A Burnable Book: The Secret History of Medieval London and Its King
A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger: A Historical Thriller Set in Medieval London
If you love historical fiction, especially the kind that transports you to another time and place with rich details and compelling characters, then you should definitely check out A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger. This book is a historical thriller that follows the adventures of John Gower, a poet and trader of secrets, who is tasked with finding a mysterious manuscript that predicts the death of kings. Set in 14th century London, the book is full of intrigue, suspense, romance, and violence, as well as historical facts and figures that bring the medieval world to life. In this article, we will explore what makes this book so captivating and how you can enjoy it in an epub format.
a burnable book bruce holsinger epub file
The Plot: A Mysterious Manuscript That Predicts the Death of Kings
The story begins when John Gower, a friend of Geoffrey Chaucer and a poet who sells secrets for a living, is approached by his former lover Eleanor Rykener, who works as a prostitute. She tells him that she has a copy of a dangerous book that foretells the deaths of England's kings, including the current one, Richard II. She asks him to help her find the original manuscript, which has been stolen from her by a mysterious figure. Gower agrees to take on the quest, partly out of curiosity and partly out of guilt for abandoning Eleanor years ago.
As he delves deeper into the mystery, he encounters a cast of colorful characters, some fictional and some based on real historical figures. These include Chaucer himself, who is also looking for the book; Katherine Swynford, the mistress of John of Gaunt, Richard's uncle and rival; Henry Bolingbroke, John's son and Richard's cousin, who will later overthrow him; Thomas Arundel, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Richard's enemy; John Purvey, a follower of John Wycliffe and a leader of the Lollard movement; Agnes Fonteyn, a blind beggar who knows more than she lets on; Edgar Rykener, Eleanor's brother and a cross-dressing spy; Millicent Fonteyn, Agnes' daughter and Edgar's lover; and many more.
The plot is fast-paced and full of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the end. The book also incorporates historical events and figures that shaped the 14th century, such as the Peasants' Revolt, the Black Death, the Hundred Years' War, the Papal Schism, the rise of Lollardy, and the conflicts between Richard II and his nobles. The book is not only a thrilling adventure, but also a fascinating glimpse into the past.
The Setting: A Vivid Portrayal of 14th Century London
One of the most impressive aspects of the book is the setting. Holsinger does a remarkable job of recreating the medieval city of London in all its glory and squalor. He describes the social and political context of the time, such as the tensions between the king and his subjects, the corruption and violence of the law and order, the influence and oppression of the church, and the diversity and discrimination of the people. He also depicts the cultural and religious diversity of the city, such as the presence and contributions of Jews, Muslims, Lombards, Flemings, Scots, Irish, and other foreigners. He shows how these groups interacted with each other, sometimes peacefully and sometimes violently.
Moreover, he evokes the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of medieval life, such as the bustling markets and fairs, the crowded streets and alleys, the magnificent cathedrals and palaces, the filthy slums and brothels, the exotic spices and delicacies, the foul odors and diseases, and the brutal punishments and executions. He makes the reader feel like they are walking alongside Gower and his companions, experiencing the joys and horrors of London in 1385.
Finally, he portrays the challenges and dangers that the characters face in their quest, such as being chased by assassins, attacked by mobs, tortured by inquisitors, betrayed by friends, or tempted by lovers. He does not shy away from showing the dark and gritty side of medieval life, but he also balances it with moments of humor, romance, friendship, and courage.
The Style: A Masterful Blend of Fiction and History
Another impressive aspect of the book is the style. Holsinger is not only a novelist, but also a professor of English at the University of Virginia who specializes in medieval literature. He has done extensive research on the period and its sources, which he uses to craft his story. He blends fiction and history seamlessly, using historical facts and figures as inspiration for his plot and characters. He also uses literary devices and techniques that enhance his storytelling, such as foreshadowing, irony, symbolism, imagery, dialogue, narration, and perspective.
, and testimonies by witnesses and victims. He also provides notes and references at the end of the book for those who want to learn more about the sources and the history.
He writes with themes and messages that resonate with modern readers, such as the power and danger of words, the role and responsibility of writers, the value and cost of secrets, the nature and consequences of prophecy, the meaning and importance of friendship, the conflict and balance between faith and reason, the tension and harmony between tradition and innovation, and the struggle and hope for justice and peace. He makes the reader think about how the past informs the present and how the present shapes the future.
The Format: An Epub File That Enhances the Reading Experience
The last aspect of the book that we will discuss is the format. The book is available in an epub file, which is a digital format that allows you to read ebooks on various devices, such as computers, tablets, smartphones, and e-readers. An epub file differs from other formats, such as pdf or mobi, in several ways. Here are some of the benefits and features of reading an epub file of A Burnable Book:
You can adjust the font size, style, color, and layout to suit your preferences and needs.
You can bookmark pages, highlight passages, add notes, and search for words or phrases.
You can access links to external websites or resources that provide more information or context for the book.
You can enjoy images, maps, diagrams, and other visual elements that complement the text.
You can listen to audio files that play music, sounds, or voices related to the book.
To download and read an epub file of A Burnable Book, you will need an app or a program that supports this format. There are many options available for different devices and platforms. Some of them are free and some of them are paid. Some of them are simple and some of them are complex. Some of them are popular and some of them are obscure. You can choose the one that works best for you. Here are some examples of apps or programs that you can use:
For computers: Adobe Digital Editions, Calibre, EPUBReader
For tablets or smartphones: Google Play Books, Apple Books, Kobo Books
For e-readers: Kindle Fire, Nook Color, Sony Reader
Once you have an app or a program installed on your device, you can download an epub file of A Burnable Book from various online sources. Some of them are free and some of them are paid. Some of them are legal and some of them are illegal. You can choose the one that is ethical and affordable for you. Here are some examples of online sources that you can use:
For free: Project Gutenberg, Open Library, Internet Archive
For paid: Amazon Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble Nook Store, Kobo Store
and Medieval Studies (2007), and The Bookseller of London (2021). He is also a co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Music (2011) and A New History of Medieval French Literature (2011).
Conclusion: A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger is a Must-Read for Historical Fiction Fans
To sum up, A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger is a historical thriller that takes the reader on a journey through medieval London in search of a mysterious manuscript that predicts the death of kings. The book has a captivating plot, a vivid setting, a masterful style, and an epub format that enhance the reading experience. The book is not only entertaining, but also informative and thought-provoking. It is a must-read for historical fiction fans and anyone who loves a good story.
If you are interested in reading this book, you can download an epub file of it from various online sources and read it on your device of choice. You can also find other books by Bruce Holsinger in epub format and enjoy his other works. You will not regret it.
What do you think of this book? Have you read it or are you planning to read it? What are your favorite parts or aspects of it? What are your questions or comments about it? Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.
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Q: Who is Bruce Holsinger?
A: Bruce Holsinger is an American novelist and professor of English at the University of Virginia. He specializes in medieval literature and culture and has written several books on the topic. He is also the author of three historical novels set in 14th century London: A Burnable Book (2014), The Invention of Fire (2015), and The Gifted School (2019).
Q: What is a burnable book?
A: A burnable book is a term used to describe a book that contains dangerous or heretical ideas that could threaten the established order or authority. Such books were often burned or banned by the church or the state in medieval times. In the novel, the burnable book is a manuscript that predicts the deaths of England's kings, including Richard II, who was the king at the time.
Q: Who is John Gower?
A: John Gower was a real historical figure who lived from around 1330 to 1408. He was an English poet and friend of Geoffrey Chaucer. He wrote several works in Latin, French, and English, such as Confessio Amantis, Vox Clamantis, and Mirour de l'Omme. He was also involved in politics and diplomacy and had connections with the royal court and the church. He is the protagonist of the novel and the narrator of the story.
Q: Who is Geoffrey Chaucer?
A: Geoffrey Chaucer was another real historical figure who lived from around 1343 to 1400. He was an English poet and author of The Canterbury Tales, one of the most famous works of medieval literature. He was also a courtier, diplomat, civil servant, and soldier who served under several kings, including Richard II. He was a friend and rival of John Gower and a major character in the novel.
Q: What is Lollardy?
A: Lollardy was a religious movement that emerged in England in the late 14th century. It was inspired by the teachings of John Wycliffe, an Oxford scholar who criticized the corruption and abuses of the church and advocated for the reform of doctrine and practice. He also translated the Bible into English and encouraged people to read it for themselves. His followers were called Lollards and they faced persecution and execution by the church and the state for their beliefs.