Mr. Costain's name is known to millions who have enjoyed "The Black Rose" in print or technicolor. In 1949 he turned from historical romances to write history itself and revivified English annals from Hastings to Magna Carta. The venture demonstrated that he could stick fairly close to authentic sources and still invest his story with the glamor that characterized his fiction. His aim was to write the sort of history that has a strong popular appeal. "In succeeding volumes," he predicted, "which will deal with periods where the records are more full, it will be easier to accomplish the purpose which I have begun."
His second volume in this "Pageant of England" series ["The Magnificent Century"] has...
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