Barry Unsworth’s detective story set in the 14th century, a time of calamity such as few others have been, marked by war, plague and fear of hellfire.

Nicholas Barber, a footloose young cleric, has left his diocese without his Bishop’s leave. He has sung in taverns, he has gambled away his holy relics, he has committed adultery. Now, to compound his sins, he has joined a troupe of travelling players, a thing expressly forbidden to members of the clergy. Trouble enough, but nothing compared to what happens when the company decides to enact the murder of the young boy called Thomas Wells.

The Booker Prize 1995
Published by
Hamish Hamilton
Publication date
Barry Unsworth

Barry Unsworth

About the Author

Barry Unsworth was born in London. He published 17 novels, and is best known for his historical fiction.
More about Barry Unsworth

Other nominated books by Barry Unsworth

The Ruby in Her Navel
Sacred Hunger
Prize winner
Pascali's Island