A Matter of Interpretation
Elizabeth Mac Donald
The Kingdom of Sicily, early thirteenth century. The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II has, through invasion and marriage, expanded his empire, but always subject to the will of the pope and the rulings of the Church. Into this world of political and military intrigue steps Michael Scot, a young monk and barbarian from Scotland who tutored Frederick as a boy. Headstrong and determined, Michael Scot persuades the Emperor that translating the lost works of Aristotle would bring him a secret knowledge of science, medicine and astronomy that would advance his cause. Despite the pope declaring such translations heretical, the Emperor agrees that the Scot should proceed, sending him first to the famous translation schools of Toledo and from there to the Moorish library of Cordoba.
`Mac Donald has succeeded in making the art of translation centre stage in a thrilling, witty, violent and mysterious debut filled with scheming characters.' - Jen Calleja, author and translator, Shortlisted for The Man Booker International Prize; 'The characters, setting and the issues at stake will all linger long after you've finished reading it.' - Domitilla Campanile, Professor of History, University of Pisa; 'In lush historic prose, Elizabeth Mac Donald leads the reader on a complex journey, where all interactions are tinged with superstition and suspicion.' - Nuala O'Connor, author of Becoming Belle; 'A fascinating sliver of history and a truly original book.' - Alan Robert Clark, author of The Prince of Mirrors; 'Mac Donald's style is crisp and captivating.' - Biancamaria Rizzardi, Professor of English Literature, University of Pisa
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