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De onthechting (Matthew Shardlake #1)

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  18,762 ratings  ·  1,442 reviews
In de winter van 1537 is Engeland verdeeld in twee kampen: aan de ene kant de aanhangers van koning Henry VIII, die de Anglicaanse Kerk heeft ingesteld, aan de andere kant de katholieken die trouw blijven aan de paus. In naam van de koning is Thomas Cromwell, de gevreesde en meedogenloze architect van de reformatie, een kruistocht begonnen tegen het oude geloof door middel ...more
396 pages
Published 2003 by Uitgeverij M
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Pat C. Don't be intimidated. This is an excellent series. I learn most of my history from fiction so I always appreciate it when the author knows what…moreDon't be intimidated. This is an excellent series. I learn most of my history from fiction so I always appreciate it when the author knows what they're talking about ;-). The stories are suspenseful, the murders grisly but not nauseating, the characters are fully fleshed out. My only complaint is that I wish the hero would get a girlfriend..(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
”’This is not Thomas More’s Utopia, a nation of innocent savages waiting only for God’s word to complete their happiness. This is a violent realm, stewed in the corruption of a decadent church.’

‘I know.’

‘The papists will use every means to present us from building the christian commonwealth, and so God’s blood I will use every means to overcome them.’

‘I am sorry if my judgement erred.’

‘Some say you are soft, Matthew, ‘ he said quietly. ‘Lacking in fire and godly zeal, even perhaps in loyalty.’

Lo
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Bookworm Sean
This is a murder mystery, set in the political upheaval of Tudor England, during the dissolution of the churches. What more could a reader want? This book combines a classic whodunit scenario with the intrigue of the sixteenth century; it is brilliant.

At the heart of this book, is a very human character: Mathew Shardlake. Shardlake is a commissioner sent, by Thomas Cromwell, to investigate his predecessor’s murder at a monastery. Shardlake has a twisted back so is consequently spurned by the re
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Stephen
5.0 stars. This story grabbed me from the very first page and kept me engaged throughout the entire book. I do not read as much historical/crime fiction as I do science fiction/fantasy but this book might cause that to change given how much I enjoyed this. I am a bit if a history buff and I was drawn to this story because it is set during the English Reformation, a period I was interested to learn more about.

The main character, Matthew Shardlake, is a hunchback, English lawyer working for Thoma
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James Thane
Even though I read a lot of history, I've never been a fan of historical fiction and so when one of the book clubs to which I belong picked this novel as a monthly read, I approached it with some trepidation. For the most part, though, I was pleasantly surprised and I enjoyed the book more than I expected to.

Dissolution is set in England and the action takes place over a couple of extremely cold and snowy weeks in 1537. This is shortly after King Henry VIII has broken with the Catholic church an
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Mark
Jan 16, 2012 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mark by: Stephen and Tracy
What can I say. Really exciting, really atmospheric and the novel for which the phrase 'page turner' was created. Its the first in a series, in which i shall most definitely be heavily indulging, revolving around a well drawn character called Matthew Shardlake who, when the novel begins, is an ardent if gentle reformer working for Thomas Cromwell just as, with the death of Jane Seymour, Henry VIII is set free to vomit his horrible nastiness over a few more women.

Shardlake, a lawyer who struggles
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Samantha
Set during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII, this novel brings this episode in history to life through the character Matthew Shardlake. He is developed throughout the story, creating a multi-faceted, compelling protagonist. Passers by only see Shardlake as a cripple, but the reader sees his pride, insecurities, longing for companionship, and devotion to a cause that he believes is sincere.

Through the example of the Monastery of St. Donatus at Scarnsea, we are shown first hand
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Sam Piper
Looking at the reviews here, it seems that this book is getting hammered because it cries out to be compared with other powerhouses of books.

Set in the 1500s of Henry VIII, it clearly bears parallels with Wolf Hall which is set two wives earlier. It has to be said that it lacks the beauty of the language of that novel or its subtle, multilayered realistic characterisation. Mantell's Cromwell is a far more engaging and convincing narrator than Sansom's Shardlake.

Similarly, set in an isolated mon
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Phrynne
Now that is how historical fiction should be written, plenty of fact, some great fictional characters and a really good story. The fact that this is also a mystery and a page turner made the deal for me. This was a really good read and I will be seeking out the rest of the series very soon.
Jonfaith
How men fear the chaos of the world, I thought, and the yawning eternity hereafter. So we build patterns to explain its terrible mysteries and reassure ourselves we are safe in this world and beyond.

There was a germ of something remarkable in this genre novel. Double cursed with the blights of "historical" and "detective" baggage, Dissolution betrays yet another misfortune as it flies headlong into the pillars of its territory: The Name of the Rose meets Man For All Seasons as remixed by DJ Spoo
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Kiwi
A brilliant mystery set in Tudor England (1537-1538), the turbulent period after the execution of Anne Boleyn. Thomas Cromwell is pursuing the dissolution of monasteries; Shardlake, a hunchback, is a protestant commissioner sent by Cromwell to St. Donatus monastery at Scarnsea where the murder of his predecessor has taken place. There are number of monks among the suspects and Shardlake is convinced that the killer is still at the monastery.

This book was better that I expected. There are enough
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Terri
I don't often read books set during this period of English history. I don't know why. But I am glad that I have started. Well, perhaps I should say, that I am glad that I have discovered CJ Sansom because he really brought Henry Tudor's England alive for me. It is that which has made me glad to start reading books of this era.
As a crime thriller, this book was a little dull. Hence the 4 stars and not 5 stars. I didn't enjoy it so much for the crime solving. It was Sansom's descriptions of Englan
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Helen
I loved this story. I haven't read too many historical mysteries but I can't imagine them getting much better than this. Matthew Shardlake is such a terrific main character that I find myself wanting to follow him around no matter what he's doing. Not quite as smart as Sherlock Holmes but a million times more likeable. Plus the fact that he is a hunchback just seems to make him all the more appealing.

And I didn't even mention the writing and the mystery itself, both of which are excellent.
Susan
First published in 2003, this is the first novel in the Matthew Shardlake series, and introduces us to our unlikely hero; lovelorn, hunchbacked, a reformist lawyer who begins the book as utterly loyal to Cromwell’s ideals and ends it plagued with doubts about his role and mission.

Shardlake is sent by Cromwell to the Monastery of St Donatus the Ascendant at Scarnsea, Sussex. It is 1537 and the dissolution of the monasteries is underway. Cromwell had sent Commissioner Robin Singleton there with l
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Diane Barnes
This is a great murder mystery set in the 16th century, during the religious reformation of Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII. The setting is a monastery in Scarnsea, and Matthew Shardlake is a hunchbacked lawyer who serves as a commissioner of Cromwell to investigate the murder, and to hasten the dissolving of St. Donatus, as a precedent and warning to other religious orders as to what awaits them. One murder turns into 4, with twists and turns and red herrings all along the way. This book has it ...more
Paul
This is Tudor whodunit, set in the reign of Henry VIII. Shardlake is a commissionaire for Lord Cromwell and is asked to go to a monastery to investigate the murder of the last commissionaire who was there. He arrives with his assistant and sets about trying to find the murderer. Whilst he is there the body count starts to rise. He is suspicious of the motives behind why the monks are doing certain things, and he starts to get under the skin of the abbot and prior in the hope of flushing out the ...more
Lynne King
I was very disappointed in this book as it came highly recommended by friends; four of whom I had known since I was a teenager. In fact I trusted their judgement so much, I purchased five books from this series at the same time.

I should have loved this book as it's about the Tudor period, which has always fascinated me; there were so many intrigues going on and one never knew who was going to end up in the Tower, and the central character Matthew Shardlake, the hunchback lawyer, was very interes
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Siria
A moderately enjoyable page-turner. Sansom's historical and legal background give authority to his research, but do nothing to lighten his prose, which never rises above the pedestrian, or to leaven his characters. Where Dissolution really falls down for me is that Sansom tries and fails to balance modern sensitivities with Tudor sensibilities—rather than creating characters with authentic views of women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and homosexuals, Sansom describes people whose ...more
Laura
As a work of historical fiction, this deserves six stars. As a mystery, it was very good, but it was overlong in places. The ending was wonderful, and unfortunately, kept me awake at 3am listening to this, rather than falling back to sleep. A sign of a great book though. All in all, I learned a lot from this book, and really enjoyed it. I'll definitely continue with the series. The author has a PhD in history and really knows his stuff. Lots of background, lots of period detail here, and if you ...more
Laura
I won't miss this BBC dramatization:

Winter, 1537, the South Kent Coast. Thomas Cromwell's trusted lawyer-detective, Matthew Shardlake, arrives at Scarnsea monastery with orders to investigate the brutal killing of a King's Commissioner, Robin Singleton. As he begins to meet the prime suspects, it soon becomes clear that the case will not be as simple to solve as he had hoped.



I must agree with Hayes, the book is much better than this dramatization.
Morana
Moj prvi Sansom i ljubav na prvu knjigu...Ok, ja sam i inače veliki ljubitelj povijesnih romana, krimića, a i Tudora (zajedno sa Engleskom u to doba), a svega toga ima u Raskolu.. Nema baš Tudora direktno, ali su negdje u pozadini jer sva ta događanja opisana u romanu posljedica su odvajanja Engleske od katoličke crkve što je inicirao, naravno, Henrik VIII.
No da se vratim na roman.. Pratimo Mathewa Shardlake-a i njegovu istragu ubojstava u jednom od engleskih samostana...(neposredno pred nestana
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Barbara
I listened to the audiobook which was excellently narrated. However, as happens with me, I was sometimes not focusing when listening and missed some details. I am intrigued by this period of English history when Henry VIII went about dismantling the Catholic church. Dissolution, the title, refers to the closing of Catholic monasteries. While undoubtedly there was a great deal of corruption among the clergy, not all monks were guilty of wrong doing, and a lot of destruction occurred. I recall whe ...more
Nikki
I've been meaning to read this for ages. It's been tempting me more ever since I started volunteering at the tiny local library, so finally I picked it up -- and I'm glad. I think I needed it, something of a palate cleanser, something a bit different. It really was absorbing: I read it in great big chunks, and didn't want to put it down. It's in the same sort of tradition as Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael, I suppose: a murder mystery set in a particular political period, somewhat shaped by that p ...more
Gretchen
If the option were available to me I would give this book three and a half stars. That option is not available to me and so I will be giving a three star rating. Had this book not started out as slow going as it did, I might have given it four or five stars. This book took me nearly a month to read. It took me nearly a month to get past chapter eight. In that same time period I finished four other books. To summarize, I had a hard time getting into this book.

The book redeemed itself after (view
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Paul
Reasonably good crime thriller set in Tudor England at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries (1537). Matthew Shardlake is one of Thomas Cromwell's commissioners who is charged with investigating the death of another commissioner at Scarnsea, a Benedictine Monastery on the south coast. Shardlake is a hunchback and physically weak; another addition to the detectives with imperfections genre. It is pretty well written, a bit flowery at times, but an easy read and not too demanding.
I found
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James
A determined scholar could write a very interesting study of the relation between mystery novels and theology. The inexorable, Calvinist feel of the movement from mystery to revelation, or the scholastic faith in reason and goodness of the detective—all these things and more, suggest an eerie connectedness.

Dissolution only strengthens the association. The story’s detective-protagonist, Matthew Shardlake, is a hunchback lawyer working for Thomas Cromwell during the reign of Henry VIII. At the ope
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Gerald Sinstadt
Matthew Shardlake, sent by Thomas Cromwell to solve a murder at a monastery on the coast of Sussex, may come to hold a place among the most credible of fictional detectives. There seems to be an assumption among some readers that the investigator-with-weaknesses has become a cliché; but doesn't that miss the point that none of us is perfect? Have we forgotten that Sherlock Holmes was a drug addict? In simple terms, Shardlake is a member of the human race. His physical deformity - he is a hunchba ...more
Lynda Hunter
I first read this book four years ago and have read it again twice since. This series of books is my favourite series of all time. I actually think this one "Dissolution" is probably just about my favourite. I could not believe how completely hooked I got on the main character, the lawyer, Shardlake. He is a sombre reserved man, especially in this first book, but I loved him within the first 25 pages. The fact that he is so cruelly ridiculed because he is a hunchback probably had some impact on ...more
Sandra Bašić
Krimić smješten u Englesku davne 1537. godine, meni za početak i više nego dovoljno. Zemlja je podijeljena na one koji su i dalje odani papi i Katoličkoj crkvi te one druge koji su uz kralja Henrika VIII i novu Anglikansku crkvu. Naravno, ovi prvi su u nemilosti kralja i njegovih povjerenika. Ozloglašeni lord Cromwell (koji je ljubio pete Ann Boleyn a onda ju, bez milosti, obezglavio) donio je odluku o zatvaranju samostana diljem zemlje. Toj misiji pridružit će se još jedna – istraga o brutalnom ...more
Susan Johnson
I was watching Craig Ferguson one night and he mentioned he was enjoing his CJ Sansom book. What could a night owl do but run to Amazaon books and look up the author? Who would not be excited about reading a book about a hunchback lawyer investigating murders at a monastery during the relgious upheaval times under King Henry VIII? It was entertaining that I sat up reading it instead of watching Craig Ferguson and I liked it so much that I have ordered the second one. I can't wait
Zo Mo
A crippled lawyer with his young assistance were sent to a far monastery to investigate the brutal killing of Cromwell's commissioner assigned the mission of negotiating the surrender of the monastery to the Commonwealth. Things turn out to be more dark and complex than expected at the monastery where danger and death lurk at every corner.

This is a beautifully written detective story that paints a realistic image of Henry's England during the dissolution of the monasteries period.
While reading
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2015 Reading Chal...: Dissolution by C.J. Sansom 1 8 Apr 08, 2015 06:50PM  
Tudor History Lovers: May 2014 - Dissolution, by C.J. Sansom 36 100 Jul 20, 2014 02:41PM  
Tudor Book Blog B...: Overview 10 24 Jun 05, 2014 08:16PM  
Historical Fictio...: Group Series: Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake #1) 19 169 Dec 04, 2013 11:09AM  
Tudor Book Blog B...: Thomas Cromwell 8 20 Nov 18, 2013 08:42AM  
Tudor Book Blog B...: Overview 20 17 Nov 17, 2013 05:32PM  
Brilliant book with 2 flaws. 25 312 Nov 17, 2013 12:01PM  
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Christopher John "C.J." Sansom is an English writer of crime novels. He was born in 1952 and was educated at the University of Birmingham, where he took a BA and then a PhD in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he decided to retrain as a solicitor. He practised for a while in Sussex as a lawyer for the disadvantaged, before quitting in order to work full-time as a writer.
He came to promi
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More about C.J. Sansom...

Other Books in the Series

Matthew Shardlake (6 books)
  • Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake, #2)
  • Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake, #3)
  • Revelation (Matthew Shardlake, #4)
  • Heartstone (Matthew Shardlake, #5)
  • Lamentation (Matthew Shardlake, #6)
Revelation (Matthew Shardlake, #4) Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake, #2) Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake, #3) Heartstone (Matthew Shardlake, #5) Winter in Madrid

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“In worshipping their nationhood men worship themselves and scorn others, and that is no healthy thing.” 32 likes
“It seems a universal rule in this world that people will always look for victims and scapegoats, does it not? Especially at times of difficulty and tension.” 7 likes
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