Reading guide for The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hodgson

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

The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins

by Antonia Hodgson

The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hodgson X
The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hodgson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2016, 400 pages
    Mar 2017, 400 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. How credible a character is Thomas Hawkins? Who can you trust in this novel? What does it mean to be honest in this world?
  2. Research Georgian-era London to discuss how Hodgson chose to depict this world. What sights, sounds, and smells rang true to you? How much did you know about Queen Caroline before reading this and what did you learn? Do you see any parallels between the world of Thomas Hawkins and our own?
  3. "Do not confuse a disreputable life with a wicked one," Hodgson writes. What's the difference? Is Tom a moral character or not? 
  4. The idea of being an upstanding moral citizen is a significant theme in this novel. Which characters are most preoccupied with this notion? Would you say those are the most moral of the characters? How does the Georgian-era discussion of morality differ from the one occupying the public conscious today?
  5. What stance, if any, does the book take on destiny? Is it the fate of man to follow in his father's footsteps? Is it a noble or damning choice not to? 
  6. Thomas Hawkins swings from the highest ranks of British society all the way down to the labyrinthine world of London's criminal overlords. How do the dealings in the different social strata of the book differ from one another, and how are they the same? Which part of this world do you relate to the most?
  7. In the time period this novel is set, there were no detectives, and there was no formal method of investigating a crime. Tom's own investigation into the murder is motivated by his desire to clear his own name. How does his amateur detective work differ from more contemporary methods of detection? What feels familiar to you, and where he does he follow his own course?
Free Book Club Report

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Mariner Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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!

Beyond the Book:
  Queen Caroline

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Rust & Stardust
    Rust & Stardust
    by T Greenwood
    Highly readable and tightly plotted, T. Greenwood's Rust and Stardust achieves the perfect ...
  • Book Jacket: American Prison
    American Prison
    by Shane Bauer
    After spending over two years in Iran's notorious Evin Prison for supposedly crossing the country's ...
  • Book Jacket: Small Fry
    Small Fry
    by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
    Small Fry is the debut memoir from Lisa Brennan-Jobs, long-time journalist and writer, and oldest ...
  • Book Jacket: The Winter Soldier
    The Winter Soldier
    by Daniel Mason
    Imagine the thousands of confounding cases doctors face routinely for which diagnoses are hard to ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason

A story of war and medicine, of finding love in the sweeping tides of history, and of the mistakes we make.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    French Exit
    by Patrick deWitt

    A brilliant and darkly comic novel from bestselling author Patrick deWitt.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House. On sale Oct 9.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

T Turn T S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & 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.