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Tombland

by C. J. Sansom

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Matthew Shardlake (7)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4522341,411 (4.19)70
Summer, 1549. Two years after the death of Henry VIII, England is sliding into chaos... the economy is in collapse, inflation rages and rebellion is stirring among the peasantry.Since the old King's death, Matthew Shardlake has been working as a lawyer in the service of Henry's younger daughter, the Lady Elizabeth. The gruesome murder of Edith Boleyn, the wife of John Boleyn - a distant Norfolk relation of Elizabeth's mother - which could have political implications for Elizabeth, brings Shardlake and his assistant Nicholas Overton to the summer assizes at Norwich. There they are reunited with Shardlake's former assistant Jack Barak. The three find layers of mystery and danger surrounding Edith's death, as a second murder is committed.And then East Anglia explodes, as peasant rebellion breaks out across the country. The yeoman Robert Kett leads a force of thousands in overthrowing the landlords and establishing a vast camp outside Norwich. Soon the rebels have taken over the city, England's second largest.Barak throws in his lot with the rebels; Nicholas, opposed to them, becomes a prisoner in Norwich Castle; while Shardlake has to decide where his ultimate loyalties lie, as government forces in London prepare to march north and destroy the rebels. Meanwhile he discovers that the murder of Edith Boleyn may have connections reaching into both the heart of the rebel camp and of the Norfolk gentry...… (more)
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» See also 70 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Oh my, this was good! As always, it's a mix of a mystery for Matthew, the larger sweep of English history, social changes, Matthew's personal and spiritual evolution, and the changes in his personal relationships and the lives of his friends. This time it's all well-balanced and all compelling. Matthew starts out investigating a murder but gets caught up in a massive rebellion. This gives a chance to watch in detail as Matthew's, Nicholas's, and Barak's worldviews all get put to the test when they're exposed to lives and experiences far outside their usual scope. It's all well-woven with the social changes that are happening throughout England affecting the mystery, the rebellion, and every character. Fascinating and compelling, hard to put down.

But, if this sounds fabulous, start the series from the beginning! You'll miss so much of the character arcs if you start here. ( )
  AmphipodGirl | May 23, 2021 |
This book is a fictionalised account of the Kett's Rebellion, which took place in 1549 during the rule of Protector Somerset. I am pleased to discover this lost episode of English history. The book proved quite a daunting read, a massive novel I probably would not even have started had we not been in Covid-19 lockdown.
  Roarer | Feb 13, 2021 |
I enjoyed this, although it was long and the plot seemed largely an excuse for the author to write about the rebellion. Nicholas' actions were inconsistent, and again seemed designed to demonstrate the attitudes of the rebels. I hope there will be more in this series, but with less politics and more mystery. ( )
  pgchuis | Dec 26, 2020 |
This latest book in the Shardlake series is, like its predecessors, lengthy but involving. It successfully combines a murder case with external events, in this case Kett's Rebellion of 1549 in Norfolk.The author makes very plain his sympathies for the traitor Robert Kett, but accurately portrays Shardlake's more nuanced response to the rights and wrongs of the situation.
Sansom manages most of the sprawling canvass well, with a clear focus on the main character. There can be no doubt of the amount of research which has gone into this book, and it gives an air of authenticity, for the most part. There are occasional instances where the language goes awry - quite rightly the dialogue is written in modern English with a sprinkling of dialect, but sometimes things jar - should Kett be referring to an 'administrative centre' when holding forth about the way the uprising has been organised? However, this is a minor point. The book admirably continues the standards set by the earlier books. ( )
  ponsonby | Sep 1, 2020 |
The seventh instalment in this Tudor mystery series sees Shardlake investigate the murder of a Boleyn in Norwich, while also getting caught up in Kett's Rebellion as thousands of commoners demand justice for their shoddy treatment at the hands of rich landlords and gentlemen.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
I really liked the intrigue of the mystery, but I think the book spent too much time in the rebels' camp - so much that the revelation of whodunnit was a bit of an anticlimax! ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Still, I did enjoy immersing myself in this period again, and getting reacquainted with Shardlake and his friends (and enemies), even though this is probably my least favourite book in the series. Sansom really is a stickler for doing his research, and it plainly shows. ( )
  mooingzelda | Mar 29, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Shardlake is a superb creation, who gains more substance with each new book; he questions and challenges the political shifts of his age while remaining entirely plausibly shaped by them. . . . Sansom’s real interest here is the peasant rebellions of 1549, the largest popular uprising between the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 and the civil war, of which Kett’s Rebellion in Norfolk was the most successful.
 
Shardlake’s [murder] investigation is the central thread of the novel, but its main purpose, in terms of the plot, is to give him a reason to be in Norwich in 1549. The city was the focus of Kett’s rebellion, a large, well-organised insurrection that defeated a royal army and, for a few short weeks, controlled a large slice of Norfolk.

This is Sansom’s real subject.
added by davidcla | editThe Spectator, Andrew Taylor (Oct 20, 2018)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sansom, C. J.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
I did well in keeping in Kett's camp and thought nothing but
well of Kett. He trusted to see a new day for such men as I was.

Ralph Claxton, Norfolk parish clerk,
prosecuted for speaking these words, 1550
Dedication
First words
I had been in my chambers at Lincoln's Inn when the messenger
came from Master Parry, asking me to attend him urgently.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Summer, 1549. Two years after the death of Henry VIII, England is sliding into chaos... the economy is in collapse, inflation rages and rebellion is stirring among the peasantry.Since the old King's death, Matthew Shardlake has been working as a lawyer in the service of Henry's younger daughter, the Lady Elizabeth. The gruesome murder of Edith Boleyn, the wife of John Boleyn - a distant Norfolk relation of Elizabeth's mother - which could have political implications for Elizabeth, brings Shardlake and his assistant Nicholas Overton to the summer assizes at Norwich. There they are reunited with Shardlake's former assistant Jack Barak. The three find layers of mystery and danger surrounding Edith's death, as a second murder is committed.And then East Anglia explodes, as peasant rebellion breaks out across the country. The yeoman Robert Kett leads a force of thousands in overthrowing the landlords and establishing a vast camp outside Norwich. Soon the rebels have taken over the city, England's second largest.Barak throws in his lot with the rebels; Nicholas, opposed to them, becomes a prisoner in Norwich Castle; while Shardlake has to decide where his ultimate loyalties lie, as government forces in London prepare to march north and destroy the rebels. Meanwhile he discovers that the murder of Edith Boleyn may have connections reaching into both the heart of the rebel camp and of the Norfolk gentry...

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Book description
Tombland is the seventh novel in C. J. Sansom’s number one bestselling Shardlake series.

Summer, 1549.

Two years after the death of Henry VIII, England is sliding into chaos . . .

The nominal king, Edward VI, is eleven years old. His uncle Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, rules as Protector. The extirpation of the old religion by radical Protestants is stirring discontent among the populace while the Protector’s prolonged war with Scotland is proving a disastrous failure and threatens to involve France. Worst of all, the economy is in collapse, inflation rages and rebellion is stirring among the peasantry.

Since the old King’s death, Matthew Shardlake has been working as a lawyer in the service of Henry’s younger daughter, the Lady Elizabeth. The gruesome murder of Edith Boleyn, the wife of John Boleyn – a distant Norfolk relation of Elizabeth’s mother – which could have political implications for Elizabeth, brings Shardlake and his assistant Nicholas Overton to the summer assizes at Norwich. There they are reunited with Shardlake’s former assistant Jack Barak. The three find layers of mystery and danger surrounding Edith’s death, as a second murder is committed.

And then East Anglia explodes, as peasant rebellion breaks out across the country. The yeoman Robert Kett leads a force of thousands in overthrowing the landlords and establishing a vast camp outside Norwich. Soon the rebels have taken over the city, England’s second largest.

Barak throws in his lot with the rebels; Nicholas, opposed to them, becomes a prisoner in Norwich Castle; while Shardlake has to decide where his ultimate loyalties lie, as government forces in London prepare to march north and destroy the rebels. Meanwhile he discovers that the murder of Edith Boleyn may have connections reaching into both the heart of the rebel camp and of the Norfolk gentry . . .
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