A national bestseller and one of the New York Public Library’s Books to Remember, An Instance of the Fingerpost is a thrilling historical mystery from Iain Pears. AN INSTANCE OF THE FINGERPOST [Iain Pears] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Set in Oxford in the s – a time and place of great. An Instance of the Fingerpost [Iain Pears] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In Oxford, a servant girl confesses to a murder. But four.

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The Civil War has just ended. Each narrator is convinced of his own truth and may not necessarily be deceiving the reader. What is their religion? The only good things I can say unstance this book are that it seemed to be far more thoroughly researched than most historical fiction, and the layout of the aj was clever.

Thomas worked for Henry the VIII and did lose his head not unusual for anyone who worked closely with the colossally paranoid King. A student of medicine with interest in theories of blood circulation, he is soon befriended by Richard Lower, an Oxford doctor and actual historical figure who would later become the best-known physician of his day.

An Instance of the Fingerpost Reader’s Guide

An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears. An Instance of the Fingerpost is simply mesmerising; fascinating in its ability to show what kain was like shortly after Charles II.

We closely observe a “witch” and her crafta physician who badly wishes to complete the first modern book on anatomy, the second-greatest mathemetician in England behind Newtonand get glimpses of other luiminaries such as Robert Boyle of the famous gas law and Thurloe of political intrigue forgotten by all but scholars of the time. Apr 26, K rated it really liked it Shelves: What a marvelous book. I didn’t care about the characters or their progress.


Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Yes, there is a murder to be solved, but there are multiple mysteries within the novel: There is the brash and arrogant young James Prescott, obsessed with clearing his father’s name of treachery, then the cold and manipulative Dr Wallis, also consumed with his oain quest for revenge.

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While Da Cola lets Sarah Blundy’s mother talk almost like an angel, Jack Prescott, the second person to tell his version, makes the mother sound like a witch. For example, I do pewrs have the stomach for politics: Born inIain Pears has worked as an art historian, a television consultant, and a journalist, in England, France, Italy, and the United States. Good historians are not necessarily good authors and good authors are not necessarily good historians, but in Fingerpost Pears manages to strike a comfortable balance between both professions.

See and discover other items: Iinstance only complaint is that it is over-long and becomes tedious to the point where I was glad to finish it.

But how do we ascertain the truth with the problems inherent in trusting any individual account of events, especially those lacking personal knowledge or only partially witnessed. I mean, I read as damn much as I could.

An Instance of the Fingerpost – Wikipedia

However, it is not just academic politics under examination here, each narrator writes their own experience of the murder of Dr Grove, an academic at New College. The author juggles the contrasting views of the unreliable narrators with veritable finesse, so the solution to the mystery isn’t revealed till the very last pages.

He has training in medicine and treats the “witches” elderly mother. Last but not least, a big thanks to Georgie and her review.


An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears – Reading Guide – : Books

Pears channels the strident voices and entrenched beliefs of the era, and I recognized phrases that I had peafs encountered in the words of Robert Burton, John Donne, Francis Bacon, and Robert Browne, etc. The first of the four long narratives we have here is actually pretty good stuff, a perky Italian geezer getting involved with blood transfusions and the said murder in when King Charles has just been restored to the throne and the air was thick with a great many cloaks and accompanying daggers.

Pears captures not only the physical details of 17C life but also the ideas and attitudes of the period as well. The quotation is much abbreviated, with no ellipses showing the omissions. There is a murder and there is a dispossessed heir.

By the time I started each subsequent narrative, my memories of the earlier ones had instancs and it was harder to appreciate the unreliability as a result. English Choose a language for shopping. His former servant Sarah Blundy comes under suspicion of having poisoned him and no one can quite seem to agree about her true nature.

However, I do not like unreliable narrators, especially those that largely treat anyone that isn’t an affluent man with outright disrespect. Even Oxford University, during a veritable golden age of scientific discovery and academic advancement, is depicted in the novel as a dangerous place for free-thinkers fingerpots outsiders.