Last September saw a very special publication party for the latest hardback of the C J Sansom novel “Heartstone”, at the Mary Rose Museum. The Mary Rose and Portsmouth feature prominently in this 5th instalment of the Shardlake series of historical crime stories, which is now available to buy in trade paperback.
The paperback version contains additional pages at the back of the book, three kindly written by Chris Sansom about the importance of saving the Mary Rose and one containing information on the fundraising appeal.
John Lippiett, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust said “C J is one of the few authors who can take you into the heart of Tudor England and bring it to life. Through working with him and seeing the level of detail that he puts into his research, it is apparent just why these books are such a great read.
C J worked with the original Tudor maps on display in last year’s temporary exhibition. We walked the route on what is now known affectionately referred to as the ‘Shardlake Map’ and when reading the book you can see it brought to life at every twist and turn.”
It’s 1545 and England prepares for war but Shardlake faces a more personal battle when a mission from the Queen takes him into a world of secrets…
King 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, which will lead him into the corrupt labyrinth of the king’s Court of Wards. Asked to investigate claims of ‘monstrous wrongs’ committed against his young ward Hugh Curteys by Sir Nicholas Hobbey, a Hampshire landowner, which have already involved one mysterious death, Shardlake and his assistant, Barak, journey to Portsmouth. Shardlake has taken the case, despite the imminent threat of invasion, as it also gives him the opportunity to investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettiplace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam whom he has befriended and whose family once lived nearby.
Arrived in Portmouth, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing to become a war zone. The mysteries surrounding the seemingly normal Hobbey family, 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, gathered in Portsmouth harbour, waiting to sail out and confront the approaching French fleet…
The hardcover edition of Heartstone stormed straight to Number One of the national bestseller lists.
Published in Mantle in trade paperback on 4th March 2011 at £12.99
‘Compulsively readable and highly satisfying…An entirely engrossing novel with an intriguing twist.’ Daily Express
Notes for Editors
C J Sansom was educated at Birmingham University, where he took a BA and then a Ph.D. in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he retrained as a solicitor and practised in Sussex, until becoming a full time writer. He has written five novels in his acclaimed historical crime series, featuring lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, Dissolution, Dark Fire, Sovereign, and Revelation.
Dissolution was nominated for both the CWA John Creasey Memorial Dagger and the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award, 2003. Dark Fire was awarded the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award, 2005.
CJ SANSOM is also the author of the bestselling novel, Winter in Madrid.
He lives in Sussex.
For further information please contact Philippa McEwan on 0207 014 6179
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