Alfred A. Knopf publishers, New York; "Published March 16, 1973", "First and Second Printings before Publication" stated; hardbound with black boards and nice gilt lettering on cover and spine; appears unread; quite good condition of book and cover; see pics.
Set in the fifth century, The Death of Attila deals with the conflict of Hun, Goth, and Roman. At the heart of the book lies the moving and dangerous attempt of two men to build a friendship across every barrier of race and custom. Dietric - the young, protected son of a German chief, awkward, not yet experienced in the ways of men and soldiering - believes, as naturally as he believes that the coming of Jesus Christ brought the world out of a terrible darkness, that the brutish, flat-faced Huns, the almost-savage invaders out of the East, are hardly more than animals. While Tacs, an ordinary Hun soldier, solid, self-assured, a man more comfortable on a horse than any German soldier is on his legs, knows, as he knows each river and steppe of his country, that all but Attila and his armies are contemptibly weak. Yet a bond grows...
She (Cecelia Holland) records the often harsh details of life in the distant—or recent—past and her depiction of it involves considerable research. Her character-driven plots often are developed from the viewpoint of a male protagonist. While including plenty of action (her battle scenes are noteworthy for their bottom-up viewpoint and understated verisimilitude), her work focuses primarily on the life of the mind—whatever that might mean in a particular culture—and especially on politics, in the broadest sense, whatever politics might be in a monarchial, feudal or tribal society.
In her medieval novels particularly, she makes her characters, including Huns and Mongols, speak in semi-colloquial English, apparently intended to give the reader the impression of listening in on a conversation in the speakers' own vernacular.
Most of her novels have grown slowly in the back of her mind, often the result of non-fiction articles and essays she has written...