C. J. Sansom was educated at the University of Birmingham, where he took a BA
and then a PhD in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he decided to
retrain as a solicitor (lawyer). He practiced for a while in Sussex as a lawyer
for the disadvantaged, then he quit in order to work full-time as a writer. C.J. Sansom is the #1 bestselling author of the Matthew Shardlake series of historical thrillers.
Dark Fire won the 2005 CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger and Sansom was "Very Highly Commended" in the 2007 CWA Dagger in the Library award, for the Shardlake series.
The BBC have commissioned an adaptation of Dissolution with the actor Kenneth Branagh set to star as Shardlake. The rest of the Shardlake books are expected to follow.
Publication dates based on first publication in the UK
Matthew Shardlake series
Dark Fire (2004)
Winter in Madrid (2006)
This biography was last updated on 08/17/2013.
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A Conversation with C.J. Sansom, author of Winter in Madrid
What inspired you to write a book about Spain and
specifically about the period of time after the Spanish Civil War?
I first studied the Spanish Civil War as my undergraduate special subject at University, so gained a very good introduction to sources in English on the period. My course stopped in 1939 with Franco's victory but I was interested in reading on and seeing what happened to Spain during the Second World War, and decided I would like to write a spy novel set in that period. I worked as a lawyer for many years and by the time I gave that up in 2000 and had the time to write, books about the Civil War and the 1940s were starting to appear in Spain. My reading Spanish was not really good enough to use untranslated books as source material, but there were several books by English historians, and also I had managed to track down a number of books and memoirs written by journalists and British diplomats who were in Spain at the period. Meanwhile I had been visiting Spain and especially Madrid for a number of years, and managed to get items like a map of contemporary Madrid, coins and stamps -- and also a three-volume book of ...
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