Pilgrims
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Pilgrims

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Description

The year 1289. A rich farmer fears he'll go to hell for cheating his neighbours. His wife wants pilgrim badges to sew into her hat and show off at church. A poor, ragged villager is convinced his beloved cat is suffering in the fires of purgatory and must be rescued. A mother is convinced her son's dangerous illness is punishment for her own adultery and seeks forgiveness so he may be cured. A landlord is in trouble with the church after he punched an abbot on the nose. A sexually driven noblewoman seeks a divorce so she can marry her new young beau.

These are among a group of pilgrims that sets off on the tough and dangerous journey from England to Rome, where they hope all their troubles will be answered. Some in the party have their own, secret reasons for going.

Matthew Kneale is the author of English Passengers and Rome: A History in Seven Sackings. His new novel, Pilgrims is a riveting, sweeping narrative that shows medieval society in a new light, as a highly rule-bound, legalistic world, though religious fervour and the threat of violence are never far below the surface. Told by multiple narrators, 'Pilgrims' has much to say about Englishness, then and now.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 156 x 234mm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1786492377
  • 9781786492371
  • 1,049,605

About Matthew Kneale

Matthew Kneale was born in London in 1960, the son and grandson of writers. He studied Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford. Fascinated with diverse cultures, he travelled to more than eighty countries and tried his hand at learning a number of foreign languages, including Japanese, Ethiopian Amharic, Romanian and Albanian. He has written five novels, including English Passengers, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. His latest was a non-fiction history book, An Atheist's History of Belief. For the last fifteen years he has lived in Rome with his wife and two children.
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