Framing the Dialogue

Posts Tagged ‘england’

Dark Fire

dark fireAuthor C.J. Sansom takes us back to 16th Century England where Henry VIII is king and change is brewing.  In mid-evil times change often brings death to both the players and the pawns.  In Dark Fire we are introduced to Matthew Shardlake who is “renowned as the sharpest hunchback in the courts of England.”  Mr. Shardlake is in fact a lawyer who practices property law, but takes on what seems to be a hopeless case when a friend’s niece is arrested for a terrible murder.  Things look hopeless until he is offered a way to have her case or rather her sentence delayed for two weeks…for a price.

House of Cards

house of cards 1This is the original book that was the inspiration for the hit Netflix series staring Kevin Spacey.  Set in England, House of Cards follows the political fortunes of the British Prime Minister as he faces his opposition after a winning (barely) election for his party.  Contrary to expectations, however, it’s his own party that he has to watch his back around.  Author Michael Dobbs gives us a glimpse in the dark underside of national politics.

“A politician should never spend too much time thinking.  It distracts attention from guarding his back.”

Pillars Of The Earth

pillars of the earthSet in twelfth century feudal England, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett takes us to a time when life was hard for the “regular” people as rivals fight for the rule of England.  The story is told mostly through the lives of three families; Brother Philip, a simple man of God who has a modest soul, but high aspirations and a cunning mind; Tom Builder who, as a master stone mason, wants to build a cathedral; and Aliena the high-born daughter of a once powerful earl.  This era in history is brutal as might is always right and rulers care more about how their decisions benefit them rather than justice and religious men often accept that the ends justify the means.


heartstone croppedIn the mid sixteenth century the English queen requests that a London lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, to look into an old case involving the wardship of an orphaned brother and sister.  Shardlake is hampered by a hunched back and a dogged desire to seek justice often landing him in trouble with powerful folks and putting his life in danger.  Obviously there are no sophisticated forensic tools to use to help solve the mysteries and intrigues that Shardlake uncovers.  Heartstone by C. J. Sansom can only depend on the skills of the lawyer to tell his tale.  The backdrop to the novel centers around the end of King Henry VIII’s rule as England prepares for an invasion by France.

The Screwtape Letters

If you had ever asked yourself who the devil might be tempting you to the dark side you might be weird, inquisitive, have too much time on your hands or most likely all three.  Some of the darkest days of our recent history, World War II, provided the setting for a series of letters from a “senior” devil to his devil-in-training as he attempts to lure a man to the dark side. The Screwtape Letters is kind of like listening to one side of a telephone conversation in that C. S. Lewis only treats us to Screwtape’s (the senior from the netherworld) letters to his intern, Wormwood.