The Invention of Fire

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Product Details

William Morrow & Company
Publish Date
5.3 X 7.8 X 1.3 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Bruce Holsinger is professor of English and music at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Music, Body, and Desire in Medieval Culture and The Premodern Condition: Medievalism and the Making of Theory, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.


"The poet John Gower is the perfect narrator and amateur sleuth. . . . Holsinger's research, alongside the energetic vulgarity of a language in flux, delivers up a world where even the filth is colorful."--New York Times Book Review
"Absorbing . . . Gower's self-deprecating wit and Holsinger's skillful conjuring of detailed mental images will appeal to fans of C. J. Sansom and Ariana Franklin."--Booklist
"Authenticity is the hallmark of this world Holsinger so vividly brings to life, and his use of period language and words (wherry, groats) adds another fascinating layer of believability....Holsinger's medieval mystery featuring two famous writers succeeds on every level and will have readers hoping for more."--Shelf Awareness
"I was swept along by the quality of the writing and the remarkable wealth of detail; at the end I thought all its pieces came together in a satisfying whole . . . The past rarely comes this splendidly to life."--Washington Post
"Perhaps the unlikeliest sleuthing duo in literary-thriller history, Geoffrey Chaucer and John Gower, return in Holsinger's second medieval mystery...What they find has terrible implication for their era - and ours - in this fascinating, bawdy and quite fun book."--Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Holsinger is a graceful guide to the 14th century, lacing his thriller with just the right seasoning of antique words and all the necessary historical detail without any of the fusty smell of a documentary."--Washington Post
"[A] skillful and engrossing second medieval whodunit... Holsinger is equally adept at depicting the machinations of the rich and powerful and the fears and hopes of the working class."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"This excellent period mystery is narrated in a gloriously earthy language that is, long before Shakespeare and the King James Bible, still in the process of taking shape. Fans of the previous book as well as aficionados of the historical genre won't be able to put this novel down. "--Library Journal (starred review)