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Heartstone (2010)

de C. J. Sansom

Altres autors: Knut Johansen (Traductor)

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: Matthew Shardlake (5)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1,6286910,990 (4.18)154
Asked by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr to investigate claims of wrongs committed against a young ward of the court, Matthew Shardlake embarks on the most politically dangerous case of his career against a backdrop of war between England and France.
  1. 30
    Wolf Hall de Hilary Mantel (bookfitz)
    bookfitz: While not a mystery, "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel is another great novel set in Tudor England.
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» Mira també 154 mencions

Anglès (66)  Alemany (1)  Castellà (1)  Francès (1)  Totes les llengües (69)
Es mostren 1-5 de 69 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I've always previously loved the Matthew Shardlake series of books, but I found this one a disappointment. There was just so much plot, so much trowelled into the story. It just felt too much. Crisis tumbled in after crisis, plot thickener after plot thickener. Death, murder, the Evil Lawyer, the Evil Landowner, the Evil Servant: they were all there in spades. I enjoyed visiting Tudor London, Tudor Portsmouth. As I used to live in Pompey at the period that the Mary Rose was being raised, it was good to have her brought to life. Sansom's a good writer, always engaging. It's just a pity he tried to make two or more books into one. ( )
  Margaret09 | Apr 15, 2024 |
After enjoying book 1 in this series and not having volumes 2 - 4 to hand, I started reading this volume out of order. It is set in 1544 at a time when Henry VIII has involved England in a vainglorious war with France, impoverishing the country and devaluing the currency with increasingly serious effects on ordinary people and especially the poor. Meanwhile, the landowners are looking to enclose village common lands and further worsen rural poverty.

Against this background, Matthew Shardlake, the barrister protagonist of the series, is involved in two new cases. One he takes on at the request of Queen Catherine Parr, to investigate the apparent suicide of the son of an old womanservant of hers, which seems to have been in reaction to a horrifying discovery he had apparently made about an ex-pupil of his. Two children, Hugh and Emma, were orphaned and their wardship was bought through the corrupt Court of Wards by a prosperous man who has retired to the country and adapted the old priory he bought, after the Dissolution of the monasteries, into a comfortable home. It seems, however, that he might have been in debt and has bought the children's wardship so that he can illegally sell much of the timber cut from their lands, with the connivance of certain corrupt officials. Not content with that, he is also trying to enclose the woodland belonging to local villagers which adjoins his land.

The other case Shardlake assumes on behalf of a woman he knows who is incarcerated in the Bedlam, the hospital for the mentally ill - known as 'mad' in his time. The woman has agarophobia, but possibly has developed other issues after living there for twenty-some years following certain traumatic events. She has developed an unreciprocated love for Shardlake who, out of a sense of guilt that he cannot return it and also desirous of decreasing her dependence on his visits, starts to investigate the events which led to her internment there, even though she is not keen for him to do so. He is able to combine the two cases, as the place where she used to live is on the way to the house where the wealthy man lives and the surviving ward, the sister having died of smallpox. The trouble is, that house is not far from Portsmouth where the French are imminently expected to invade.

In this novel, Shardlake seems more driven and one-track-minded in his struggle to arrive at the truth, to the despair of Barak, a character who did not appear in book 1, but is a street wise and intelligent man torn between his regard for Shardlake and his concern about his wife back in London, who is far advanced in pregnancy. Shardlake's one man crusade for the truth leads him and sometimes Barak into danger, and threatens to bring him into collision with some of the most ruthless and powerful men in the Kingdom, including men he has apparently made enemies of in previous books. There is also the danger that he will encounter the King on his repeated visits to Portsmouth, as it seems he upset Henry in a previous volume, and Henry is noted for his unforgiving nature and vindictiveness.

As soon as it became clear when this story was set I did have a good idea of at least one major disaster that would occur as the book unfolded having prior knowledge of the pride of Henry's fleet, the Mary Rose, and what happened to it . It is a measure of the author's successful creation of minor characters that I thought 'oh no' when friends of Shardlake's are assigned to that location. I also did not guess the major twist in the main case until the point where Shardlake's own realisation occurs. One aspect I liked is that the character of Guy, the physician monk from volume 1 who was the only person Shardlake liked and respected in that story, has become an old friend and is now a doctor.

I did find Shardlake a little too obsessive in this, to the point of monomania, repeatedly putting himself and others into danger. Also, although I am aware that characters in historical novels cannot really speak as they would have at the time, as it would be very difficult for a modern audience to understand, the use of certain anacronisms such as 'lunch' do tend to jolt me out of the story. But otherwise it was an enjoyable read which I rate at 4 stars. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
Summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel. As the English fleet gathers at Portsmouth, the country raises the largest militia army it has ever seen. The King has debased the currency to pay for the war, and England is in the grip of soaring inflation and economic crisis. Meanwhile Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr. Asked to investigate claims of 'monstrous wrongs' committed against a young ward of the court, which have already involved one mysterious death, Shardlake and his assistant Barak journey to Portsmouth. Once arrived, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing to become a war zone; and Shardlake takes the opportunity to also investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettipace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam. The emerging mysteries around the young ward, and the events that destroyed Ellen's family nineteen years before, involve Shardlake in reunions both with an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne. Events will converge on board one of the King's great warships, primed for battle in Portsmouth harbour: the Mary Rose..

Shardlake has two main causes to follow in this book: the current Queen Catherine Parr (latest wife of Henry VIII) has asked him to investigate that the wardship of two orphans, one of whom has subsequently died. On his way down to the Solent, he also decides to investigate the case of one now agraphobic woman who has been "living" in Bedlam for 19 years despite having no commitment papers.

As his investigations continue it appears the two cases are linked. Waters are muddied by lies, murders, threats and the wider case of Henry VIII preparing for war with the French - again.

The descriptions of the practicalities of war are good - the dirt, the poor food, the fleas, the desertions, the ships gathering in the Solent.

I did find that the secondary story line of the Bedlam investigation was a little forced in order to bring the main story to a head.

I have read the Shardlake books as they've come out, which has meant that in some cases there's been a big gap between stories, leading me to forget much of what has gone on before. There's a couple of (to be honest) unsubtle references to what has happened before, and some of the characters have been met before with a long term grievence between them and Shardlake. ( )
  nordie | Oct 14, 2023 |
I am a fan of historical fiction. And hi-fi can't get better than this. I have already read Dissolution by C.J Sansom, I was taken in by that. So I went on to read Heartstone. The plot is intriguing. In fact this book has two parallel plots/sub plot. Narrated in first person by Matthew Shardlake. He is a hunchback with acute observation and deductive prowess. ( )
  harishwriter | Oct 12, 2023 |
Il curato trangugio' un gran sorso dal boccale, "Signore, secondo me l'ambizione e' una maledizione: rende freddo e duro il cuore degli uomini, che invece dovrebbero rimanere nel posto in cui Dio li ha collocati." Sospiro'. "Ma forse voi non sarete d'accordo."
"Sono d'accordo che l'ambizione puo' indurre l'uomo alla durezza di cuore."
(263)

(Richard Rich): Alla fin fine, chi ha una coscienza si preoccupa troppo della giustezza della propria causa per sopravvivere. Ma il re conosce il valore di un consiglio duro e franco, e questo e' il motivo per cui uomini come noi sopravvivono, mentre altri finiscono sul patibolo."
"Uomini senza neppure un cuore da tramutare in pietra". dissi.
(517) ( )
  NewLibrary78 | Jul 22, 2023 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 69 (següent | mostra-les totes)
"While Sansom has an unerring sense of pace and a deft historical touch, he has a tendency to repeat thematic clues."
afegit per bookfitz | editaNew Yorker (Mar 7, 2011)
 
"The novel has it all: an ingenious plot, ceaseless suspense, villains galore, tipsy priests, a bull-baiting, a stag hunt, several murders, the horrors of war, a brooding sense of evil and a glittering portrait of a fascinating age."
 
"The characters are sympathetic and the quirks of the historic courts interesting enough, but the plot is so tangled in the tedium of troop movements and provisions that it drags on longer than Catherine and Henry’s marriage."
afegit per bookfitz | editaKirkus Reviews (Dec 15, 2010)
 
"Strong prose makes Tudor England instantly accessible, and the clockwork plotting sustains deep interest throughout."
afegit per bookfitz | editaPublishers Weekly (Nov 1, 2010)
 
"A wholly unexpected twist takes us to a superb denouement aboard the doomed warship Mary Rose – terrific stuff, for both fans and newcomers to the series."
afegit per bookfitz | editaThe Guardian, Laura Wilson (Sep 17, 2010)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Sansom, C. J.autor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Johansen, KnutTraductorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Rekiaro, IlkkaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Asked by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr to investigate claims of wrongs committed against a young ward of the court, Matthew Shardlake embarks on the most politically dangerous case of his career against a backdrop of war between England and France.

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