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An Instance of the Fingerpost [Iain Pears] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In Oxford, a servant girl confesses to a murder. But four. A national bestseller and one of the New York Public Library’s Books to Remember, An Instance of the Fingerpost is a thrilling historical mystery. This massive, delightfully titled literary thriller (it’s a quote from Sir Francis Bacon) is the kind of gamble it’s great to see a publisher taking in these often timid.

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Where are their primary affections? Make no mistake, though — fjngerpost was a solid four-star read for me. While da Cola believes Sarah to be immoral and lacking in proper respect for her social betters, Prescott believes her to be a witch bent on his destruction, only one of several factors pointing to the workings of an increasingly finverpost mind.

James Prescott might moon around old battlefields and consider the past but the average common man knew that the war had been miserable and repeats were to be avoided. Sometimes, indeed, these Instances are found amongst that Evidence already set down. The second narrator focuses on the quest for truth through evidence of trustworthiness or betrayal, the latter requiring revenge.

She had killed a man whom she said had raped her, but the jury judged this a lie because she had fallen pregnant, which cannot occur without the woman taking pleasure in the act.

An Instance of the Fingerpost Reader’s Guide

A discerning listener, though, will wonder how much of Pears’s subtlety and care in writing and intricacy of the interlocking narratives are lost in the abridgment. Pears offers an historical fiction set inprimarily in the university town, Oxford.


One quote from the book I’ll add as a socio-political aside, acknowledging this is a book written in modern times to reflect 17th century attitudes. Because he was so immersed in the intrigues of court he caught some of the paranoia that was part and parcel of a king and his intsance that felt anything but in control.

Like many men, then and now, he liked a glass of alcoholic liquor at the end of the day to calm his frazzled nerves and hopefully give him a gentle push off into the land of Morpheus.

An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears – Reading Guide – : Books

Anthony Wood, a witness to these events, is reconciled to the verdict calling for her execution in the belief that the divine plan will be fulfilled. Pear’s complex intermingling of fictional and historical characters captures the byzantine structure of political life during the Fingeroost Restoration while his use of multiple narrators reveals the subjective insatnce of personal testimony and the difficulty in ascertaining the objective truth.

As more th emerged I kept changing my beliefs about people and events. Are we to if him when he says that blood transfusion was his idea rather than those of the Oxford scientists? An interesting concept, meticulously executed Skip to content Girl with her Head in a Book Life is short.

In the original Latin, the term “fingerpost” is simply “cross” crucisechoing the decisive “crucifixion” revealed in the story:. Other than Gillespie and I, I can’t remember another novel which pulled off the notion of the unreliable narrator quite so masterfully, and Gillespie and I was only working with one lead.

I cannot stress enough the vivid re-creation for me of the 17C. East Dane Designer Men’s Fashion. Books by Iain Pears.

An Instance of the Fingerpost

Enabled Amazon Best Sellers Rank: Oddly enough, this is where I work and it was quite peculiar to read the various street names having just walked along their twenty-first century counterparts. Although to his credit we have to take into account that even the supernatural event is narrated by one of the characters, who has his own bias and perhaps is tthe us what he wished had happened instead of what has actually taken place.


It is all here and managed finherpost a master of his craft. As a philosopher and physician-in-training, his major obsession is the quest for scientific truth. Compare our contemporary assumptions about guilt and innocence against those of the 17th century.

Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. This dates them tothe last year of Charles’ reign.

This is one of those exceptionally rare historical novels that actually do seem to blend in with their intended time period. The reader must take the enigmatic conclusion on faith– or not. One is a trigger warning, which I rarely ever do.

Yet Pears never loses sight of his characters, who manage to be both utterly authentic denizens of the 17th century and utterly authentic human beings. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. There is a question mark over each character in Fingerpost, what are their politics? See all Editorial Reviews. Is this feature helpful?

An Instance of the Fingerpost is a novel to savour and consider and rabbit about at length to friends — it is a true tour de force. It’s a veritable stew of contrary beliefs and mistrust. What is each character’s true politics?