An Antic Disposition by Alan Gordon
A Medieval Mystery (Medieval Mysteries (St. Martins Hardcover))

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Synopsis

In 1204 A.D., the Fools' Guild is on the run from an enraged Pope Innocent III and the Papal troops he's dispatched to destroy them. Now, hidden in their secret enclave deep within the Black Forest, the fools, troubadours and novitiates, including the jester couple Theophilos and Claudia, come together for their evening gathering to hear Father Gerald, their ancient leader, tell one of the greatest stories from the history of the Guild.

It begins in Denmark, during a time of civil war when three men laid claim to the throne while a fourth watched and bided his time. Into the strategically crucial town of Slesvig, the Guild sends Terence of York, who is promptly dubbed Yorick by the Duke's young son, Amleth. What unfolds is a tale of treachery, tragedy and bloodshed that is the true story behind one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies. But Father Gerald's history contains secrets never known to anyone outside the Guild, and as he recounts it, Theophilos feels a chill steal over his heart.

For not even Father Gerald knows the ending of this story. But Theophilos does.
 

About Alan Gordon

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Alan Gordon is an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of New York and author of four previous books featuring Theophilos, the jester. He lives with his family in Queens, New York.
 
Published January 20, 2004 by Minotaur Books. 304 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for An Antic Disposition

Publishers Weekly

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In his fifth medieval mystery (after 2003's Widow of Jerusalem ), Gordon puts a delightful and original spin on Shakespeare's Hamlet: Prince of Denmark .

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Reviewing the Evidence

(What he did with the story, of course, is something else entirely and one of the greatest tragedies ever created.) But Gordon reworks the story to show what a major role the Fools' Guild played in the disaster in Denmark.

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Reviewing the Evidence

I think of these two entries in the series as being based on literary (rather than literal) history, although Gordon includes an interesting note on Shakespeare's historical sources for the story of Hamlet at the end of AN ANTIC DISPOSITION.

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The Best Reviews

AN ANTIC DISPOSITION uses a tale within a story to develop a deep morality tale as the prime story line though that is a flashback.

Jan 01 2004 | Read Full Review of An Antic Disposition: A Medie...

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