved the layers of story telling, the descriptions of the food and the whole ambience. I've read quite a few good books this year, but this earns the extra accolade of being one for the favourite shelf and will perhaps stand a re-read to examine some of the layers I didn't quite get this time around....more
Beautifully written and atmospheric. In some ways reminds of Marie Anne Macdonald's style and atmosphere. I was certainly drawn into the story of MargBeautifully written and atmospheric. In some ways reminds of Marie Anne Macdonald's style and atmosphere. I was certainly drawn into the story of Margo's struggle to survive on Michigan's River Stark in the 1970's and early 80's. I like to read about cultures and ways of life far removed from my own. The novel often felt like the 1880's; there isn't a strong sense of time, even if there is of place. It's also a story of child neglect, use and sexual abuse, its affect on Margo and how she deals with it, partly by using her talent as a crack shot and her guiding light of the story of Annie Oakley to survive. As a novel it's strong meat. ...more
JoJo Moyes has become one of my favourite authors. She produces absorbing, quality reads time after time. I write historical fiction for a living butJoJo Moyes has become one of my favourite authors. She produces absorbing, quality reads time after time. I write historical fiction for a living but my tastes are eclectic and I read across all genres. This one has a dual story - 1917 and modern day, the heroines linked by a painting of the 1917 heroine Sophie. This novel made me so look forward to my daily sit down to have some 'me' time with a novel. Highly recommended as is JoJo's novel before this, Me Before You. ...more
Great contemporary fun read in between heavier material. It's a feelgood romp with some sexual content - on the same page as Jilly Cooper but a bit liGreat contemporary fun read in between heavier material. It's a feelgood romp with some sexual content - on the same page as Jilly Cooper but a bit lighter. It wouldn't be my usual fare, but sometimes one needs a palate cleaner to lift one out of the heavy reading blahs and that's when I turn to Janet Evanovich, Jennifer Cruisie and now Kate Lace. It probably also helps that I attend a gym at a rowing course and quite often see scenes such as the cover when working out on a Saturday morning! Good fun. ...more
This is a beautifully written book. The prose is to die for and the characters are well rounded and interesting. The historical detail feels spot on tThis is a beautifully written book. The prose is to die for and the characters are well rounded and interesting. The historical detail feels spot on too. The reason it's on my DNF shelf is that the effect is so strong that it's like eating strong cheese or dark chocolate - a little goes a very long way and it's my fault I didn't have the stamina to keep on going and to unravel some of the playful undercurrents. It's a book that got away from me in the end. I have kept it and may well return to it. It took me 3 attempts before I 'got' the full impact of Dorothy Dunnett and I think this may well be a similar situation. It's one of those 'It's not you, it's me' scenarios....more