Lamentation – C. J. Sansom

C. J. Sansom’s Shardlake’s take on the final months of Henry VIII’s reign and life, revolving around the disappearance of a manuscript written by Henry VIII’s sixth wife, Catherine Parr. As Henry’s health worsens, political and religious power struggles escalate and the loss of The Lamentations of a Sinner puts Catherine in a very dangerous position indeed.

Author’s webpage: Lamentation – C. J. Sansom

Revelation – C.J. Sansom

There’s an entry for Revelation almost a year ago, but having just read the book (principally on the prom at Walton) it’s clear that I haven’t read it before – goodness only knows which book I did read

I definitely would have remembered more about Revelation. Set in the 1540s, as Henry VIII’s reign nears its end, the plot focuses on religious belief, radical protestantism and the aftermath of the Reformation and the Dissolution; and Henry VIII’s wooing of his sixth and final wife, Catherine Parr.

A series of grotesque murders brings lawyer-detective Matthew Shardlake back into contact with the Archbishop Cranmer, and the dangerous political factions of the Tudor period. Matthew Shardlake also finds himself back in love with an old flame, and dealing with the case of a young man confined to Bedlam. Meanwhile his side kick Barak and wife Tamsin struggle after the death of their baby and Guy Malton’s affection for his young apprentice brings concern.

Through the novel we learn a lot about the spread of ideas and the power of books: the bible in English, protestant beliefs from Europe and within England, medicine and theories of how the body works. We also see how the thin line can be between strong belief, obsession and madness.

Amazon.co.uk links:

Dissolution – C. J. Sansom

Another great find from our Herefordshire holiday, this is the first in the Shardlake series, and even knowing some of the twists and turns from later books, this novel is still a fine read. The historical setting is strong and the criminal plot excellent.

London lawyer Shardlake is summoned by King Henry VIII’s right hand man, Thomas Cromwell, and ordered to investigate (hush up) the murder of one of his men at Scarnsea monastery, a religious house in Cromwell’s reforming sights as part of his/Henry’s dissolution of the monasteries….

Amazon.co.uk links: