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The Clerkenwell Talesby Peter Ackroyd
Synopses & Reviews
From a master historian — a brilliantly original historical novel set in late-14th century London.
“I am sister to the day and night. I am sister to the woods.” Sister Clarisse, a nun in the House of St. Mary at Clerkenwell, experiences visions. She dreams of the English King. Are her prophesies the babblings of the crazed? Or can she “see” a future in which Henry Bolingbroke overthrows Richard II?
This clever and colourful novel begins with The Nun’s Tale, and continues with The Friar’s Tale, The Merchant’s Tale and The Clerk’s Tale. Thus, story by story, Peter Ackroyd builds his portrait of medieval London. The people are disenchanted with the Church, with its wealth and corruption, its Pope in Rome and its Pope in Avignon. But heresy is dangerous — almost as dangerous as rebellion. This is a novel about spies and counterspies, radicals and idealists, murderers and arsonists, sects and secret societies. It is a tale richly atmospheric and satisfying in its historical detail.
From the Hardcover edition.
In 1399 London, with Richard II on the throne of England, Sister Clarice, a member of the convent at Clerkenwell, experiences a series of visions about a dark and dangerous future that reveals a secret plot to overthrow the Church, dethrone Richard, and ignite deadly violence in five different parts of London. Reprint. 10,000 first printing.
From the foremost contemporary chronicler of London’s history, a suspenseful novel that ingeniously draws on Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales to recreate the city’s 14th century religious and political intrigues.
London, 1399. Sister Clarice, a nun born below Clerkenwell convent, is predicting the death of King Richard II and the demise of the Church. Her visions can be dismissed as madness, until she accurately foretells a series of terrorist explosions. What is the role of the apocalyptic Predestined Men? And the clandestine Dominus? And what powers, ultimately, will prevail?
In Peter Ackroyd’s deft and suprising narrative, The Miller, the Prioress, the Wife of Bath and other characters from Canterbury Tales pursue these mysteries through a pungently vivid medieval London.
Table of Contents
The prioress's tale — The friar's tale — The merchant's tale — The clerk's tale — The canon's yeoman's tale — The Franklin's tale — The nun's priest's tale — The knight's tale — The Reeve's tale — The physician's tale — The monk's tale — The manciple's tale — The summoner's tale — The Miller's tale — The wife of Bath's tale — The cook's tale — The squire's tale — The man of law's tale — The pardoner's tale — The shipman's tale — The parson's tale — The second nun's tale — The author's tale.
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