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Revelation (Matthew Shardlake, #4)
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(Matthew Shardlake #4)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  20,335 ratings  ·  1,104 reviews
Spring, 1543. King Henry VIII is wooing Lady Catherine Parr, whom he wants for his sixth wife. But this time the object of his affections is resisting. Archbishop Cranmer and the embattled Protestant faction at court are watching keenly, for Lady Catherine is known to have reformist sympathies. Meanwhile, a teenage boy, a religious maniac, has been placed in the Bedlam hos ...more
Hardcover, 550 pages
Published April 4th 2008 by MacMillan
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SaraEliza I agree with Richard. Not strictly necessary, but the read is richer for taking them in order. I also found that my brain placed the historical contex…moreI agree with Richard. Not strictly necessary, but the read is richer for taking them in order. I also found that my brain placed the historical context more vividly than if I were reading randomly.(less)

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Average rating 4.35  · 
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Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
C.J. Sansom continues with his great set of Tudor era historical mysteries, tapping into some of the controversies of the time to spin intricate tales sure to keep the reader enthralled. Matthew Shardlake has taken on quite a complicated case when asked to defend a young man who has been locked away in a mental facility. His crime, excessive praying and zealousness, leaves many wondering what is to be done. At a time when religious fervour is punishable by death when not in line with the Church ...more
“The water under the ice was red, bright red. My heart began thumping painfully. By their short black robes, the two young men standing staring into the fountain were students.
. . .
‘There’s – there’s a man in the fountain,’ he said in a trembling voice. The other student pointed at something sticking out of the water. ‘That – that’s a foot.’
. . .
But I sat transfixed by what was, for me, a double horror. The first was the great gaping wound in the man’s throat, red against the dead-white s
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: most-loved
"We are in a mad and furious world, Matthew. Mundus furiosus. Each side railing against the other, preaching full of rage and hatred. The radicals foretelling the end of the world. To the conversion of some, and the confusion of many."
- 'Revelation' by C.J. Sansom

This is the fourth book of the Shardlake Series, which has become an unexpected favourite of mine. I say unexpected because I often don't enjoy crime fiction very much -- especially in the form of TV shows, like CSI, SVU etc. I don't n
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fourth installment in this excellent series and it is easily worth five stars. One of the best things about these books is the delightful way the author discusses all the details of the lifestyle of Tudor England. I have always found this a fascinating period of history and C.J. Sansom knows how to make the most of it. In this book Matthew Shardlake our daring, hunchback, lawyer/detective is working for Archbishop Cranmer and HenryVIII is preparing to marry Catherine Parr. Life becomes very ...more
Straight into the saddle with a quick update of where we are in terms of Henry VIII’s life & the key players that surround him which acquaints us swiftly with Tudor life. And we’re off!

Shardlake takes on a case with political & religious connotations afoot which align to professional suicide so all warn him...... then the murders start! Are they linked.....? And then the guessing game begins

Its a grand series & I ALWAYS kick myself as to why I take so long before reading another in the series.
Karen Witzler
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
The most enjoyable part of the book was meeting my ancestors in the streets of Shardlake's Tudor London. Hot-gospeller, spellbound-by-Revelation, worshippers of the newly translated literal-word-of-the -Lord folk who replaced Popish fancies with maniacal endtimes wishes that have been passed down in my family from that day to this. Thank you, C.J. Sansom for letting me peer into those origins. Once again, the cultural, intellectual,spiritual, and financial/political chaos seems to echo our own t ...more
Sep 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth novel in the series featuring lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, and his assistant Jack Barak. This is one of the darkest, most unsettling books in the series, involving Shardlake and Barak in the hunt for a Tudor serial killer, who has an obsession with the book of Revelations and a client who is declared insane and sent to the Bedlam.

King Henry is planning to take another wife and is busy trying to convince Catherine Parr to marry him. Speaking of matrimony, Barak’s marriage to Tama
With this installment in the Matthew Shardlake series, I think I can safely say that CJ Sansom has taken his place as my second favorite modern author (Sharon Kay Penman being my favorite). I have given this book some time to swirl around in my mind since I finished it, and I'm still not sure that I can do it justice.

Nobody brings Tudor England to life the way Sansom does. The sights, smells, is easy for the reader to imagine that they are walking along next to dear Matthew as he wa
Sonia Gomes
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who love the Tudors and Detective novels.
Recommended to Sonia by: Picked it up in a thrift store.
Shelves: courage, crime, historical
What can you say about a detective novel set in the reign of Henry VIII?

Love the Tudors and a detective novel set in those times, mind boggling.

Loved the book...just could not put it down...was sad when it was over.

Besides I am a great fan of Mathew Shardlake...What more can I say?
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Another great instalment in one of my favourite series. It’s so sad I hear literally no one talk about these. Anyone who’s a fan of Tudor England and mysteries will adore them. There so well written and keep you interested throughout, despite the length of the novels.
I must say, I prefer the ones that are set in London rather than else where. This one and book two are both set in London and are my favourites of the four I have read so far.

This one held another great mystery, a serial killer wh
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, crime

I really enjoy this series of mystery novels set in the reign of Henry VIII. The author has a gift for weaving the historical backstory into the mystery and generating a very evocative atmosphere of London in the 16th century. Through the characters and other story lines running through the novel, many pictures of daily life emerge including the practice of Medicine at the time, the workings of the sewerage system, construction of false teeth and of course the upheaval in religion and the chucrc
I may consistently give these C.J. Sansom books 4 out of 5 stars (with the exception of the third in the series, Sovereign, which I gave 5 stars to), but I do thoroughly enjoy them.
For me they are the perfect holiday read, or windy wet weather read. Sit in a corner with a cup of tea, curl up under a thick quilt in bed, lock yourself away or escape every evening to its pages.

C.J Sansom recreates the Tudor world with an ease that all historical fiction authors should aspire to. The stories are no
Terence M
Sep 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-dnf-try-again
Can't get into this - placing it on the dnf - will try again shelves.
Update (13 May 19): I now intend to read the series (or at least #1 to #5 which I own), and #1 Dissolution is in my 'Reading Now' list, ready to go!
REVELATION (Hist. Mys-Matthew Shardlake-England-1500s-Middle-Ages) – Ex
Sansom, C.J. – 4th in series
Macmillan, 2008, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9781405092722

First Sentence: The high chandeliers in the Great Hall of Lincoln’s Inn were ablaze with candles, for it was late afternoon when the play began.

Henry VIII has asked to marry Catherine Parr and England is in a time of religious turmoil.

The Dissolution of the monasteries is done but now Henry, and the reformists, are moving back toward Catholic ways
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In his fourth outing, hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake is up against a gruesome serial killer intent on bringing forth the prophecies of Revelation through a series of Biblical-inspired killings. Called in to attend to the bizarre case of a young boy imprisoned for madness and suspected of suffering from demonic possession, when Shardlake discovers the slain body of his best friend in a frozen fountain, he is once again caught between the machinations of the Tudor court, where Henry VIII has s ...more
In this installment, it is the year 1543 and Matthew Shardlake, the hunchback lawyer, has been promoted to Serjeant in the Court of Requests by Archbishop Cranmer. Cranmer owes Shardlake big-time after the events of the last book and Matthew is quite happy with his life and his work. Unfortunately, Matthew's peaceful existance is interrupted when his dear friend, Roger Elliard, is murdered in a most horrific and public way. Matthew vows to bring the killer to justice but there is much more to th ...more
Pam Baddeley
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
In volume 4 of the series, Shardlake has found some contentment in his job as Sergeant, senior lawyer, at the court dealing with law cases affecting ordinary people. But the violent death of someone close to him draws him into another murder investigation, and also drags him into the religious and political conflicts of the declining years of Henry VIII's reign.

Alongside this, Shardlake is also representing the interests of Adam, a young man who is seriously disturbed and is confined in the fam
Bookish Ally
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
In this, 4th book of the series, we get to engage with the Seymour brothers, Katherine Parr, Archbishop Cranmer, and the terrible Bishop Bonner. While I enjoyed this book, there was much theological discussion, which leads me to believe that Sansom may come from a worldview that is opposed to biblical Christianity, and that soured me a bit (being a biblically based Christian). The horrors that mankind visited upon each other during the Tudor era were so horrible, that the criticism didn’t need t ...more
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2014
It is the end of winter in 1543 and Henry is wooing Catherine Parr with the intention of making her his sixth wife. This is not popular with Archbishop Cramer as Parr is known to have sympathies to the reformist agenda.
Shardlake has agrees to take on the case of a lad who has been diagnosed as mad and who is in the asylum called Bedlam. People are starting to think that his mania will get him sentenced as a heretic.

On returning home later one evening he discovers a body in the fountain, this is
My least favorite of the series so far. Too much romance (and a lame drama at that... plus, the conflict never got resolved), too many subplots (which -of course- very conveniently fitted into the overall plot...), too much discussion of religion, and just too long for my taste. The setting was interesting as always, although I hoped Catherine Parr would play a larger role. The "serial killer in Tudor England" approach was interesting, but ultimately didn't interest me. ...more
Revelation takes place in 1543, shortly after Thomas Cromwell was beheaded, and shortly before Catherine Parr married Henry VIII. This was a dangerous time: political enemies were denounced, sometimes at the cost of their heads. Good and evil shifted almost daily, ‘Each knowing, of course, that their own side is entirely in the right’ (p. 97). Protestants and Papists, hot-gospellers and Laodicean were each at risk when they fell on the wrong side of this changing landscape. A fiery death may hav ...more
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you like historical fiction and/or mystery, I'd advise you to check out C.J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake series. Matthew Shardlake is a hunchback lawyer living in London during the reign of Henry VIII. His work brings him in contact with some history's lesser-known people: Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich, Thomas Cranmer. In each book, Shardlake solves at least two mysteries, one related to his law practice and one related to the politics of Tudor England. Sansom is an excellent writer, and his b ...more
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-books
Yet another Tudor mystery from the best of the best.

After Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church and made himself head of the Church of England, he just couldn’t make his mind up. Definitely Protestant.....maybe a wee bit less Protestant...... maybe a bit more Catholic. As he swung back and forth people rose and fell from favour, some losing their heads in the process. It was a time when your religious affiliations could carry heavy penalties. In this hothouse world of shifting religious dog
Gerald Sinstadt
Jan 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
As a confirmed Sansom addict, I now believe that the four Shardlake novels show an admirable progression. Revelation crowns a notable achievement.

In Dissolution, the claustrophobic limitations of the community at Scarnsea and the largely indistinguishable monks were the down side. The pluses were originality of scene and the personality of the hunchback lawyer himself.

Evidence of the author's feel for place and period led one hopefully to Dark Fire, and in the matter of authentic atmosphere on
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
Book 4 in the Matthew Shardlake series sees us back in Tudor England at when Henry VIII is wooing Catherine Parr. Shardlake is on the case of a teenage boy who has suddenly taken to praying obsessively (so much so that he won’t eat, sleep, or work) and has been placed in Bedlam, the only place he can be safe at a time when he can be burnt as a heretic by Bishop Bonner, who seems to be going after anyone he can. But Shardlake has to ensure that the boy Adam is looked after at Bedlam, else he may ...more
Bryn Hammond
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: imagined-fiction
This Shardlake centres on religious mania, apocalyptic expectations, and the affect on people of new interpretations of sin from radical Protestants. It’s a picture of ‘culture wars’ with a real sense of society unravelling. If he’d written it this year, and not ten years ago, I’d accuse him of being topical: I felt the reverberations, and to me that means he lifts this into a novel you might find of relevance whenever you live.

His cast: Matthew Shardlake, lawyer, who gets jeered at as ‘crookba
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Like the other Shardlake books, this one started slow for me. So I wonder, am I going to live through 600 pages or so. But then the storylines unfold, like the previous ones, and it gets interesting, and... you can't really stop reading. A great mix of history and crime, and a great view on the times and characters then, King Henry VIII, his wives, and this time Arch Bishop Cranmer plays a big part. Some parts are a bit 'corny', Shardlake's love struggles and the troubles in the relationship bet ...more
John Wiltshire
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So, we are now up to Catherine Parr. Lady Latimer is being pursued by Henry after he's successfully managed to kill off his latest young wife, Catherine Howard. Matthew, yet again, is going to be dragged into these great events. But as with the other novels of this superb series, Matthew is also involved in a more human mystery--in this novel that of a young boy who inexplicably begins to rant and rave about salvation and has been locked away in bedlam for his own protection (it's dangerous to s ...more
Another great read in the Shardlake series. A little heavy on the religious side as the mystery involves passages from the bible but it's not preachy.

Edited: I debated about giving this one 5 stars and decided to go ahead and do it. It's really well-done and was great fun to read. 5 star worthy for sure.
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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

Other books in the series

Matthew Shardlake (7 books)
  • Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake, #1)
  • Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake, #2)
  • Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake, #3)
  • Heartstone (Matthew Shardlake, #5)
  • Lamentation (Matthew Shardlake, #6)
  • Tombland (Matthew Shardlake, #7)

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