Ken Follett: A Critical Companion

Greenwood Publishing Group
Free sample

Ken Follett had the purest of motives when he began writing fiction: he did it for the money. But after ^IEye of the Needle^R catapulted him to success and secured his reputation as a master of the spy thriller, he both built on that success with other spy thrillers and experimented equally successfully with other genres such as the family saga and the historical romance. This is the first full-length study of his work and it includes individual examinations of each of his major novels, from Eye of the Needle (1978) to A Place Called Freedom (1995), as well as his early novels.

Following a chapter on Follett's life and career, Turner discusses in depth Follett's early novels and his one nonfiction work, On the Wings of Eagles. A genre chapter examines Follett's use of historical settings and his use of the genres of spy thriller, saga, and historical romance in his novels. The rest of the study is devoted to an individual examination of each of his novels in turn, with subsections on plot, character, theme, point of view, and literary devices. Turner also offers an alternative critical approach to reading each novel, such as psychoanalytical, Marxist, or reader response, to give the reader another perspective from which to read and discuss it. A complete bibliography of Follett's fiction, general criticism and biographical sources, and listings of reviews of all the novels examined in the study completes the work. The only study of one of the best-selling writers today, who appeals to adults and young adults alike, this is a key purchase for schools and public libraries.

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About the author

RICHARD C. TURNER is Professor and Chair of the English Department at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He has published essays on Milton, Swift, literature and science, and on incorporating historical contexts into the teaching of literature.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Greenwood Publishing Group
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Published on
Dec 31, 1996
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Pages
180
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ISBN
9780313294150
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author, a thrilling and addictive new novel--a prequel to The Pillars of the Earth--set in England at the dawn of a new era: The Middle Ages

It is 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages. England is facing attacks from the Welsh in the west and the Vikings in the east. Those in power bend justice according to their will, regardless of ordinary people and often in conflict with the king. Without a clear rule of law, chaos reigns.

In these turbulent times, three characters find their lives intertwined: A young boatbuilder's life is turned upside down when the only home he's ever known is raided by Vikings, forcing him and his family to move and start their lives anew in a small hamlet where he does not fit in. . . . A Norman noblewoman marries for love, following her husband across the sea to a new land. But the customs of her husband's homeland are shockingly different, and as she begins to realize that everyone around her is engaged in a constant, brutal battle for power, it becomes clear that a single misstep could be catastrophic. . . . A monk dreams of transforming his humble abbey into a center of learning that will be admired throughout Europe. And each in turn comes into dangerous conflict with a clever and ruthless bishop who will do anything to increase his wealth and power.

Thirty years ago, Ken Follett published his most popular novel, The Pillars of the Earth. Now, Follett's masterful new prequel The Evening and the Morning takes us on an epic journey into a historical past rich with ambition and rivalry, death and birth, love and hate, that will end where The Pillars of the Earth begins.
For more than two hundred years after William Shakespeare's death, no one doubted that he had written his plays. Since then, however, dozens of candidates have been proposed for the authorship of what is generally agreed to be the finest body of work by a writer in the English language. In this remarkable book, Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro explains when and why so many people began to question whether Shakespeare wrote his plays. Among the doubters have been such writers and thinkers as Sigmund Freud, Henry James, Mark Twain, and Helen Keller. It is a fascinating story, replete with forgeries, deception, false claimants, ciphers and codes, conspiracy theories—and a stunning failure to grasp the power of the imagination.

As Contested Will makes clear, much more than proper attribution of Shakespeare’s plays is at stake in this authorship controversy. Underlying the arguments over whether Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon, or the Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare’s plays are fundamental questions about literary genius, specifically about the relationship of life and art. Are the plays (and poems) of Shakespeare a sort of hidden autobiography? Do Hamlet, Macbeth, and the other great plays somehow reveal who wrote them?

Shapiro is the first Shakespeare scholar to examine the authorship controversy and its history in this way, explaining what it means, why it matters, and how it has persisted despite abundant evidence that William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays attributed to him. This is a brilliant historical investigation that will delight anyone interested in Shakespeare and the literary imagination.
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