John Saturnall’s Feast
In the remote village of Buckland, a mob chants of witchcraft. It is 1625, and John and his mother are running for their lives. Taking refuge among the trees of Buccla’s Wood, John’s mother opens her book and begins to tell her son of an ancient Feast kept in secret down the generations. Little does he know that one day, to keep hold of all that he holds most dear, he most realize his mother’s vision – he must serve the Saturnall Feast.
A brilliant, erudite tale of cookery and witchcraft * A.S. Byatt, Guardian Books of the Year * A story of politics, pageantry but above all food, described with mouth-watering precision. No one else could have written it -- Mark Sanderson * Daily Telegraph Books of the Year * Glorious ... The whole book is an extended fantasia on the idea of taste itself. Like all the best historical novels, John Saturnall's Feast is not just a novel set in some point in history ... but a novel about how histories infect stories -- Stuart Kelly * The Times * Lawrence Norfolk is just about ahead of everyone in his generation of English novelists * Observer * As vivid as it is mouth-watering ... This glorious, multilayered banquet of a book is clever and finely wrought, and the prose, steeped in the arcane language of 17th-century cuisine, brings it vividly and sensually to life * Metro * In Norfolk's skilful hands, there is no danger of verbal indigestion. John Saturnall's Feast is the most accessible of his works. A grown-up fairy tale ... Fantastical architecture and weird botany are a vivid background to the bloody conflict and swooning romance. Norfolk is an expert on obscure sources as well as sauces. His blend of horrid history and oddly credible fantasy deserves to be consumed by the masses * Sunday Telegraph * Witchcraft, cookery and war in seventeenth-century England ... from the master of the historical behemoth * Guardian * A lyrical tale of historical havoc set in the English Civil War, with cookery as salvation. Class, war and folk tales are the themes of this ambitious, elegant novel * Marie Claire * A fabulous novel. I was totally wrapped up in it, reading it on planes and trains and automobiles when it really should be read in front of a roaring fire with a huge mug of claret. It does what he has always done, which is wrap you totally into a world; utterly convincingly into that world ... extremely, extremely moving -- Alex Preston * BBC Radio 4, Saturday Review *
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