Sir Nigel

ISBN: 1598186035
ISBN 13: 9781598186031
By: Arthur Conan Doyle

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About this book

Sir Nigel is a historical novel set during the Hundred Years' War, by the British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Written in 1906, it is a fore-runner to Doyle's earlier novel The White Company, and describes the early life of that book's hero Sir Nigel Loring in the service of King Edward III at the start of the Hundred Years' War.

Reader's Thoughts

William J. Shep

Very good story about an English knight in the Hundred Year's War in France. An example of Conan Doyle writing something NOT related to Sherlock Holmes.


I really enjoyed reading this book. It's sheer boy's own escapism with an ironical twist - in that one knows that what the heros get up to is pretty reprehensible by modern, or even Conan Doyle's, standards but at the time was considered to be utterly heroic.There are some solid characters and amusing episodes amidst the heroics to give a change of pace.I'm reviewing the large print version purely so I can poke fun at the ridiculous cover. What WERE the publishers thinking?

Ben Stutzman

This is hard to find, but worth it.


Amusing adventure. After reading the Napoleonic Stories, however, I find it too easy to spot Conan Doyle subtly mocking his heroes. I'll have to reread the White Company and see if I find it as unalloyed an enjoyment as the first time around.

Zubair Habib

This is really a book for kids. It reminded me a bit of "The Power of One" by Bryce Courtenay. A young lad sets out to gain fame and honor. I bought it at a second hand bookstore on account of the good looking cover, one the inside was a note, it was awarded to a kid in Grade 3... in 1932!!!That should have been the hint to me that it was targeted at a younger audience, but the vintage cover, prestigious author name hooked me.


A forgotten classic, Brings out the joys of combat and war when it was an endeavor that was honorable and worthy of man's pursuit


An entertaining romance set during the Hundred Years War.


An awesome read!! A must for anybody who only knows Conan Doyle from the Sherlock Holmes stories.


"...and they sang as they slew..." part 2.I still find it somewhat disconcerting - juxtaposition of "the flower of European chivalry" against carnage and brutal disregard of human life. I suppose that back in the time of the Crusades, that aspect of life was more fact than fiction. My hope is that Doyle is not necessarily trying to paint an entirely sympathetic picture of the principal characters and their ways, but instead just reveling in the tale-telling. And at that, he is a master; as Sir Nigel is rife with glorious detail in both historical references, as well as in his style of writing, which is luxurious and flowing.

Maurice Halton

Really a book for young boys, its well worth reading regardless of age and gender, simply to enjoy Conan Doyle's finely crafted narrative. Its about a young English squire in search of valour, glory and a knighthood in France during the hundred years war.

Bev Hankins

Set in the middle of the 14th century, Sir Nigel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is what these days is known as a prequel to The White Company. Written fifteen years later, it tells the story of how Nigel Loring, the near-destitute squire of the Manor of Tilford, went off to seek his fortune and win the hand of his lady-love in the early years of the Hundred Years War. Nigel leaves home a squire and returns home as an honorable knight through many brave adventures on the battlefield and abroad. Nigel is equally brave on land or sea. We see Nigel as he tames a horse that no other man can ride, as he battles a French spy aboard a ship headed across the channel, as he beards a feared robber lord in his den, and as he even faces the King of France.Maybe it was the difference in the edition....Sir Nigel is a standard Wordsworth Classic edition and The White Company was a much earlier edition with very juvenile illustrations....but this novel didn't strike me so much as a Boy's Own Version of History as The White Company did. It is still full of high romance and tales of derring-do, but I took it much more seriously and enjoyed it more. There is still much of the Don Quixote about Nigel, but there is an innocent seriousness to him. I particularly enjoyed the episode where Nigel leads the way in secretly entering the robber lord's castle. A very well-told tale in Doyle's exemplary prose. Four stars.

Simon Mcleish

Originally published on my blog here in March 1998.Of all Arthur Conan Doyle's works, this one has perhaps aged least well. It's set in the Middle Ages, or, rather, it's set in a world imitating that of Scott's Ivanhoe. It seems today very in-authentic, particularly in the speech and descriptions.Sir Nigel is the story of a young man, Nigel Loring, of noble birth but reduced circumstances, who sets out to win renown equal to his ancestors' and to do three deeds worthy of his lady love. He travels to France as squire to Sir John Chandos, and takes part in Edward III's French wars, where he wins renown and does brave deeds.Nigel is a most annoying young man. He is not terribly intelligent; indeed, his choice of fiancée is probably the only remotely intelligent act he performs throughout the book. Even then, it is only by chance that this happens, for he prefers the sister, who is dishonoured through her own flirtatiousness at the crucial moment.Nigel's big problem is his excessive devotion to the epics of chivalry. Even though the virtues of chivalry were still admired in principle by the fourteenth century, they were rarely used in practice in the warfare of the time, which was as savage as any before or since. Indeed, following medieval accounts of the battles of the French wars, which Doyle at least does, means that actions of extreme barbarism are excused by warping the chivalric ideals. In fact, there are occasions in this novel where a practice is condemned on one page when practiced by brigands, but this condemnation is ignored and the results of it praised when perpetrated by the English soldiers only a few pages later.I remember quite enjoying this book when I first read it at the age of thirteen or so; now that I have read more widely (particularly Chaucer and Malory) and grown up a bit, I found it difficult to take to. My feeling now is that there are Conan Doyle novels better forgotten, and this is one of them. Stick to the Sherlock Holmes series, or Lost World, or the Firm of Girdlestone.

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