MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from Edward Trencom's Nose by Giles Milton, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Edward Trencom's Nose

A Novel of History, Dark Intrigue, and Cheese

by Giles Milton

Edward Trencom's Nose by Giles Milton X
Edward Trencom's Nose by Giles Milton
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2007, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2008, 320 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Read chapter one below, or click here to open a PDF file of the first three chapters.




Chapter One

3 September 1666

Humphrey Trencom rolled over and sniffed at the air. He was caught in that blissful state of nonbeing that lies somewhere between slumber and wakefulness. He was aware of his legs but only as weights. He could feel his hands but only their warmth. Yet his vigilant nose was already alert to the fact that something in the here and now – in this very chamber – was not quite right.

In the time it took to trigger an alarm in his somnolent brain, Humphrey allowed his thoughts to drift back to the world of sleep. He had been dreaming of roasted capons and honeyed parsnips, of succulent woodcock and jellied eels. His sleepy reverie had transported him to the great banqueting hall of Whitehall Palace, where he was the seating partner of King Charles II. His brain had failed to register that this was as unlikely as it was improbable. Instead, it was once again focusing itself upon the long oak trestle that seemed to stretch to the furthest end of the room.

In the dream-filled orbit of Humphrey’s head, the tabletop was laden with partridge pies, pomegranate pastries and quince conserves. There were castors of pepper and gallipots of oils, pitchers of chocolate and posnets of sauce. At the centrepiece of this display was a great tower of English cheeses – more than twenty different varieties that were stacked up on a decorative pewter platter. Humphrey himself had supplied all the cheeses for this morphean banquet and he was about to proffer his expert advice to the monarch, who was currently seated on his right.

‘And which,’ asked the king with uncommon familiarity, ‘do you particularly recommend we try?’

Humphrey’s favourite had long been the smoked Norfolk tynwood. Gingerly and with great care, he eased it from the base of the tower, causing the pile to wobble slightly. Then, after showing it to the king, he sliced a thick wedge from the tynwood round. He noticed that the pock-marked rind was coated in a thin film of ash that imparted an oaky softness to the lemony flesh of the cheese. Humphrey put it to his nose and inhaled deeply. Ah, yes – there was a tangible richness to the scent. The smell of bonfires and woodsmoke was working its way deep into his consciousness, causing his still-sleeping mouth to dribble with saliva.

It was at exactly this point in the dream that his conscious nose flashed a message of alarm to his not-quite-conscious brain. And just a second or two later, an abruptly awoken Humphrey realized that not everything was quite as it should be on this hot late-summer’s morning.

The smell of smoke had not come from the slice of Norfolk tynwood; rather, it was drifting in through the casement window – invisible to the eye but altogether present in the sensitive nostrils of Humphrey Trencom.

‘Mercy!’ he said to himself as he sat bolt upright in bed. ‘Something is most certainly amiss.’ He straightened his nightcap, which had slipped over his eyes, and swung his legs over the side of the bed. As he did so, he noticed that the room was infused with a dull orange glow. With a growing sense of alarm, he climbed the four steps up to the high leaded window that had a view over much of the city.

The sight that greeted his eyes was so shocking and unexpected that he had to clutch at the woodwork to stop himself from reeling. ‘Oh, Lord,’ he said. ‘Oh, my good Lord.’ As far as he could see, from St Giles’s in the north to Thames Street in the west, the entire city of London was aflame. Canning Street was a sheet of fire; the Exchange was a mass of burning timber. Botolph’s Wharf was ablaze. Even some of the dwellings on London Bridge appeared to be smouldering from within.

Copyright © 2007 by Giles Milton. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  All About Cheese

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Crossings
    Crossings
    by Alex Landragin
    Crossings is a beautiful, if slightly messy, time-bending debut. It reads like a vampire novel, sans...
  • Book Jacket: Pew
    Pew
    by Catherine Lacey
    A quote often attributed to Leo Tolstoy states that "All great literature is one of two stories; a ...
  • Book Jacket: Waiting for an Echo
    Waiting for an Echo
    by Christine Montross
    Dr. Christine Montross had been a practicing psychiatrist for nearly a decade when she decided to ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Flight Portfolio
    by Julie Orringer
    At once a sweeping historical narrative, an insightful character study and a tender romance, Julie ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Hieroglyphics
    by Jill McCorkle

    A mesmerizing novel about piecing together the hieroglyphics of history and memory.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    With or Without You
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A moving novel about twists of fate, the shifting terrain of love, and coming into your own.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Every Bone a Prayer
by Ashley Blooms

The the story of one tough-as-nails girl whose choices are few but whose fight is boundless.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Every Bone a Prayer

Every Bone a Prayer by Ashley Blooms

A beautifully honest exploration of healing and of hope.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T Real M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.