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Summary

It is a time for ambitious men to prosper, and royal servant John FitzGilbert Marshal is one of them. Raised high, as the kin of the deceased King Henry battle each other for England's throne, John reaps rich rewards but pays a terrible price for the choices he makes - as does his family.

His wife, fragile, naïve Aline, is hopelessly unequipped to cope with the demands of a life lived on the edge and, when John is seriously injured in battle, her worst nightmare is realised.

©2007 Elizabeth Chadwick (P)2008 Soundings

What listeners say about A Place Beyond Courage

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant!

Loved it! I'm a fan of Elizabeth Chadwick's writing and this story hits the spot bringing history to life and imparting a shaft of light onto a turbulent period in England's history. Fascinating and fun.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Place Beyond Courage

Probably never going to be a favourite of mine, but was really interesting to see where parts of Henry II life started from a different viewpoint. I have became bit enamoured with Henry following his wife's, Eleanor of Aquitaine story. This is the story of William Marshal's father. Marshal, of course, is considered one of England's greatest knights. His father, John FitzGilbert, was the marshal to Henry I. Once he died, FitzGilbert found himself trying to survive the political fallout over determining England's next ruler.

I did feel that Chadwick tried too hard to make FitzGilbert into a likeable character. I doubt very much if he took so much time to make sure his 1st wife was satisfied before gaining his own pleasure (hubba hubba) especially since Chadwick make it pretty clear that they weren't suited for each other. Of course I liked his second match much better, but that was purely because of Chadwick' manipulation of the story. Not really complaining...just pointing out that these things led to me not enjoying the book as much as I could have.

I can like a ruthless man just as much as a polite and thoughtful man, so long as it stays true to the story. I felt more discord between FitzGibert's and his first wife would have made the story more true to life...

However, at the end of the day, it's my take verses Chadwick's take...and no one is around to tell us which is true...I couldn't write a book, Chadwick can...so she wins by default! Ha!

I am glad to have read this book, but confess, it felt a wee bit like homework to prepare myself for the real test...William Marshal himself...I am well excited to carry on and follow William Marshal's storyline now that the homework and backstory is completed..

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • E
  • 18-08-13

Great story, well read

Where does A Place Beyond Courage rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Another great story by Elizabeth Chadwick. I read the 2 William Marshall books first and then spread into the Marshall family. it was brilliant to get the background of William.

What did you like best about this story?

The fast pace and family interest

What about Peter Wickham’s performance did you like?

Ability to keep it going at a good pace and identifying different people with different voices

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

no idea

Any additional comments?

none

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

a place beyond courage

loved every minute of listening to this book .

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found the story credible and fascinating. I knew nothing of William Marshall until I visited Pembroke Castle where after hearing the guide there talk about the Earl, I purchased a copy of the book, 'Scarlet Lion' in the gift shop. However in the year since owning the book I never got round to reading it!!
By chance someone recommended an audio book to me. It was another book by Elizabeth Chadwick and pursuing the reading list I quickly rediscovered the William Marshall series. I started with this story of Williams father John and am now pulled into that world and will immediatly be reading the other books in this series.
Peter Wickham reads very well and brought the male characters to vivid life - not so the female voices! But that is a tiny quibble. The descriptive narratives are remarkable and when listening I often felt as if I were there too...

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Powerful Man

Where does A Place Beyond Courage rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In my top 5 best books..

Who was your favorite character and why?

John Marshall I just loved him, such a fantastic man and what ! A lover...

What three words best describe Peter Wickham’s voice?

Brilliant sensational voice ..

Any additional comments?

When I started this audiobook I had no idea that this fascinating man John ! Was the father of " our greatest knight !" William Marshal.. Wow! What a wonderful surprise for me . They don't make Men like this anymore. This is a must buy , especially for the fairer sex, you will just love this story... Go on it's worth a credit..

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Loved it didn't think I would. Peter Wickham was a great narrator looking forward to the next book.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

The narrator ruins this book

First audio book I’ve given up on. The male narrator’s attempts to sound like a young woman were woeful. Absolutely terrible to listen to. He should have just used his own voice. Cringeworthy in the extreme.
I only managed a few chapters so can’t comment on the story as a whole.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect Lockdown Escapism

Disappear into a world of Knights and their ladies , vividly brought to life by the author! You can almost smell it!!!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story!

Good story that is performed well and really brings it to life! I like that it is based on a real historical character.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kemdi
  • 02-10-14

A Must for Chadwick fans

Any additional comments?

I read this book nearly two years ago..while at work...and it was the best time I ever spent in the office! It is a classic Elizabeth Chadwick novel--a full-bodied-story paying homage to historical features that may sometimes be overlooked. Chadwick is really an excellent writer and APBC is perfect if you loved Greatest Knight! I am a Sharon Kay Penman purest but Chadwick works so hard to be true to historical fact that I always find myself going back to this author for a fast, easy and enjoyable his-fic read. This book gives us a glimpse at William Marshal's father who isn't known for being the best dad in history! In this story, however, he's given a heart as we see his actions from a different perspective. If you like Chadwick, you must add this book to your queue!

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth
  • 29-01-13

Good story - well researched - starts slow

Pros - good historical background, interesting characters.
Cons - narrator's rendition of John's first wife is pretty awful and grating. Thankfully she is not major character throughout the entire book

This book starts very slow but once it gets going it is an enjoyable listen

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • AvidReader
  • 01-03-18

Hit and Miss

The summary is inaccurate but still a good story. Narrator's voice for women is cringe-worthy.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Molly Jacobson
  • 28-03-17

John Marshall father of William Marshall's tale

As a history buff and a fan of Elizabeth Chadwick, I loved this book! Excellent read or listen. Engrossing.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Roberta Chesler
  • 15-04-21

What a book!!

I just discovered Elizabeth Chadwick and am so glad I did - an unbelievably well researched history with rich characters and incredible story.

Peter Wickham’s narration was absolutely perfect! I never wanted this book to end! Can’t wait for the next one!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • tess
  • 06-12-19

Women’s voices need work

Some were ok, but Aleen’s voice was horrendous. Almost had to return book because of it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • vtsoxfan
  • 15-05-17

excellent background for william marshall saga

If you could sum up A Place Beyond Courage in three words, what would they be?

great marshal background

What about Peter Wickham’s performance did you like?

very clear enunciation. I am hard of hearing and did not have any difficulties with his speech

Who was the most memorable character of A Place Beyond Courage and why?

William marshals father

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Compute
  • 27-07-15

Intriguing

At the beginning I thought, this book is just going to be ok. But as I kept reading, I found that I really enjoyed the book. Elizabeth Chadwick is definitely tops in her field when it comes to writing about Medieval times. By the time I finished the book, I immediately purchased the second book in the series and began that book.

1 person found this helpful