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Uhtred's Feast: Inside the World of The Last Kingdom    by Bernard Cornwell & Suzanne Pollak order for
Uhtred's Feast
by Bernard Cornwell
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2023 (2023)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I have enjoyed the The Last Kingdom since the beginning, both the book and TV series. They follow the tumultuous life of Uhtred of Bebbanburg (born a Saxon but raised a Dane), as King Alfred and his successors gradually unite the warring Saxon kingdoms, usually with Uhtred's at times reluctant help.

This companion book serves up an explanation of how the author came to write these works; historical backgrounds to the era; sixty intriguing recipes of Anglo-Saxon edibles, such as Barley Flatbread, Oyster Stew and Pease Pudding; and three short stories (The First Victory, The Gift of God and The Last Shield Wall). Note that ingredients like a pig's head might be a bit challenging.

Cornwell tells us how he 'was raised on the coast of Essex, a place of marshes, tidal creeks and rivers', and layered with history. He also tells us of his own personal connection to Bebbanburg through his natural father Oughtred. Hence the name of his fictional Uhtred, and his telling of the story of the long and brutal creation of England. Fans will devour Uhtred's Feast, and long for seconds.

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