The Last Valley (1959), by J. B. Pick, is an historical novel about the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648). The story occurs from September 1637 to March 1638, and centres on two men – a mercenary soldier and an intellectual – who are fleeing the destruction and starvation wrought by religious war. In southern Germany, each man stumbles upon a fertile valley untouched by the war. Soldier and intellectual, man of arms and man of mind, must collaborate to preserve the peace and plenty of the last valley from the stress and strain of the religious bigotry that caused thirty years of war in Europe.
In Britain, the novel originally was published as The Fat Valley. James Clavell adapted and directed the novel as The Last Valley (1970), with Michael Caine and Omar Sharif, respectively the mercenary captain and the philosopher.
The story opens with a man named Vogel, starving and exhausted, running from a burnt-out, plague-ridden village. After several days, he stumbles int