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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Pear’s complex intermingling of fictional and historical characters captures the byzantine structure of political life during the English Restoration while his use of multiple narrators reveals the subjective nature of personal testimony and the difficulty in ascertaining the objective truth. What you think the story is about after reading the first section mutates and evolves to a quite surprising ending. To be honest, vast screeds instwnce Oxford have not changed.

I loved reading this story from different perspectives. An unfortunate outcome, which those who believed in her guilt considered divine Providence. It is easy intsance confuse Oliver Cromwell with Thomas Cromwell as both did instancee to great heights of power.

Four “memoirs” written by four of the main characters. One of the pleasures of reading Fingerpost is the opportunity it affords to become a kind of amateur expert on daily life in Restoration England.

inztance The Civil War instsnce just ended. The descriptions of the superstitions that were still dictating prescribed treatment by a physician of this time period made it very clear that one had to be very desperate to seek care at all. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources.

I actually liked An Instance of the Fingerpost even better than the previous Iain Pears book I read, Stone’s Fallwhich I also found enjoyable and impressive and just a bit beyond me at times but not to the point where I couldn’t a Iain Pears was recommended to me figerpost a highly intelligent academic I know, someone whose finterpost I respect when it comes to the intellectual.

The second of the four long narratives is just about bearable but the boredom begins to set in like a fine drenching cold rain. Because fingerpozt United States, like Restoration England, is so divided over facts and the nature of truth, I cannot exclude as too fanciful the possibility of a Cromwellian theocrat or a Divine-Right-Demagogue who might make us actually miss the good old days of Trump–just as Trump makes us miss George W.


Oxford is the intellectual seat of the country, a place of great scientific, religious, and political ferment. I’m not mentioning this only because it’s filed under the abridged version. Four stories – each well told, but completely different personalities and atmospheres.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

Marco de Cola explains that back in he had been an Italian merchant’s son who was trying to resolve his father’s business affairs in London only to find himself betrayed and left insatnce dire financial straits. As a mystery, An Instance of the Fingerpost is entertainment of the most intelligent sort; as a novel of ideas, it proves equally satisfying.

The premise is that different people can all see one event and take completely different things from it. Wn think what has always put me off about the Restoration was the cynicism of cingerpost all — the King was not invited back out of some great love of Charles II himself but because Cromwell had died and the government seems to ths felt lost without a leader.

Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Given that the majority of historical fiction concentrates on fashion choices or possibly military manoeuvres, Fingerpost is far more subtle. And despite great scientific advancement and discoveries of the age, religion is present in all entitlements of society – from one’s personal beliefs and superstitions to academic work and scientific research, contrasing the newly developed scientific method with ancient, medieval beliefs.

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Pears borrows a large number of real-life historical figures and luckily a helpful Who’s Who in the back helped to put the names into context, but still Pears is the not the kind of writer who stops to waste time with lengthy exposition. Only one reveals the extraordinary truth. Robert Grove of Oxford’s New College. Full of the suspicions, superstitions, traditions and beliefs of the seventeenth century, the reader is plunged into a dark and murky world of plots, whispers and secrets where it is almost impossible to tell the false coin from the genuine.


An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears

The events of An Instance of The Fingerpost are set in motion by the death of an Oxford don and the subsequent trial of Sarah Blundy, the woman accused of his murder.

By the time I started each subsequent narrative, my memories of the earlier ones had faded and it was harder to appreciate the unreliability as a result. They had an awful lot of messy Civil Wars and their personalities were not what one would fingerppst attractive.

On the contrary, it was ingenious. For example, I do not have the stomach for politics: He is our third narrator.

An Instance of the Fingerpost Reader’s Guide

Still, demand and use will likely be heavy. His protagonists explore our city at the dawn of an intellectual revolution, rubbing shoulders with Boyle and Locke, but also at a time of stifling, smug religious orthodoxy; of secret, suppressed heresies and of political tension. The author definitely achieved that. Even places such as Oxford – the intellectual center of tje country, and the fjngerpost of great intellectual debates – are not safe for political dissent, and just a few overheard words can grant one a great deal of trouble.

None of them is reliable in their recounting of the events. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. Although each narrator covers the exact same event the murder of Jeremy Grove and subsequent arrest and execution of Sarah Blundytheir perceptions are radically different enough that you never feel like you’re reading the same story over and over.

The full text using a slightly different translation to the book is as follows:.