Outliving Henry VIII: C.J. Sanson’s Lamentation


LamentationLike his other five books in the Tudor series, C.J. Sanson’s Lamentation is an enthralling, if not long, work of historical fiction.You have Queen Katherine Parr, the king, the court, Matthew Shardlake attorney, and a host of others. The book Lamentation of a Sinner, written by the queen is stolen one night from a locked chest while the queen is visiting the king. The queen enlists Shardlake to find the book. The book, while not heretical, could be used by her enemies at court to convince the king to be rid of her and her reformist views. All of Shardlake’s past foes that remain alive come back to haunt him. People die, his loyal assistant, Barak is cruelly and severely maimed, and again Shardlake, and others close to him find themselves arrested and questioned, this time for alleged heretical, and treasonous views. It is the world of Henry VIII who is becoming more unstable by the day. It is also the world of courtiers and kingmakers who seek to put them and those they love in power after the king’s death. The afterword by the author is illuminating as he goes into what made the story for him, what was actual, what was only fiction.

If you have seen the HBO series The Tudors, the series by C.J. Sansom makes a good follow-up series to read or as in my case, listen to. Both inform each other as to events, people, and places in each.