The Clerkenwell Tales by Peter Ackroyd

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Synopsis

From the foremost contemporary chronicler of London’s history, a suspenseful novel that ingeniously draws on Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales to recreate the city’s 14th century religious and political intrigues. London, 1399. Sister Clarice, a nun born below Clerkenwell convent, is predicting the death of King Richard II and the demise of the Church. Her visions can be dismissed as madness, until she accurately foretells a series of terrorist explosions. What is the role of the apocalyptic Predestined Men? And the clandestine Dominus? And what powers, ultimately, will prevail?In Peter Ackroyd’s deft and suprising narrative, The Miller, the Prioress, the Wife of Bath and other characters from Canterbury Tales pursue these mysteries through a pungently vivid medieval London.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Peter Ackroyd

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PETER ACKROYD is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet, and historian. He is the author of the acclaimed Thames: Sacred River, London: The Biography, and the first volume of his history of England, Foundation. He holds a CBE for services to literature and lives in London.
 
Published July 31, 2003 by DELETED TITLES. 228 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Clerkenwell Tales

Kirkus Reviews

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In fact, much of Ackroyd’s drama is generated through the machinations of a radically religious secret pro-Bolingbroke cell led by the truly monstrous William Exmewe (the Friar), whose belief as a so-called “predestined man” is that nothing one does for the good cause can be a sin—and readers wil...

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The New York Times

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But Dickens was almost always writing about London in his own times, and Ackroyd's own times don't seem to suit him;

Oct 31 2004 | Read Full Review of The Clerkenwell Tales

The Guardian

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"There will be five fires and five deaths in London," shrieked Sister Clarice, the mad nun of Clerkenwell.

Aug 18 2003 | Read Full Review of The Clerkenwell Tales

The Guardian

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The Clerkenwell Tales by Peter Ackroyd Chatto & Windus £15.99, pp213 Religious extremism, suicide bombings and an invading army known only through a veil of propaganda and conspiracy theories: although such things may seem a present and frightening reality, the closest many of us have come to the...

Aug 10 2003 | Read Full Review of The Clerkenwell Tales

The Guardian

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The Clerkenwell Tales by Peter Ackroyd 213pp, Chatto, £15.99 "The secret life of Clerkenwell goes very deep," or so Peter Ackroyd assured readers of his monumental London: The Biography.

Aug 16 2003 | Read Full Review of The Clerkenwell Tales

Publishers Weekly

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But the rather creaky conspiracy narrative, supposedly based in fact, is just a peg on which to hang a panorama of 14th-century life that takes in the cathedrals, cloisters, brothels, taverns and law courts while instructing readers on all things medieval, from medicine (dove droppings applied to...

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