The Clerkenwell Tales

The Clerkenwell Tales 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 th century religious and political

  • Title: The Clerkenwell Tales
  • Author: Peter Ackroyd
  • ISBN: 9781400075959
  • Page: 437
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 disFrom 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.

    • ☆ The Clerkenwell Tales || ↠ PDF Read by ↠ Peter Ackroyd
      437 Peter Ackroyd
    • thumbnail Title: ☆ The Clerkenwell Tales || ↠ PDF Read by ↠ Peter Ackroyd
      Posted by:Peter Ackroyd
      Published :2019-08-13T04:51:27+00:00

    About “Peter Ackroyd

    • Peter Ackroyd

      Peter Ackroyd CBE is an English novelist and biographer with a particular interest in the history and culture of London.Peter Ackroyd s mother worked in the personnel department of an engineering firm, his father having left the family home when Ackroyd was a baby He was reading newspapers by the age of 5 and, at 9, wrote a play about Guy Fawkes Reputedly, he first realized he was gay at the age of 7.Ackroyd was educated at St Benedict s, Ealing and at Clare College, Cambridge, from which he graduated with a double first in English In 1972, he was a Mellon Fellow at Yale University in the United States The result of this fellowship was Ackroyd s Notes for a New Culture, written when he was only 22 and eventually published in 1976 The title, a playful echo of T S Eliot s Notes Towards the Definition of Culture 1948 , was an early indication of Ackroyd s penchant for creatively exploring and reexamining the works of other London based writers.Ackroyd s literary career began with poetry, including such works as London Lickpenny 1973 and The Diversions of Purley 1987 He later moved into fiction and has become an acclaimed author, winning the 1998 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for the biography Thomas More and being shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1987.Ackroyd worked at The Spectator magazine between 1973 and 1977 and became joint managing editor in 1978 In 1982 he published The Great Fire of London, his first novel This novel deals with one of Ackroyd s great heroes, Charles Dickens, and is a reworking of Little Dorrit The novel set the stage for the long sequence of novels Ackroyd has produced since, all of which deal in some way with the complex interaction of time and space, and what Ackroyd calls the spirit of place It is also the first in a sequence of novels of London, through which he traces the changing, but curiously consistent nature of the city Often this theme is explored through the city s artists, and especially its writers.Ackroyd has always shown a great interest in the city of London, and one of his best known works, London The Biography, is an extensive and thorough discussion of London through the ages His fascination with London literary and artistic figures is also displayed in the sequence of biographies he has produced of Ezra Pound 1980 , T S Eliot 1984 , Charles Dickens 1990 , William Blake 1995 , Thomas More 1998 , Chaucer 2004 , William Shakespeare 2005 , and J M W Turner The city itself stands astride all these works, as it does in the fiction.From 2003 to 2005, Ackroyd wrote a six book non fiction series Voyages Through Time , intended for readers as young as eight This was his first work for children The critically acclaimed series is an extensive narrative of key periods in world history.Early in his career, Ackroyd was nominated a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1984 and, as well as producing fiction, biography and other literary works, is also a regular radio and television broadcaster and book critic.In the New Year s honours list of 2003, Ackroyd was awarded the CBE.

    904 thoughts on “The Clerkenwell Tales

    • I've read a lot of Peter Ackroyd books since I was introduced to him via what is in my opinion one of his best books - Hawksmoor which is included on the 1001 books list. I heart <3 you 1001 books list! The Clerkenwell Tales is slightly heavier on the brain and eyeballs than his other work including Hawksmoor and The Trial of Elizabeth Cree aka Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem and if you are not a fan of medieval literature, or have never read Chaucer's Canterbury Tales then you might wonder [...]

    • April, you may recall, is when folks long to go on pilgrimages. If you slipped into a funny accent when you read that sentence, or - worse - it launched you on a recitation of many more strange lines, then you've studied "The Canterbury Tales."Making us memorize Chaucer's Prologue was a favorite torture among my teachers. In graduate school, Dr. Carter Revard stood over me as I plodded through the medieval verse, interrupting on every word, sometimes every syllable, to correct my chronic mispron [...]

    • This book is an interesting set of descriptions of daily life, medicine, food, culture, and beliefs of those living in 14th century London, wrapped up in a flimsy story of political and church intrigue in an attempt to keep you reading.

    • Dry, dull, and dusty.Ackroyd's insistance on period language just made the book annoying.There are other writers who do medieval period fiction much, much better. Paul Doherty comes immediately to mind, as does Sharon Penman.

    • This book deserves a 10-star rating for historical research. Unfortunately I would only give the plot and storytelling about a 3 out of 5. Medieval London is brought to brilliant, exquisitely detailed life in Ackroyd's hands. I was constantly in awe of his grasp of the customs, the architecture, the modes of life and the language. Indeed, at times this verged on info-dump, but I was fascinated none-the-less.However, a plot based on a Canterbury Tales sized cast with each chapter told from a diff [...]

    • I would've given this 1.5 stars if I could.I understand that Ackroyd is trying to present a version or a take of The Canterbury Tales. I love Ackroyd's writing, honestly.This book proves one thing.Only Chaucer can write Chaucer.Ackroyd's tales are somewhat interesting, but dijointed. It feels like the ground is shifting all the time. Ackroyd, at least here, lacks Chaucer's humanism, his dirt, his grime, his humor, his sure touch.If you haven't read Ackroyd before, do NOT read this as your first [...]

    • For some reason I had a really hard time getting into this book. I think it may have been to do with the short chapters and the changing perspectives but I had a really hard time grasping the continuity between the stories and remembering who the conspirators were. I should have loved it, Ackroyd's style was as good as ever, and this book contained many things which I really enjoyed, secret societies, consipracies, spirit posession and yet somehow I found it wanting. The book seemed like a good [...]

    • One uses salt to enhance the flavour of foods, to bring out nuances and contrasts. Too much salt overpowers the palate and leaves one with a bitter, dry taste in the mouth. So too the use of archaic words in writing. In this novel, in an attempt to enhance the mood and setting of the work, Mr. Ackroyd has over-salted the text with archaic words and phrases that leave the reader either reaching for water (in this case a dictionary) to ingest it all, or trying to slog through and doing their best [...]

    • I thoroughly enjoyed this book, loved the language, the intrigue and now my route is clear. Must read more about Richard III and perhaps why not the Canterbury ttales

    • I love books with a medieval setting, and Ackroyd certainly knows how to create a scene; the streets of 14th century London come alive like a painting in this novel.Using the structure of The Canterbury Tales, The Clerkenwell Tales follows the fate of the young nun Sister Clarice, who foretells the overthrow of King Richard II by his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, and a clandestine group, similar to the Illuminati, who would appear to be working towards making the nun's prophecies come true. Religion [...]

    • Revenge, golems, strange visitations, fever and panic in secret cellarsa London under, and a dim light on the darkest of ages. A dream of the damned. The murmured prayers before suicides who walk among us. Uncovering the buried streets of the ancient city. Smithfield market cold early morning rain. The smells of vinegar, boiled beef and pig shit. It’s 1399 and the country is wracked by religious persuasion of the meanest kind, and plots are made against a King. Blood soaks the earth and stone [...]

    • Exceptional. Using the structure of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Ackroyd relates 14th Century English intrigue during the reign of Richard II and his overthrow by his cousin Henry. A fictionalised account of real historical events - fascinating. And the language ! Every page is crammed with information; a treasure trove in only 200 pages.

    • Коротко про цю книгу: "Читання приємне і не бе моралі" в принципі всьо.

    • Clever and interesting. Firmly embedded in the late medieval world it concerns the machinations of a group of influential Londoners to unseat Richard II in favour of Bolingbroke. It isn't a long book but bears careful reading otherwise you will miss the detail.

    • This book was hard for me to understand. I got that there were hints planted throughout the text concerning the ending, but I felt that those were to veiled for me to understand; the author didn't give much information in the added appendix to help me make connections as to the eventual resolution of Clarice's or the Richard II/Henry Bolingbroke story. That being said, I did like the novel. Ackroyd sets his version of The Canterbury Tales to give the reader a tour of the people and places of Lon [...]

    • “The scene is London, in 1399. It is the last year of the fourteenth century, and there is talk of an apocalypse. Richard II is on the throne, yet strange signs and portents are troubling the latter part of his reign. By the side of the River Fleet in Clerkenwell the people are restless, disenchanted with the church and their King. The streets of London are rife with rumour, heresy, espionage and murder and at the centre of the confusion is the nun, Sister Clarice, who has been vouchsafed visi [...]

    • The Clerkenwell Tales, a story about a religious/political sect in medieval London, in some respects reminds me of the paintings of Pieter Brueghel, with its bustling, colourful town scenes with loads of characters. In each of the short chapters a couple of persons are described, with sufficient overlapping so that I could follow the plot line. The story imho wasn't exactly gripping, but still fun to read: the plot started furioso and con-tinued to be quite fast-paced, enhanced by a twist or a s [...]

    • "The Clerkenwell Tales," by Peter Ackroyd, is set in 1399 London; a young nun starts hearing the voice of God and she becomes a prophet, foretelling, among other things, the death of Richard II. Meanwhile, there are hidden groups of men, conspirators, working toward making the nun’s prophecies come true, by whatever means necessary…. This is a nicely constructed novel, modeled on Chaucer with each chapter being someone’s tale, or the part that individual plays in the overall plot - there [...]

    • Very disappointed; the reviews on the cover led me to expect great things. The author obviously knows a lot about medieval London, which provides a few weeks interesting moments, but the book's structure is actually a major weakness in my view. The chapter headings lead you to believe you are getting something akin to the marvellous Canterbury Tales. However all it does is keep introducing more and more characters who are involved in some way with a dastardly plot that I never got to grips with. [...]

    • I read this shortish book on a trip from Switzerland to Glasgow. It had been a long time since I'd read anything set in this period, and even longer since I'd read the Shakespeare play about Bolingbroke and co If ever I go time-travelling, I do not want to land in that period. Between the religious fanatics and other crazies, the rampant disease and skewed ideas about the workings of the human body, that was not a healthy time to live. I can't say I loved the book. The most interesting bits conc [...]

    • Ackroyd's historical accuracy and deep knowledge of the social milieu of the late Middle Ages in England is the reason these 'tales,' this story, is so magical and on point. His dialectical cadences and the sprinkling of old words bring us to the place and the time. Taking THE CANTERBURY TALES as his model, he gives us the 'under history' of the period on the cusp of the 15th century that held the demise of Richard II and the rise of Bolingbroke in his quest for the throne. Minor historical char [...]

    • Ok, terrible confession. I have not read the Cantebury Tales. So I have no idea what baring they would have had on this book, had I already read them beforehand.But I really loved this book. I liked the different way of telling this story as well, as we hope from one character's tale to another, and in telling their own story, we see the next stage of the main plot of this book growing. And despite the fact that there isn't one main character, narrator or anyone we're supposed to be following in [...]

    • The Clerkenwell Tales by Peter Ackroyd - okReally not sure how to assess this. Peter Ackroyd picks such interesting subjects, but somehow I find him hard to read. Hawksmoor almost defeated me. This one was easier, but still not a quick read.This is London at the turn of the century - 1399. Henry Bollingbrook is about to replace Richard II on the thrown of England, there are mysterious portents in the city and the citizens are restless and nervous. In amongst this there is Sister Clarice, a Nun i [...]

    • I loved The Clerkenwell Tales. Beautifully written, with a fantastic evolving plot. I wasn't quite ready for the end. I learnt a great deal about medieval London in King Richard's time and was thoroughly drawn in to the place and times.My only vague disappointment was in the frequent use of Latin phrases which were obviously in vogue at the time, but were not translatedd not just the Latin phrases, also some English terms of the day. Some were translated, others weren't and I was felt just a lit [...]

    • I quite enjoyed the Clerkenwell Tales; set out in a similar way to the Canterbury Tales (which I did some of for A-Level English Lit), it tells the story of events in a community in the Clerkenwell area of London at the end of the 14th Century. The central character linking the "tales" together is Clarice, a young nun who some consider to be mad. Each "tale" forms a very short chapter of the book, and it was a much quicker read than I had anticipated. I have read some of Peter Ackroyd's Biograph [...]

    • Based around Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (but in a different order and with different story lines), this small book took me so long to read, but I am glad I eventually got through it. Its full of plots, twists and turns and I did have some trouble remembering some of the characters' roles. I also found I needed a large quantity of post-it notes so I could go back with a large dictionary and look up all the words that have long since disappeared from daily use. That may be why it took such an age [...]

    • For me this book started great. I was hooked instantly and very attached to the first character we meet Dame Agnes de Mordaunt. However after the first few 'tales' my interest waned, but not for the lack of quality writing. Peter Ackroyd definitely has the knack for historical fiction and it seems that he has not only great research skills but also that ability to apply a level of judgement about what is going to make good reading. Unfortunately for me I just think I wasn't overly interested in [...]

    • A meandering through the end of one King Richard II and the arrival of another, Henry IV. Having read and seen Terry Jones take with on the 'murder of Chaucer', history proves that there is more than one tale to every story. Richard II might have been a better King, than supposed and Henry IV - a greedy, tyrant who just got lucky.As a coherent whole, the novel, tries too hard, but the vignettes of each character from the Canterbury Tales is enjoyable. Easy to read and some fascinating insight to [...]

    • I've not read more than one or two of the The Canterbury Tales, so I cannot speak to how well this tracks with the source material, but I enjoyed the unfolding of a story through several different tales. The tale of London in the late 14th century was very well done with rich historical details. However, the underlying story was just ok. It's on the lower end of a three, but not quite a 2 star.

    • Not bad but I can't say I loved it or anything. As a fiction book it reads very much like non-fiction. Clarice is the mad nun of Clerkenwell, prophesying the end of the reign of king Richard and London is alive with heresy & heretics. The question is whether Clarice is truely a prophet or is she part of a more earthly political plot? It is a lively telling of 13th century London in all it's violent glory.

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