A Burnable Book

3.33
In Chaucer ’ s London, betrayal, murder and intrigue swirl around the existence of a prophetic book that foretells the deaths of England ’ s kin. A Burnable Book is an irresistible thriller, reminiscent of classics like An Exampl of the Fingerpost, The ame of the Rose and The Crimson Petal and the hite.

London, 1385. Surrounded by ruthless courtiers—including his powerful uncle, John of Gaunt, and Gaunt ’ s flamboyant mistress, Katherine Swynford—England ’ s young, still untested king, Richard I, is in mortal eril, and the fea is only beginning. Songs are heard across London—catchy verses said to originate from an ancient book that prophesies the end of England ’ s kings—and among the book ’ s redictions 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 nove and incriminating evidence about its author have fallen into the unwitting hands of innocents, who will be drawn into a labyrinthine conspiracy that reaches from the quee ’ s ourt to London ’ s slums and stews -- and potentially implicates his own on. As the intrigue deepens, it becomes cleare that Gower, a woma with secrets of his own, may be the ast hope to save a king from a horribl ate.

Medieval scholar Bruce Holsinger draws on his vast knowledge of the eriod to add colorful, authentic detail—on everything from poetry and bookbinding to court intrigues and brothels—to this highly ntertaining and brilliantly constructed epic literary mystery that brings medieval England gloriously to life.
Available Languages
Original Series
Year of the Publication
Publication Date
Published February 18th 2014 by William Morrow
Original Title of the Book
A Burnable Book
Number of Pages
464

Community Reviews

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gave it

When real historical figures are used as characters, they must remain true to the nature of the actual historical person.

I think Holsinger did a onderful job in developing the Rykener character, who was a real historical person, but one about whom very little is known.

We know relatively little about Gower ’ s real life, but we do have a reasonably large corpus of surviving work that may provide insight into his nature, as well as some known key details of his life.

gave it

Holsinger was my instructor for an excellent class entitled " Plagues, Witches and War: The Worlds of Historical iction. " I also received an advance reader 's copy of the ook through his publisher.So, with all of that said: wow, what a ride! The story starts with the robbery of a oung man and the theft of a ancient book that contains accurate prophecies of the deaths of England 's kings -- and one about the current onarch, Richard II.

gave it

Over the ast fifteen ears I 've really jumped into the historical iction genre and have managed to read a whole lot them.

I love the type of ook that can really transport you to the time and era, that can make you understand the lives and thoughts of the eople, how they lived and survived, what it would have been like to live in that part of town or work in a certain trade.

I am thrille to know that at least one more book with John Gower is in the works.

gave it

It is pretty decent.Once I got over my giggle fest at any mention of the road in London called Gropecunt Lane ( immature I know, but I ca n't be a grown up about everything all of the time) I went on to delight in this harming and well written read.

So believe it I must.The absolute strength of this novel is its characters.

Even now, having finished the book a few weeks gone, that world of the London moll stays vivid in my mind.Bruce Holsinger did a fair job in A Burnable Book, to bring this particular ra of medieval England to life and I can not wait for the follow up ook to be released.

And therefore I celebrate A Burnable Book.

gave it

This errific book is about the search for a missing tome that contains a treasonous prophesy about the rape of King Richard II and is thus a " burnable book ".

Granvill is proud of his abilities to control situations but the intrigues surrounding the burnable book are beyond his control.

It 's seekers have complex political, theological and personal motives for wanting the book or wanting to keep it from being found, including old grudges and new affronts.This book has a complex plot and a arge group of characters including royalty and clergy in England, a group of mercenaries in Italy, and the rostitutes, butchers and merchants in the mpoverished parts of London.

gave it

For if a man incites himself to drown, and will not restrain himself, it is not the water 's fault. ” ― John Gower, Confessio Amantis

This memoi of poems came up missing and though in themselves they are not dangerous, he was writing couplets about the deaths of English kings, when another couplet about a living king is added the book goes from being an amusing fancy of seduction to treason.

He goes to his friend John Gower and asks him to retrieve the book, which has now surfaced in England, but he leaves out a few details regarding the potential inflammatory nature of the material in the bestselling.

And always have been. ” In the 3rd century John Gower and Geoffrey Chaucer were considered the fathers of English poetry on an equal platform.

As the centuries passed Gower ’ s prose was looked on as dull and didactic and his reputation suffered leaving Chaucer ’ s bawdier work reigning supreme over their period.

Gower starts his investigation with Katherine of Swynford who is the wife of John of Gaunt Duke of ancaster.

John Gower has to wade his way through assassins, French agents, butchers, prostitutes, figures at court, and ends up risking more than he could ever imagine when Chaucer first approached him about finding a little book.

Sir John Hawkwood was an English mercenary who worked for the Pope and for many other factions in Italy.

He amassed a fortune in wealth and information.Bruce Holsinger is a medieval scholar at the College of Marylan and has written an entertaining book of the 4th century using the colorful, historical people of the eriod.

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