Saturday, November 17, 2012

Historical Fiction

If you ever decide to read historical fiction by C. J. Sansom, you need to read this revealing article  about him.    Surprisingly, he does not like the BBC dramatization of The Tudors. Also, I like this Carla Nayland Historical Fiction blog, it has a very good review of Dissolution, our book club pick.  She points out that the narrator and main character,Matthew Shardlake, is flawed.  He not only has a physical deformity, his character is not perfect.  He is a seeker of truth and justice and he is also a man of his time very conscious and accepting of the class distinctions in his society.   In terms of class, we see his reaction to Mark and Alice in the first book and his initial reaction to his assistant/body guard, Barak, in the second book.

I am still reading the second book in the Matthew Shardlake series, Dark Fire.   I think Sansom has been successful in portraying the 'worldview' at the time for his readers.  He captures Matthew's painful spasms, fears, uncertainties, class prejudices and  his experiences of rejection by women to whom he is attracted and superstition about his hunchback.  I am on page 372 and Elizabeth is sick in prison.  Guy is trying to cure her of her fever.  Elizabeth is speaking a little but in riddles, no one understands what she really means. Matthew is about to deceive Barak and in effect Lord Cromwell by allowing Guy to test a black liquid known as Dark Fire.  Very interesting.

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