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Treece, Henry

britons romans life battle

(British, 1911–66)

Born in Wednesbury, Treece was educated at the University of Birmingham and worked as school-teacher until 1959. Formerly a noted poet, he wrote only historical novels from 1952 onward. Begin with The Dark Island (1952), the first of numerous vivid recreations of life among the ancient Britons. It concerns Caractacus' struggle against the Romans while internal disorder divides the Britons. The Last of the Vikings (1964) finds Harald Hardrada of Norway at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. He looks back over his warlike life before dying in battle against King Harold, who goes on to defeat at Hastings. Treece also wrote historical fiction for teenagers. Legions of the Eagle (1954) deals with a 13 year old whose idyllic boyhood in a peaceful community of Britons ends when the Romans attack.

Nigel Tranter, Mary Renault  DH

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