A Burnable Book (John Gower 1)

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9780007493326: A Burnable Book (John Gower 1)

A stunning debut historical thriller set in the turbulent 14th Century for fans of CJ Sansom, The Name of the Rose and An Instance of the Fingerpost.

London, 1385. A city of shadows and fear, in a kingdom ruled by the headstrong young King Richard II, haunted by the spectre of revolt. A place of poetry and prophecy, where power is bought by blood.

For John Gower, part-time poet and full-time trader in information, secrets are his currency. When close confidant, fellow poet Geoffrey Chaucer, calls in an old debt, Gower cannot refuse.

The request is simple: track down a missing book. It should be easy for a man of Gower’s talents, who knows the back-alleys of Southwark as intimately as the courts and palaces of Westminster.

But what Gower does not know is that this book has already caused one murder, and that its contents could destroy his life.

Because its words are behind the highest treason – a conspiracy to kill the king and reduce his reign to ashes…

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Review:

‘This is a rich novel...Bruce Holsinger is a leading American scholar of the Middle Ages and his debut novel combines detailed knowledge of the period with an undoubted gift for gripping storytelling’ BBC History magazine

‘This book has almost everything you could want in a historical fiction – rich in period detail and driven by a compulsively engaging and tangled story...The characters are well drawn, the social mores related in unapologetic detail and his multi-layered plot shows a superb storytelling fluency comparable with C.J. Sansom and Nancy Bilyeux.’ Crime Review

‘An enjoyable story of murder and intrigue in 14th-century London’ Sunday Times

‘Holsinger carries the reader to Oxford, Italy and Spain, but the highlight is his description of medieval London with its murky, poverty-stricken streets...enjoyable and intelligent’ Daily Mail

‘His profound knowledge of the 14th century provides a wonderfully convincing backdrop... his London feels like a real place, from St Paul’s churchyard to Southwark’s Gropecunt Lane. Comparisons with C.J. Sansom are inevitable, and justified’ Andrew Taylor, Spectator

‘John Gower is the perfect narrator and amateur sleuth ...Holsinger's research, alongside the energetic vulgarity of a language in flux, delivers up a world where even the filth is colorful’ New York Times Book Review

‘A murder, a verse and a whore; the prologue of Bruce Holsinger`s A BURNABLE BOOK draws the reader in and does not let go. A deep understanding of the period combines with sophisticated writing to create a richly imagined world. Excellent historical fiction’ Harry Sidebottom, bestselling author of the WARRIOR OF ROME series

‘A lush bibliomaniac thriller... Holsinger is a graceful guide to the 14th century, lacing his thriller with just the right seasoning of antique words and all the necessary historical detail without any of the fusty smell of a documentary’ Ron Charles Washington Post

From the Back Cover:

In Chaucer's London, betrayal, murder, and intrigue swirl around the existence of a prophetic book that foretells the deaths of England's kings

London, 1385. Surrounded by ruthless courtiers--including his powerful uncle, John of Gaunt, and Gaunt's artful mistress, Katherine Swynford--England's young king, Richard II, is in mortal peril. Songs are heard across London--catchy verses said to originate from an ancient book that prophesies the ends of England's kings--and among the book's predictions is Richard's assassination. Only a few powerful men know that the cryptic lines derive from a "burnable book," a seditious work that threatens the stability of the realm. To find the manuscript, wily bureaucrat Geoffrey Chaucer turns to fellow poet John Gower, a professional trader in information with connections high and low.

Gower discovers that the book and incriminating evidence about its author have fallen into the unwitting hands of innocents, who will be drawn into a conspiracy that reaches from the king's court to London's slums and stews--and potentially implicates Gower's own son. As the intrigue deepens, it becomes clear that John Gower, a man with secrets of his own, may hold the key to saving the king, and England itself.

Medieval scholar Bruce Holsinger draws on his vast knowledge of the period to add colorful, authentic detail--on everything from poetry and bookbinding to court intrigues and brothels--to this highly entertaining and brilliantly constructed literary mystery that brings medieval England gloriously to life.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A stunning debut historical thriller set in the turbulent 14th Century for fans of CJ Sansom, The Name of the Rose and An Instance of the Fingerpost. London, 1385. A city of shadows and fear, in a kingdom ruled by the headstrong young King Richard II, haunted by the spectre of revolt. A place of poetry and prophecy, where power is bought by blood. For John Gower, part-time poet and full-time trader in information, secrets are his currency. When close confidant, fellow poet Geoffrey Chaucer, calls in an old debt, Gower cannot refuse. The request is simple: track down a missing book. It should be easy for a man of Gower s talents, who knows the back-alleys of Southwark as intimately as the courts and palaces of Westminster. But what Gower does not know is that this book has already caused one murder, and that its contents could destroy his life. Because its words are behind the highest treason - a conspiracy to kill the king and reduce his reign to ashes. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780007493326

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A stunning debut historical thriller set in the turbulent 14th Century for fans of CJ Sansom, The Name of the Rose and An Instance of the Fingerpost. London, 1385. A city of shadows and fear, in a kingdom ruled by the headstrong young King Richard II, haunted by the spectre of revolt. A place of poetry and prophecy, where power is bought by blood. For John Gower, part-time poet and full-time trader in information, secrets are his currency. When close confidant, fellow poet Geoffrey Chaucer, calls in an old debt, Gower cannot refuse. The request is simple: track down a missing book. It should be easy for a man of Gower s talents, who knows the back-alleys of Southwark as intimately as the courts and palaces of Westminster. But what Gower does not know is that this book has already caused one murder, and that its contents could destroy his life. Because its words are behind the highest treason - a conspiracy to kill the king and reduce his reign to ashes. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780007493326

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Book Description Harper Collins Promotion. Book Condition: New. A stunning debut historical thriller set in the turbulent 14th Century for fans of CJ Sansom, The Name of the Rose and An Instance of the Fingerpost. Num Pages: 512 pages. BIC Classification: FFH. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 129 x 198 x 32. Weight in Grams: 362. . 2014. 0th Edition. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780007493326

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, A Burnable Book, Bruce Holsinger, A stunning debut historical thriller set in the turbulent 14th Century for fans of CJ Sansom, The Name of the Rose and An Instance of the Fingerpost. London, 1385. A city of shadows and fear, in a kingdom ruled by the headstrong young King Richard II, haunted by the spectre of revolt. A place of poetry and prophecy, where power is bought by blood. For John Gower, part-time poet and full-time trader in information, secrets are his currency. When close confidant, fellow poet Geoffrey Chaucer, calls in an old debt, Gower cannot refuse. The request is simple: track down a missing book. It should be easy for a man of Gower's talents, who knows the back-alleys of Southwark as intimately as the courts and palaces of Westminster. But what Gower does not know is that this book has already caused one murder, and that its contents could destroy his life. Because its words are behind the highest treason - a conspiracy to kill the king and reduce his reign to ashes. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007493326

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