The Clerkenwell Tales
By Peter Ackroyd
(Anchor, Paperback, 9781400075959, 224pp.)
Publication Date: November 8, 2005
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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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.
Peter Ackroyd lives in London. He is the author of biographies of Dickens, Blake and Thomas More and of the bestselling London: The Biography. His most recent book is Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination.
“Brilliant. . . . Ackroyd has borrowed from one classic and produced another.”–Time Out New York
“Theological and political issues come bracingly alive as the plot turns and twists through a murky world of betrayal and fanaticism. In the words of ‘The Monk’s Tale’ ‘To Thee this storie I recomende.’” —The Christian Science Monitor
“The Clerkenwell Tales is the latest example of [Ackroyd’s] virtuoso mastery of his subject matter.”–The Seattle Times
“A gripping thriller which also happens to be wonderfully full of engaging historical detail and conversation-enhancing worlds like ‘hopharlot.” --Literary Review