Excerpt from Revelation by C.J. Sansom, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Revelation

by C.J. Sansom

Revelation by C.J. Sansom
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2009, 560 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2010, 560 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


  ‘They look good, do they not?’ she asked, catching my stare. ‘A barber-surgeon in Cheapside made them up for me. I cannot eat with them, of course.’

  ‘Put them away, Johanna,’ her husband said. ‘The company does not want to stare at those while we eat.’

Johanna pouted, so far as an almost toothless woman can, and deposited the teeth in a little box which she put away in the folds of her dress. I repressed a shudder. I found the French fashion among some in the upper classes for wearing mouthfuls of teeth taken from dead people, which in recent years had spread to England from France, rather gruesome.

Roger began talking about his hospital again, addressing his arguments this time to old Ryprose. ‘Think of the sick and helpless people we could take from the streets, maybe cure.’

  ‘Ay, that would be a worthwhile thing,’ the old man agreed. ‘But what of all the fit sturdy beggars that infest the streets, pestering one for money, sometimes with threats. What is to be done with them? I am an old man and sometimes fear to walk out alone.’

  ‘Very true.’ Brother Loder leaned across me to voice his agreement. ‘Those two that robbed and killed poor Brother Goodcole by the gates last November were masterless servants from the monasteries. And they would not have been caught had they not gone bragging of what they had done in the taverns where they spent poor Goodcole’s money, and had an honest keeper not raised the constable.’

‘Ay, ay.’ Ryprose nodded vigorously. ‘No wonder masterless men beg and rob with impunity, when all the city has to ensure our safety are a few constables, most nearly as old as me.’

‘The city council should appoint some strong men to whip them out of the city,’ Loder said.

‘But, Ambrose,’ his wife said quietly. ‘Why be so harsh? When you were younger you used to argue the workless poor had a right to be given employment, the city should pay them to do useful things like pave the streets. You were always quoting Erasmus and Juan Vives on the duties of a Christian Commonwealth towards the unfortunate.’ She smiled at him sweetly, gaining revenge perhaps for his curt remark about her teeth.

‘So you were, Ambrose,’ Roger said. ‘I remember it well.’

‘And I,’ Dorothy agreed. ‘You used to wax most fiercely about the duties of the King towards the poor.’

‘Well, there’s no interest from that quarter, so I don’t see what we’re supposed to do.’ Loder frowned at his wife. ‘Take ten thousand scabby beggars into the Inn and feed them at High Table?’

‘No,’ Roger answered gently. ‘Merely use our status as wealthy men to help a few. Till better times come, perhaps.’

‘It’s not just the beggars that make walking the streets a misery,’ old Ryprose added gloomily. ‘There’s all these ranting Bible-men springing up. There’s one at the bottom of Newgate Street, stands there all day, barking and railing that the Apocalypse is coming.’

There were murmurs of agreement up and down the table, and I nodded myself. In the years since Thomas Cromwell’s fall, the King’s patronage of the reformers who had encouraged him to break with Rome had ended. He had never fully endorsed Lutheran beliefs, and now was moving gradually back to the old forms of religion, a sort of Catholicism without the Pope, with increasingly repressive measures against dissentients; to deny that the bread and wine of the sacrament were transformed into the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ was now a heresy attracting the death penalty. Even the doctrine of purgatory was becoming respectable again. All this was anathema to the radicals, for whom the only truth was to be found in the Bible. The persecution had only driven many reformers towards the radical fringes, and in London especially they were daring and vocal.

Excerpted from Revelation by C.J. Samson Copyright © 2008. by C.J. Samson. Excerpted by permission of Viking. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

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

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shadow Man
    Shadow Man
    by Alan Drew
    Alan Drew's debut novel, Gardens of Water, was an ambitious work of literary fiction set amid ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Noise of Time
    by Julian Barnes
    Confession: I do two terrible – some say unforgivable – things while reading a book. First...
  • Book Jacket
    Smoke
    by Dan Vyleta
    In Dan Vyleta's universe, set in an alternate Victorian England, people engaging in sinful thought ...

Who Said...

Our wisdom comes from our experience, and our experience comes from our foolishness

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Necklace
    by Claire McMillan

    For readers of The Nest, the intelligent, intoxicating story of long-simmering family secrets.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T H Are B T O

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

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 books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.