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 Dominion, about the definition of historical fiction and his fascination with history
Could you tell us about your inspiration for writing Dominion?
Everyone who studies history seriously considers counterfactuals if a particular event, or decision, had gone differently, what would the effects on history have been? And of course one intriguing theme is what would have happened if Britain had been defeated or surrendered in 1940.
What drew you to the particular era that your book depicts? What are some of the challenges and/or delights about writing about this time?
As well as the Tudor era, I have always been very interested in European and British history before, during, and after the Second World War, and Winter in Madrid is also set within this broad period. Dominion's setting is Britain in 1952 , the year I was born. Although it is an alternate history and many things are different, I try to catch the atmosphere of 1950 s Britain in such things as the general drabness, the intense social conservatism, but also the importance of personal integrity as epitomized in characters like David and Sarah. It was very interesting to create characters rooted in a time ...
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