Crime and ferocious murder; what a great way to learn about the reformation

I’m a sucker for a historical novel, and I’m currently completely absorbed by Revelation, the fourth book in C.J Sansom’s series about the fictional 16th century ‘crouchback’ lawyer-turned-detective, Matthew Shardlake. Having never been the greatest student of history, what I find fascinating is that reading this series has taught me more about the Reformation, King Henry VIII, and the battles between Protestantism and Catholism than my entire school career.

I find myself absorbed in the discourse, shocked to read that one of the central arguments was over whether the common man should be allowed to read the bible, or whether it should be reserved only for latin-reading Priests. The beauty of the books is that you are seamlessly transported back in time, to a startlingly visceral world, primarily because in each book the story itself is a strong and powerful one.

Anyway I’ve enjoyed it so much I wanted to write this wee blog as a recommendation (I don’t think I’ve ever done it before).

The various books are… in order…

Dark Fire
& Revelation.

I think the second and third are slightly stronger than the first, but it’s worth investing and reading them all in order; the first does take 20 pages or so to get into. Though if you’re looking for a good escapist, but intelligent read, I highly recommend them….

Do let me know what you think.

Comment and Discuss.