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Il Circolo degli Eretici (Giordano Bruno #1)

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  4,856 ratings  ·  641 reviews
1583. In un'Europa devastata dalle guerre di religione, l'Inghilterra di Elisabetta I sembra un rifugio sicuro. È così anche per Giordano Bruno, monaco, scienziato e poeta, accusato di eresia e perseguitato dall'Inquisizione. Dopo aver trovato riparo a Londra, Bruno viene reclutato come spia al servizio della causa protestante e incaricato di recarsi a Oxford per sventare ...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Sperling & Kupfer (first published 2010)
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I couldn't read this book without always comparing it with John Crowley's Aegypt tetralogy. The works aren't similar at all except they both prominently feature Giordano Bruno. Crowley made Bruno into a full character and spent a good deal of time looking into the things that Bruno believed and studied. Parris just kind of throws them out there and the more interesting facets of the Nolan's studies are kind of lost and only get used to give a feeling of historicity and color to the story.

I'm bei
Giordano Bruno was one of the 16th century's most erudite visionaries, a Dominican monk who fled the Church after being accused of heresy. His cosmological theories went beyond Copernicus's heliocentric visions; Bruno was the first European to conceptualize the universe as a vast continuum populated by many galaxies. He was also a visionary writer on the concept of memory and avid scholar of mysticism.

Naturally, his curious mind made him very unpopular with Catholic authorities, struggling as t
******Full Disclosure**** This was an ARC copy, that was received through the Goodreads Advance program. I am grateful for the chance to have read this novel, which I might not have purchased otherwise.
Written by S.J Parris, a pseudonym for "a journalist for various newspapers and magazines, including the Observer and the Guardian", named Stephanie Merritt, this is an historical novel that takes substance from the life story of a Roman Catholic excommunicate priest named Filipo Giordano Bruno
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
Jan 23, 2010 colleen the fabulous fabulaphile rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical murder mystery buffs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was a very good read. An intelligent, thoughtfully conceived thriller that combines the battle between Catholicism and Protestantism in 1500's England, a series of strange murders at Oxford college, and the suspicion of anyone different that leads to unfortunate choices and tragic results.

Giordano Bruno is a runaway from his Dominican monastery in Italy. He fled just ahead of the Inquisition for the crime of possessing and reading books on the "forbidden" list, such as the theories of Coper
Kate Forsyth
I love a good historical murder mystery, particularly one set in one of my favourite eras of history. Heretic is set during Elizabethan times, quite possibly the most popular of periods. The novel features a true life heretic monk as its amateur detective, this being Giordano Bruno who was sought by the Roman Inquisition for his belief that the Earth orbits the sun and that the universe is infinite. He travels to Oxford in 1576 to take part in a religious debate, but gets caught up in a series o ...more
The author has done a commendable job in writing an enjoyable mystery set in the Tudor era, not my favorite time period by any means and which I try to avoid if possible. I almost skipped this novel but am glad I did not. I liked its involving others than the royal family and its immediate courtiers. This novel gave some flavor of the academic community of Oxford University of that period. The notable Italian astronomer, Giordano Bruno, a firm believer in the Copernican heliocentric theory of th ...more
This book really blew me away - I was definitely caught up in it by the end, huddled under the blankets reading long after I should have been asleep because I just HAD to finish it. The writing style is rich and detailed, and it's clear that quite a bit of research and historical knowledge has gone into the writing of the book. I'm not an expert on this period of British history, but what I do know about it rings true, and the rest of it certainly feels true in the telling of the story. I did no ...more
Mar 11, 2010 Joan added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joan by: Amazon Vine ARC
This much is true: Giordano Bruno did go to Oxford in the spring of 1583, in the party of the Prince Palatine Albert Laski and Sir Philip Sidney, where he did engage in a debate on the Copernican theory.

On this thread, S.J. Parks (pseudonym of journalist Stephanie Merritt) has hung her murder mystery. The book opens as Bruno flees his monastery with the Inquisition nipping at his heels. We next see him on his way to Oxford, having traveled far both geographically and socially. By now he had beco
The frame work of this whodunnit is historically accurate. Giordano Bruno, humanist, philosopher, Copernican did come under the attention of the inquisition and was excommunicated for reading Erasmus and other books on the Index. He was eventually executed by the inquisition for his unorthodox beliefs. He did spend 2 years in England and travel to Oxford. There are suggestions that he was recruited by Walsingham, Elizabeth I's master of spies. It was a time of anti-Catholicism, with Elizabeth ex ...more
Jennifer Parks
After I began reading this book at B&N in the cafe I really got into it (it’s a page turner) and knew i was not going to have a chance to return to the store for a few weeks so i downloaded it to my nook and finished it there.

It was a great read. Excellent pacing throughout the book, interesting and suspenseful plot – set in the old world of Europe and weaving in historical details about the Catholic war on science and the Protestant war on Catholics.
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
We first meet our protagonist Giordano Bruno on the privy, reading a forbidden text in a monastery in Naples in the 1500s.

Unfortunately he is discovered, and Bruno's unabated desire for forbidden knowledge and the alleged sin of pride makes him a target for the Inquisition and he is forced to flee Naples.

On the run for years, he agrees to go to Oxford in 1583 to work as a spy for Sir Francis Walsingham to root out traitors to Queen Elizabeth I. Those practising Catholicism must do so in secret,
Karen Brooks
I give this 3.5 stars - I just couldn't when I went to rate it! Sorry.
This was a strange book in so many ways – and I mean that more positively than to infer the opposite – strange can be good, right? Ostensibly a historical novel that, while a work of fiction features real people – the main one being the lead character, the excommunicate Roman priest and humanist philosopher, Giordano Bruno – it also uses quite modern if literary language to tell its Elizabethan tale of murder, mystery, spies,
The historical figure Giordano Bruno has fascinated me for years. An accomplished man of many disciplines, a former monk who defied the church in his dedication to the truth at a time when such things got you tortured and brutally killed. When I saw a well-marketed historical thriller was coming out starring Bruno, I couldn't wait.

Imagine my disappointment then when I found myself flipping through pages and skipping sections just to find out what eventually happens and be done with the book. Wh
Lolly's Library
Meticulously researched and exquisitely written, Heresy is like a boat ride down the Thames of Elizabethan England: leisurely and immersive, allowing one to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of a slowly unfolding panorama. For such skillful writing, the book deserves 5 stars. However, for personal reading enjoyment, I could only give the novel 3 stars. I have to stress, this is my problem and doesn't reflect at all on the author's writing or storytelling skills, but that leisurely pace, esp ...more
More like 3.5+. In the spirit of Name of the Rose and Instance of the Fingerpost (which set the bar quite high for historical mysteries based on serious, often life and (grisly) death disputes over philosophy and religion), the plot of Heresy has its basis on the Catholic/Church of England divide in late 16th century England. Thrown into that is the character of 1st person narrator and unwitting P.I. Giordano Bruno, an excommunicated Dominican monk (who dared to espouse Copernican theory, and ha ...more
This book had really great potential, but lacked suspense and momentum. It takes place at Oxford during Queen Elizabeth I's reign. Former monk Giordano Bruno, who has been charged with heresy by the Catholic Church for his heliocentric views, is an intellectual guest at Oxford. He is also a reluctant agent of for the Church of England and is encouraged to report on any Catholic sympathizers who may be a threat to the queen and her realm. When murders occur in the college, Bruno takes it upon him ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘I was not afraid to die for my beliefs, but not until I had determined which beliefs were worth dying for.’

In a memorable prologue, we first encounter Giordano Bruno in the monastery privy as he surreptitiously reads a forbidden book by Erasmus. Once discovered, and to escape the Inquisition, he flees from Italy. Giordano Bruno was also a believer in Copernican cosmology, and it is his trip to England in 1583 to debate his cosmological theory with John Underhill, the Rector of Lincoln College a
First Sentence: The outer door was thrown open with a crash that resounded along the passage, and the floorboards shook with the purposeful marching of several pairs of feet.

Philosopher and mathematician Giordano Bruno has come to Oxford, supposedly to debate on the theories of Copernicus. However, Sir Francis Walsingham, spymaster to Queen Elizabeth I, has sent him to seek out Catholics who seek to assassinate the Queen. He did not expect having to solve a series of murders where the victim has
Steve Lindahl
Heresy is a historical novel that follows a period in the life of Giordano Bruno, an ex-monk who has developed a reputation as a philosopher and gained status through his relationship with King Henri III of France. This book covers a time he spent at Oxford in England. He's been brought to the university to debate with the head of the school, Rector Underhill. But while Bruno is at Oxford a number of brutal murders occur and he is recruited by Underhill to look into the crimes.

The book is intere
An interesting idea, well-written and (for the most part) well narrated by John Lee. That said, I did get lost in a lot of the details and specifics found in the book. Parris does a great job with the minutiae, but is sometimes a little TOO detailed. That said, it did keep me listening from beginning to end.

Parris strides onto the literary scene with an interesting opening salvo. She writes in another historical time and weaves both the historical truths of the time (planetary and universal cent

The newest novel by S.J. Parris (a pseudonym for writer Stephanie Merritt) is a religious thriller of the historical variety called Heresy. It's 1576 and a monk named Giordano Bruno is exercising unauthorized freedoms by reading Erasmus in the privy. About to be caught and punished in many un-Godly ways, Bruni makes a run for it. So far so real. The real monk, philosopher, Galileo-ist scientist and poet Bruno made his way to England, after securing the friendship of a few important men, where he
I felt like this book was a bit flat from the beginning, for reasons I couldn't quite put my finger on. Then there was one of those action-y chase sequences near the climax that so many mystery novels have these days, that seem designed only to make the book more likely to be optioned as a film. ("The DaVinci Code" did a real disservice to book-y, historical mystery novels. Boo.)

But then I found out that many of the characters in the book are (loosely) based on real people. I'm all for historic
The Historic Thriller “Heresy” written by S.J. Parris,features Gordano Bruno A man persecuted by the catholic church and chased so he can be executed on the charges of, what else heresy. When he flees to France he is contacted by a man who his second only to the queen. He tells Bruno to give him any information that can be of use to him, and in return this “man” will give Bruno anything he desires.
Myself and Bruno are very similar. We both have the same interests, like reading and trying to f
Ronald Roseborough

Heresy is an historical novel telling the tale of Giordano Bruno's visitation to Oxford during the reign of Elizabeth I of England. The book smoothly blends facts and fiction to give us a very engaging tale of a mystery surrounding this man of many dimensions. As a young man, he was trained as a Catholic monk in Italy until his unorthodox views of the universe and Christian religion necessitated his timely departure, one step ahead of the Inquisition. He eventually gravitated to England hoping i
Lady Reads
This book was...strange. I'm really not sure what I, as a reader, was supposed to glean from this. There's no real tension, no real love story, and no real character whose side I felt I should be on.

The most interesting part was the beginning. The story of how Bruno left his 'calling' to priesthood was really unique and moving. Just the idea that an Italian cleric could lose his position (and possibly his life) for having scientific ideas was compelling. Yet, that was the most compelling part of
Jason Golomb
This book has all the makings of a terrific historical mystery:
1) Great time and place - England during the Elizabethan era
2) Great contextual and cultural undercurrent - Catholicism v. Protestantism; and a growing world view that's building momentum towards the Renaissance.
3) Cool lead character - Giordano Bruno, a real life mystic/priest/heretic/scientist

Unfortunately, the author wasn't able to build upon this foundation with an interesting enough story. The three factors above all scream MAJO
Building on the historical fact of Giordano Bruno’s visit to Oxford in 1583, S. J. Parris has crafted an intriguing mystery set against the religious turbulence of Tudor England.

Bruno, in exile from Italy, had fled across Europe pursued by accusations of heresy based on ignorance, misunderstanding of his utterances and outright malice on the part of some and which eventually led to his burning at the stake. Some scholars have credited Bruno with the greatest idea contributed by a single person t
Aly Blythe
I'm not a history expert. So I won't be wasting time quibbling about historical inaccuracies and whatnot. It all seemed reasonably apropos, none of the characters went off to catch up on the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries or anything equally jarring.

Besides, I don't think the purpose of this book is to educate anybody about life in the Tudor period. I hope not, because apart from shining a light on the religious hithers-and-thithers of that century, Heresy seems written for one reason onl
O Simbolista,
“Mas pouco me interessam essas distinções... Ainda me atrevo a esperar pelo dia em que as pessoas serão julgadas por seu caráter e suas realizações, não por seu sobrenome paterno.”

A estória que se passa em pleno século XVI, se inicia com o monge italiano Giordano Bruno, o narrador do suspense, em um banheiro (ou uma “buraco” como era no tempo) lendo um livro que na época era proibido em Roma, ele, um monge católico foi pego por superiores e levado
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S.J. Parris began reviewing books for national newspapers while she was reading English literature at Queens' College, Cambridge. After graduating, she went on to become Deputy Literary Editor of The Observer in 1999. She continues to work as a feature writer and critic for the Guardian and the Observer and from 2007-2008 she curated and produced the Talks and Debates program on issues in contempo ...more
More about S.J. Parris...

Other Books in the Series

Giordano Bruno (5 books)
  • Prophecy (Giordano Bruno, #2)
  • Sacrilege (Giordano Bruno #3)
  • Treachery (Giordano Bruno #4)
  • Giordano Bruno Thriller 5
Prophecy (Giordano Bruno, #2) Sacrilege (Giordano Bruno #3) Treachery (Giordano Bruno #4) The Secret Dead (Giordano Bruno, #0.5) Giordano Bruno Series Books 1-3: Heresy, Prophecy, Sacrilege

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“I do not believe that any book should be denied to the man who possesses the wisdom to understand it, Bruno, but that does not mean I am confused about where truth lies.” 13 likes
“I am a mixture of contradictory elements. Equal parts earth and fire, melancholy and choler, I fear. But it is more that warmth and blue skies stir the blood, do you not think?” 10 likes
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