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The thing that has hovered over the monarchy for ears is still an issue It was something that Shardlake was familiar with since his time with Thomas Cromwell ueen Catherine was in her forties past child bearing and she had not given the King a male heir Unless he could marry a Lifes a Pitch younger woman who might provide an heir the Tudor dynasty would die with himAnd there were many of us who thought the only way to preserve true religion in England was for ueen Catherine to do what the Pope himself had suggested to her go into a nunnery allow the King to marry againFoolish obstinate woman By insisting God intended her to be married to the King until death she brought about the very revolution to religion she hated and feared One of Shardlake s tasks is to assure that a prisoner is not abused before he can be brought back to the Tower of London and interrogated by the King s experts Yet not long after he arrives in York a puzzling death takes place that demands his attention This places him and his clerk Barak in greater danger The plot takes us through multiple attempts on his life while he searches for the killer or killersand why there is need for any killing The pace is slow and I am sure some who reviewed this book were bored with all the wandering around town This is the nature of detection and getting to know the town is part of that Yet the book is over 550 pages andou have to have a desire to be immersed in Tudor life or it isn t worth the effort Is this paragraph necessary We walked to Stonegate as the sun and city came to life keeping under the eaves as people opened their windows and threw the night s piss into the streets The shopkeepers appeared in their doorways and the noise of their shutters banging open accompanied our passage Perhaps unnecessary to the plot but part of what informs and illuminates life in Tudor timesThis is history for where Shardlake finds himself now in York with the King and his new ueen after Anne Boleyn and several others and a rebellion having been uelled The King is determined to stamp out any remnants of the rebellion and to assure that His Church of England is the only Christian church extant That is part of Shardlake s role in York to see that a noble prisoner is well cared for and fit to be brought back to London for Henry s inuisitorsThose are not easy tasks under the best of circumstances Here the rich detail of the venues slows down the plot to a pleasant stroll through York and then builds its momentum so that by the time Shardlake gets back to London about 100 pages from the end we are caught in a maelstrom of politics greed veniality and mayhem To those who have read other historical books of the period Wolf Hall among them the names will be familiar the Howards the Seymours the Parrs the Dudleys and of course Richard Rich The plot gathers speed at the end like an avalanche and false assumptions are swept away in the final chapters Very satisfyingIn addition we learn a lot about Shardlake s relationship to his father and his growing up in the countryside Sansom s take on the court politics and the use of legal documents in Tudor times is interesting and informative I know that my GR friend Beata enjoys these details as much as I do is via R4 dramatisation Atmospheric dramatisation of C J Sansom s third Tudor crime novel featuring hunchback lawyer detective Matthew ShardlakeAutumn 1541 King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Royal Progress to York aiming to strike fear and awe into his rebellious northern subjects Shardlake and his assistant Barak arrive in the city a day ahead of the 3000 strong procession Officially there to prepare petitions for the King they have also been tasked with a secret mission by Archbishop Cranmer to ensure the welfare of one of the northern conspirators Sir Edward Broderick who is to be brought back to London for uestioning in the Tower 110 Tensions are running high in the city and soon Shardlake is called to investigate a suspicious death and stumbles upon a daring plot that has the potential to shake England to its core 210 After settling into their living uarters Shardlake witnesses a man fall to a te This is such a good series Let me uote the comment from the Sunday Times on the cover of the book So compulsive thatuntil ou reach the Final Page You Ll Have To Be Almost Physically Prised page ou ll have to be almost physically prised from it I so agree I just wanted to curl up in a corner somewhere and read until I had finished all 653 pages of it without stopping Of course life isn t like that and I did have to put it down but I rushed back to it as soon as I could every time In this episode Thomas Cromwell has gone to his maker and Matthew now reports to Archbishop Cranmer The author s descriptions of Tudor England seem so realistic and the hardships and brutality of life at that time ring very true Beautifully written an intriguing story and believable characters what could Mixed Tape Series Volume you want An easy five stars TWO DESCRIPTIONS OF THE MATTHEW SHARDLAKE SERIESDescription the First Take Sherlock Holmes and1 Crook his back uasimodo style oh how I wanted to say bend it like Beckham instead but I figure it s time we all move on from that oneand make sureou include a nice hump 2 Surgically remove 927% of the arrogant ego maniacal self love 3 Replace Watson with a street wise well connected tough guy while deleting all hints of bromantic tension between the two 4 Change the setting from Victorian England to the time of Henry VIII and the English Reformation where Reformers are engaged in a protracted struggle against the Papist We all know what it s like to anticipate something so much that we are literally shaking with excitement Shardlake had similar feelings about meeting his king he couldn t wait to behold the presence of King Henry VIII Except when that moment finally comes it almost breaks Shardlake in two What does the obese tyrant do to cause such a reaction Well he publicly humiliates Shardlake by mocking his appearance because clearly the king is the very essence of physical perfection clearly he is not beyond such vain fuelled low blows as Shardlake presumed See the "OTHER LAWYER BY HIS SIDE THE "lawyer by his side the that dropped his cap I know he is a southron see what a poor bent bottled spider he appears This may not seem like an overly terrible thing but if The Magdalen you livedour entire life with such a strong insecurity and then to have that same insecurity picked on by our king it s like being struck with an iron fist Shardlake does nothing but internalise such a comment making his self esteem even lower The comment almost makes him forget about his new mission one that is rather mundane but the plot picks up when a murder occurs in the king s camp Shardlake can then do what he does best He begins to investigate and finds some rather intriguing papers full of mystery and danger Several attempts are made upon his own life in order to insure the secrets remain hidden They smell of betrayal and dynastical forgery they suggest that the current Tudor line is completely invalid due to Henry s maternal grandfather Edward IV being a bastard born of a low born archer rather than the offspring of Richard Duke of York Such material is politically sensitive to say the least Shardlake begins to regret even finding such papers He wants nothing to do with such intrigue And who can blame him This is dirty stuff He wants no of the King s ire But somehow. King Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a secret mission for Archbishop Cranmer – to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator who is to be returned to London for interrogationBut the murder of a York glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries connec. .
45 I looked at the little houses along Petergate and thought again of the rule preventing citizens from casting sewage in the streets or in the river while the Progress was here It would be piling up in their backyards It was symbolic of the King s visit all glitter and show in front a pile of turds behind My how things have changed not sadly Henry VIII s England C J Sansom drops ou straight in it stink and all I love the Matthew Shardlake series but I find I have to come up for air before diving into the next book I find I also have to forgive some glaring anachronisms in dialogue I don t know how I get past them but I do and I remain just as immersed in the story as before the jolt of a modern phrase eg the penny has dropped from the 1930s The rest rings so true that it compensates for any lapses It does mean I rounded down to 4 stars instead of up to 5 thoughHenry VIII with his new ueen Catherine Howard aged 18 their household and a cast of thousands are on a slow procession a progress to York and the North It is promoted as a good will trip but it s really Henry s show of power The peasants have to provide all the food contribute to a stash of gold to be presented to the King and put up with their fields being muddied and trashed by soldiers and others camping in them Shardlake and his Miles to Go (The Walk, young offsider Jack Barak are also on a mission for Archbishop Cranmer his former employer Thomas Cromwell having been beheaded recently who has given Shardlake his seal to assure him safe passage and entry into the city At York Castle he reports to Master Radwinter and looks out the window of his office The moat is surrounded by reeds and Radwinter explains that they are being gathered to make rushlights But who are the people standing in the water picking at their legs They re gathering the leeches that bite them for the apothecaries It must be a miserable occupation standing deep in mud waiting for those things to bite Their legs must be covered in little scars He turned to me his eyes looking into mine As the body of England is covered in the scars left by the great leech of Rome No lack of occupations for those with strong stomachs it seems A rather forward uite lovelyoung woman cleverly contrives to meet them as she seems to have her eye on Barak and he is easily smitten Shardlake is understandably suspicious and when it transpires that she s part of the ueen s household he is even nervous Tamasin becomes a major character in this story as do the women she works for who report to the ueenThe King s Progress progresses with the nobility clad in extravagant finery while the regular folk are mostly pretty grubby The divide between wealth and poverty was like the divide between humans and livestock Farmers and peasants were on the land at the pleasure of the landowners the nobles As I mentioned before in some places things are still just as badLest I make this sound like nothing but misery and torture oh I forgot to mention that didn t I Yes bones hanging from a loft where a man had died slowly in chains and finally been picked clean while various body parts of other miscreants or just someone who was out of favour at the wrong time decorate bridges and pikes and fences everywhere And part of Shardlake s assignment is to look after and transport a prisoner to London where he will be tortured in the tower Keep him alive long enough to be tortured Not what he had in mind for a career but he needs the moneyWhere was I Yes lest this sound like only misery and torture I must add that the story has plenty of intrigue plots suggested dalliances between the very oung ueen 18 and her former suitors and some interesting personal developments between Shardlake Barak an elderly lawyer and Tamasin who thinks she s the illegitimate daughter of a gentleman of importance And of course there is Shardlake s secret mission for the ArchbishopShardlake is always noticeably avoided because of his hunched back but Jack Barak can move in and out "of pubs and chat to the locals But they are considered southron heretics so even he has to be "pubs and chat to the locals But they are considered southron heretics so even he has to be The King has banned any signs of the old religion Catholic but the North hasn t taken kindly to the message Shardlake doesn t follow either side now but keeps that to himself Still when the King s procession arrives and he stands with the lawyers to present the local cases he is overcomeIt was foolish I that had once had Thomas Cromwell for a friend and confronted Richard Rich and the Duke of Norfolk reduced to such a jelly Yet this was not an official or nobleman I was approaching now This was God s anointed on earth Head of His Church guardian of the souls of three million subjects than human in his glory In those few seconds I believed it allIt s like a cult A cult devised to excuse divorce and eventually excused everything As Archbishop Cranmer says The harsh measures the King takes are necessary Do not forget he is chosen by God appointed by Him to guide England into the paths of wisdom and truth I won t dwell on the harsh measures but I will mention the author s noteWhat is still true astonishingly in the twenty first century is that ueen Elizabeth II retains the title Henry VIII took for himself Supreme Governor of the Church of England Defender of the Faith and in theory at least God s chosen representative in EnglandI d rather her than Henry VIII as the British monarch I m an Aussie and we re still part of the Commonwealth but I look forward to reading of Matthew Shardlake s adventures with that unpredictable dangerous ruler I love and recommend this series Just remove our nit picking language editor s hat The third in the Matthew Shardlake series takes us to York in the midst of Henry VIII s brutal supression of Northern England known as the ProgressMatthew Sharlake comes face to face with Henry s reign of terror and the machinations of his henchman such as the conniving Sir Richard Rich the book revealing Henry as a cruel tyrant while discovering embaraasing facts that put his life in danger and keep us speculating in an excellent cross between historical and detective novelThe sights sounds and smells of Tudor England are brought to life as are the violent conflict in the England at the time between traditionalists and reformers in the church the repercusions of which would continue for centuries to come to rock England and cause wars and turmoilIn this novel we read of the tragic fate of Catherine Howard Henry s fifth oung wifeAlso interesting is the story of J You have rescued him from suspicion Brother the story of J You have rescued him from suspicion Brother I would not have anyone under false suspicion Even Radwinter Maleverer s smile turned into a cruel smirk Jesu sir ou are a righteous prig I wish I could afford our scruples For most histories the Progress to the North of 1541 is given little comment Yet this was a critical time for Henry VIII in securing his rule after he had disposed of his handyman Thomas Cromwell CJ Sansom gives us many of the intimate details of this procession through his character Matthew Shardlake and his task which sends him from London to meet the Progress at York the center for the previous rebellionShardlake is told This is not a game It is to show these barbarian papists the power and glory of the king Henry no longer prefers to be addressed as Your Grace he now favors Your MajestyAs the title alludes to this book is about the King Henry VIII. Autumn 1541 King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to attend an extravagant submission by his rebellious subjects in YorkAlready in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak As well as legal work processing petitions to the.

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