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Tombland

by C. J. Sansom

Part of the The Shardlake series Series

Crime / Mystery Historical Fiction

Tombland Synopsis

Tudor England is brought vividly to life in Tombland, the seventh novel in C. J. Sansom's number one bestselling Shardlake series, for fans of Hilary Mantel and Philippa Gregory. *The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller* Summer, 1549. Two years after the death of Henry VIII, England is sliding into chaos . . . The nominal king, Edward VI, is eleven years old. His uncle Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, rules as Protector. The extirpation of the old religion by radical Protestants is stirring discontent among the populace while the Protector's prolonged war with Scotland is proving a disastrous failure and threatens to involve France. Worst of all, the economy is in collapse, inflation rages and rebellion is stirring among the peasantry. Since the old King's death, Matthew Shardlake has been working as a lawyer in the service of Henry's younger daughter, the Lady Elizabeth. The gruesome murder of Edith Boleyn, the wife of John Boleyn - a distant Norfolk relation of Elizabeth's mother - which could have political implications for Elizabeth, brings Shardlake and his assistant Nicholas Overton to the summer assizes at Norwich. There they are reunited with Shardlake's former assistant Jack Barak. The three find layers of mystery and danger surrounding Edith's death, as a second murder is committed. And then East Anglia explodes, as peasant rebellion breaks out across the country. The yeoman Robert Kett leads a force of thousands in overthrowing the landlords and establishing a vast camp outside Norwich. Soon the rebels have taken over the city, England's second largest. Barak throws in his lot with the rebels; Nicholas, opposed to them, becomes a prisoner in Norwich Castle; while Shardlake has to decide where his ultimate loyalties lie, as government forces in London prepare to march north and destroy the rebels. Meanwhile he discovers that the murder of Edith Boleyn may have connections reaching into both the heart of the rebel camp and of the Norfolk gentry . . . Includes an Historical Essay from the author on Reimagining Kett's Rebellion.

Tombland Press Reviews

A book to curl up with . . . At 880 pages it's a real doorstopper, but the inventive plot is a delight, and the characterization is as strong as ever - Independent

When it comes to intriguing Tudor-based narratives, Hilary Mantel has a serious rival . . . A Scottish historian who had a career in law before turning to fiction, Sansom finds an ideal protagonist in Matthew Shardlake, the humane hunchbacked lawyer-sleuth, in his Tudor novels - Sunday Times

A compelling story that rises above the stink of stables and open sewers . . . The marketplaces and hovels zing off the page, as does the colourful Norfolk dialect - The Sun

Yet again C. J. Sansom has produced a novel so rich in historical detail and colour that the reader feels immersed in Tudor England - S Magazine

Few writers can keep readers interested over the length of 866 pages, but C. J. Sansom is one of those . . . Built on substantial research and written with such confidence that the prose is both smooth and colourful, Tombland is a superb achievement - Literary Review

I really don't think crime writing comes much better than this, and as always with Sansom there is a wealth of enjoyment in his rich storytelling . . . This novel may have been four years in the making but it was well worth the wait. - Nudge

Shardlake is a superb creation who gains more substance with each new book . . . A grand historical epic . . . 800 pages in Shardlake's company will always fly by -- Stephanie Merritt - Observer

Tudor England has never seemed so vibrantly alive and viscerally authentic than in the pages of the extraordinary Matthew Shardlake novels and after a four-year wait, C.J. Sansom's mild-mannered, middle-aged, hunchback lawyer makes a magnificent return. - Lancashire Evening Post

With the Shardlake series . . . Sansom has surely established himself as one of the best novelists around - Spectator

Sansom has the rare knack of bringing the past to life in three dimensions . . . The honest Shardlake shines like a beacon - Daily Telegraph

Sansom blends impeccable historical research with a bloody good whodunnit - The Times

Sansom has the trick of writing an enthralling narrative. Like Hilary Mantel, he produces densely textured historical novels that absorb their readers in another time -- Andrew Taylor - Spectator

Sansom handles his huge cast with aplomb. This is a totally immersive and vividly written tale: compelling reading for history lovers and crime aficionados alike -- Laura Wilson - Guardian

Tudor terror tingles through C. J. Sansom's murder mystery novels . . . With remarkable expertise, sustained over more than 850 pages, Sansom weaves together a wide cast of characters and knits his murder story into a vivid tapestry of little-known historical happenings -- Peter Kemp - Sunday Times

Tudor England of 1549 is effortlessly evoked. The murder mystery absorbs, the characters are vivid and the history is seductive, but it's the author's inclusive humanity that lingers -- Elizabeth Buchan - Daily Mail

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781447284512
Publication date: 19/09/2019
Publisher: Pan Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781447284482
Publication date: 18/10/2018
Publisher: Mantle an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781447284512
Publication date: 19th September 2019
Author: C. J. Sansom
Publisher: Pan Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 880 pages
Genres: Crime / Mystery, Historical Fiction,
Categories: Historical mysteries,

About C. J. Sansom

C. J. Sansom was educated at Birmingham University, where he took a BA and then a Ph.D. in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he retrained as a solicitor and practised in Sussex, until becoming a full-time writer. He lives in Sussex.

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