The Astronomer by Lawrence Goldstone
A Novel of Suspense

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Synopsis

1534, Paris. A student at the Catholic Collège de Montaigu, serving as a courier for the Inquisition, is murdered by members of an extreme Lutheran sect for the packet of letters he is carrying. His friend and fellow classmate Amaury de Faverges-the illegitimate son of the Duke of Savoy and an expert in astronomy and natural science-is recruited as his replacement and promised a decree of legitimacy if he can uncover the secret that threatens to overturn Catholicism and the reign of François I.

Working undercover, Amaury journeys south to the liberal court of the king's sister, Marguerite of Navarre, the alleged heart of the conspiracy. The deeper he probes, the more Amaury is forced to confront his own religious doubts; and when he discovers a copy of Copernicus's shocking manuscript showing the sun at the center of the universe, he knows the path he must follow.

Replete with characters and events from history-from the iconoclastic Rabelais to the burning of heretics in Paris to preacher John Calvin and Copernicus himself-The Astronomer is a powerful novel of love and betrayal, and a thrilling portrait of what might well have happened at a hinge point in history when science and ancient religious belief collided.
 

About Lawrence Goldstone

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Lawrence Goldstone is the author of Dark Bargain: Slavery, Profits, and the Struggle for the Constitution, and The Activist: John Marshall, Marbury v. Madison, and the Myth of Judicial Review. He lives in Westport, Connecticut.
 
Published May 1, 2010 by Walker Books. 304 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Astronomer

Kirkus Reviews

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Amaury begins to question both his mission and his religious upbringing when he realizes, perhaps naively, that his quest—to uncover documents that support Copernicus’s theory—might in fact lead science to “couple with love of God and lead the way to a new world.

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Publishers Weekly

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Set in 1534, Goldstone's uneven novel of historical suspense, his second after The Anatomy of Deception , finds the Inquisition taking corrective measures against the unremitting attacks on Catholic orthodoxy: namely the rack, the stake, and that old crowd pleaser, the gibbet.

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New York Journal of Books

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Secondly, the authorities know that Amaury has a quick scientific mind, and what the church is trying to uncover is a scientific discovery that the Lutherans threaten to make public—a treatise that could threaten the very basis of all Christian belief.

May 11 2010 | Read Full Review of The Astronomer: A Novel of Su...

The Gleaner

So church officials tried to make sure the secret stayed secret, even if it meant killing the astronomer who devised the heretical diagram - Copernicus.

May 16 2010 | Read Full Review of The Astronomer: A Novel of Su...

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