From the winner of the Historical Writers’ Association/Goldsboro Crown Award for Historical Debut Fiction.
‘A rare, clever treat of a novel.’ Antonia Senior, The Times
1792: the blood begins to drip from the guillotine. The French Revolution is entering its most violent phase, and threatens all Europe with chaos. In the age of the mob, no individual is safe.
The spies of England, France and Prussia are fighting their own war for survival and supremacy. Somewhere in Paris is a hidden trove of secrets that will reveal the treacheries of a whole continent.
At the height of the madness a stranger arrives in Paris, to meet a man who has disappeared. Unknown and untrusted, he finds himself the centre of all conspiracy. When the world is changing forever, what must one man become to survive?
Treason’s Spring is a thrilling and meticulous panorama of Paris in the Revolution, and a true delight from beginning to end.
‘We are despised, yet we grow. We are tortured and crucified and yet we flourish. We are hated and still we multiply. Why is that? You must wonder, how is it we survive?’
In a far corner of the Roman Empire, a radical sect is growing.
Alone, unloved and battling his sexuality, Saul scrapes together a living exposing these nascent Christians, but on the road to Damascus, everything changes.
Saul – now Paul – becomes drawn into this new religion and its mysterious leader, whose crucifixion leaves followers waiting in limbo for his promised return. As factions splinter and competition to create the definitive version of Christ’s life grows violent, he begins to question his new faith and the man at its heart.
Damascus is an unflinching dissection of doubt, faith, tyranny, revolution, cruelty and sacrifice. A vivid and visceral novel with perennial concerns, it is a masterpiece of imagination and transformation.
A The Times and Sunday Times Book of the Year
‘An enthralling and wonderfully vivid novel from a master storyteller’ Joseph O’Connor
‘Kneale’s medieval world is animated with a refreshing lightness of touch’ Sunday Telegraph
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 believes 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 ragtag band of pilgrims that sets off on the tough and dangerous journey from England to Rome, where they hope all their troubles and their prayers will be answered. Some in the group, however, have their own secret reasons for going. Others, while they might aspire to piety, succumb all too often to the sins of the flesh.
A riveting, sweeping novel of medieval society and historic Englishness, Pilgrims illuminates the fallibility of humans, the absurdities and consolations of belief, and the very real violence at the heart of religious fervour.
It is 1870. When amateur archaeologist Adam Carver and his loyal but obdurate retainer Quint are visited in their lodgings in London’s Doughty Street by an attractive young woman, their landlady is not pleased. The visitor’s arrival pitches Carver and Quint headlong into an elaborate mystery which comes to centre on the existence (or not) of a lost text in Ancient Greek, one that may reveal the whereabouts of the treasure hoard of Philip II of Macedonia.
Two deaths soon ensue as master and manservant follow what clues they can grasp in the roughest and most genteel parts of the teeming metropolis, with the whiff of cordite and blackmail never far from their nostrils. The scene shifts to Athens and the wilder fastness of a Greece gripped by political unrest as Carver and Quint join forces with Adam’s former Cambridge tutor in an attempt to track down the elusive text. But nothing is quite what it seems, and no one involved is prepared for the final, shocking denouement amidst the extraordinary hilltop monasteries of Meteora…