By the author of The People’s Act of Love

James Meek writes about the Black Death & Coronavirus here and here

‘Fans of intelligent historical fiction will be enthralled by a story so original and so fully imagined. Meek shows the era as alien, which it is, and doesn’t falsify it by assimilating it to ours. But his characters are recognisably warm and human.’

Hilary Mantel

‘Meek manages to craft a living, breathing world populated with characters that come alive in the mind...seems to speak across centuries with more than the likeness of truth.’

Financial Times

‘A bold, exciting, original novel which makes connections between past and present cataclysms’

Daily Mail

‘...a compelling story that, like all great historical fiction, is not only about the past, but says profound things about the present.’

The Economist

‘The joy that Meek takes in’s a world that he confidently builds and it’s beautifully built, you can smell the stinks of medieval life and you can see the people, you can really visualise the’s just beautiful.’

BBC Saturday Review

‘Every an act of devotion - both in the writing and the reading - a contemporary inhabitation of medieval argot, with all its bawdy lyricism and ornate intelligence’

Times Literary Supplement

'A true masterpiece. I took delight in every sentence and felt bereft whenever I put it down.'

George Monbiot

'The best novel set in medieval times that I have ever read.'

Daily Express

'This is a most extraordinary novel, set in the 14th century, but with messages of great potency for our own extraordinary times...We need to let ourselves flow with it, recognizing the book's deep humanity which suggests that survival depends on collaboration and fellowship. Brimful with comedy, wit, fantasy and love, it is a dazzling provocation.'

Walter Scott Prize judges