A marathon voyage into the High Middle Ages of England

A comprehensive voyage into these gloomy, chaotic ages known as  The Anarchy in England; into these  restive times to law and order but… blooming with cathedral building and energy via the historical novel, The Pillars of Earth by Ken Follett. A voyage into the 12th century lasting 52 years. 


I got caught up in Follet’s net on the English Middle Ages. That book has  a  complete social picture of the different layers of society with the misery and hardships of the poor , the carelessness of different potential kings fighting recklessly over the piece of cake called England and of church people from bishops to archbishops ( apart from one of the main characters Prior Philip) , romance, passion, hatred, madness,  lust, rape, civil war, greed, torture, murderous raids, betrayal, revenge,  a quick view on St. James’s Trail, a  mention to the crusades to the Holy Land as a way to get forgiveness for murders,  superstitions, faked miracles, some witchcraft, climate disasters leading to famine, beastly nobility,  everyday life in rural areas and growing towns with the expansion of ( fleece) markets, trading wine and wool with France and Flanders and above all new  applied detailed principles of cathedral building  from the Romanesque style ( Norman architecture)  to the French inspired Renaissance architecture , later known as Gothic …

Ken Follett must have spent an awful long time collecting info on the subject ( as on his Century trilogy). He surely has trusted helpers compiling files for him and writing notes he used to the perfection as to turn his book into enthralling  and addictive fiction, once again.  Un vrai travail de Bénédictin 🙂 🙂

I am glad I didn’t see the series based on the novel. To me, a reader’s imagination is always richer and doesn’t have to care about contingencies 😉 Reading is staging and directing your own film  and that… can’t be matched 😉   

I will let Ken Follett’s books aside  for a while after reading more than 4000 pages 😉 Who knows how long I will be in rehab?  🙂 🙂

Monastic retreat is highly recommended when you get a hold of Follett’s historical novels ; -)  😉