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Thomas B. Costain Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Plantagenets Books

The Conquering Family (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Magnificent Century (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Three Edwards (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Plantagenets (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Canadian History Books

The White and the Gold (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

For My Great Folly (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ride With Me (1944)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Black Rose (1945)Description / Buy at Amazon
High Towers (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Moneyman (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Son of a Hundred Kings (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Silver Chalice (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tontine (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Below the Salt (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Darkness and the Dawn (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Love (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

William the Conqueror (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chord of Steel (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon

Thomas B. Costain was a Canadian bestselling author of historical books. His work is a blend of commercial history and fiction that depends heavily on historical events. In 1952, Costain was awarded Doctor of Letters degree and later in 1965 awarded a golden medallion by the Canadian Club of New York. Four of his books have been adapted into films. Black Rose was adapted into a movie by the same name starring Orson Welles and Tyrone Power while The Silver Chalice was adapted into a 1954 American historical epic film starring Paul Newman. Other books that have been optioned for the big screen include Son of a Hundred Kings and The Chord of Steel.

Silver Chalice

The Silver Chalice uses historical fiction to narrate about a slave who has a gift and is instructed to make a chalice for the cup Jesus Christ used during the last supper. The story gives information about the persecution the apostles faced when the roman rules were tight, and slavery was the order of the day. The book has some characters found in the Bible, and it is set in a period some years after Jesus died.

The story focuses on what happened to the cup Jesus used during the last supper. The main character is a boy named Basil who sells pens and ink. He is weak and is adopted by a wealthy trader in Antioch. After the death of his adoptive father his uncle sells him to slavery and grabs all the wealth he inherited.
Basil has a gift in art, and he is not allowed to make good use of it when working as a silversmith. His work is to make the essential items which the customers have ordered, but as he gets used to the work and knows how to deal with the silver, his masters recognize his gift. Basil works there for several years and travels in most of the areas in the Roman Empire. On his way, he happens to meet the persecuted Christians.

Joseph of Arimathea, a man known to have given out a tomb for the burial of Jesus, hears about Basil’s gift and instructs Apostle Luke to look for him and bring him to his home. Luke finds Basil working as a prodigy sculptor, and he buys him from the slave masters making him become a free man. Joseph has been giving support to the Christians with his wealth for thirty years now since Christ died and he has now aged his granddaughter Deborah cares for him.

Joseph has the cup used by Christ during the last supper and has been hiding it from the zealots who wanted to destroy anything that was used by Jesus Christ. The zealots also were after eradicating all the Christian faith in Antioch so that there is no one remaining to believe in Jesus. Joseph wants it to be mounted in beautiful silver together with the pictures of the disciples and apostles around it. Basil is appointed to do this work after his gift is known. Joseph gives him the time frame he has to take to complete the task and also to make images of the surviving apostles and disciples.

Some of the surviving apostles include Peter who is now living with a different name until the time he was needed to go on with his apostolic work. The second is Paul, a brave preacher who seems not afraid of his safety, Luke very kind to Basil and Joseph Arimathea. Basil is also to make an image in the likeness of Jesus, and he might find it a little hard he has to get descriptions from the people who knew him when he was alive.

The story shows Basil’s mental journey in his mission to make the likenesses in the time frame given and make a masterpiece to hold the Holy Cup. The author draws a charming story with well-drawn character and an exciting plot. Basil is a likable character as he devotes his skills in the art for the vessel.

The Conquering

The Conquering is the debut novel in Plantagenet’s series. The author does an excellent job of narrating the historical records of the Norman king of England. He describes the leaders who ruled during that time and brings their involvement to the 11th and 12th centuries. The author majorly aims at the character’s personalities and puts less focus on the battles and dates.

The book begins in the year 1066 in an area of the Great North road which passes through the city of York with many soldiers. The story traces the origin of Matilda’s marriage, granddaughter of Williams, the conqueror, and Geoffrey. Henry the first who is the son of Williams had passed on and had no male heir to inherit the throne. Before his death, he had named his daughter Matilda to be the successor of his throne, but the people were not happy with his decision. A battle begins during the period of the Anarchy between Matilda and her cousin Stephen to fight for the throne.

In the past there were three men who are believed to be strong and one of them has just won a battle. In their history, there has never been a man who was a successful dictator who was that keen. William the strongest of the three was a great warrior and also an intelligent general.

The news about the victory of William travels very fast through England just after the succession of the youngest son of William to the throne. The conqueror is good that made the whole country to celebrate the victory with joy. England becomes a better place after Norman invades the area led by conqueror William. The author blends the Normans and the Anglo-Saxons to make the people of England great. The warriors fight fiercely and shed blood as they struggle to get their freedom.

The story is packed with lots of drama and action making it entertaining to read. Costain uses the British style to introduce you to the series with a lot of details and a compelling voice. He writes in a way that you will distinguish facts and fictions.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Thomas B. Costain

One Response to “Thomas B. Costain”

  1. fuzzi: 4 years ago

    The first book in the Plantagenet series is The Conquerors, later edited into The Conquering Family.


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