The Emperor's Winding Sheet by Jill Paton Walsh

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Synopsis

The life of a young boy set against the dramatic backdrop of the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Famished, terrified, exhausted, a boy drops from the tree in which he has hidden just as Constantine, last Emperor of the Romans, is about to receive his crown in a monastery garden. By this accident, Piers Barber, a shipwrecked young seaman from Bristol, England, now renamed Vrethiki (“lucky find”), becomes an unwilling talisman to the Emperor, for it has been prophesied that if even one person who is at his side when he takes the crown stays with him always, the City will not perish. This is the story of the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and of the siege that marked the end of the proud, ancient Byzantine Empire. Corrupt, riven by bigotries, jealousies, and national vanities, the City nevertheless commanded such bravery and loyalty as the world has seldom seen. Through the darkening months, Vrethiki is brought out of his sullen despair as he lives in the midst of heroism and treachery, dogged endurance and blazing faith. And in time he comes to see the City as a vision worth dying for and the Emperor as his own true lord.
 

About Jill Paton Walsh

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Jill Paton Walsh was born Gillian Bliss on April 29, 1937 in London. She graduated from St. Anne's College in Oxford. She taught at the Enfield Girls' Grammar School for three years and was a permanent visiting faculty member for the Center for Children's Literature at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She was also an adjunct British board member of Children's Literature New England. She has written more than 15 books for children. She has won numerous awards including the Book World Festival Award for Fireweed in 1970, the Whitbread Prize for The Emperor's Winding Sheet in1974, the Universe Prize for A Parcel of Patterns in 1984, and the Smarties Grand Prix for Gaffer Samson's Luck in 1984. She has also written adult novels, including completing an unfinished Dorothy Sayers manuscript. Her adult works include Knowledge of Angels, The Serpentine Cave, and A School for Lovers. She is the author of the Imogen Quy Mystery series and the Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery series. She was elected as fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1996.
 
Published September 9, 2009 by namelos. 251 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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"Constantinople in the 15th century is the setting for this evocative tale of a boy's fortuitous involvement with a mighty power," wrote PW .

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