C.J. Sansom Books

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C. J. Sansom is a British author that writes crime and historical fiction. Born in 1952 in Edinburg, Scotland, Sansom’s resume includes stints at George Watson’s College and the University of Birmingham.

Order of Matthew Shardlake Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Dissolution 2003 Description / Buy
2 Dark Fire 2004 Description / Buy
3 Sovereign 2006 Description / Buy
4 Revelation 2008 Description / Buy
5 Heartstone 2010 Description / Buy
6 Lamentation 2014 Description / Buy
7 Tombland 2018 Description / Buy

Order of Medieval Murderers Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Tainted Relic 2005 Description / Buy
2 Sword of Shame 2006 Description / Buy
3 House of Shadows 2007 Description / Buy
4 The Lost Prophecies 2008 Description / Buy
5 King Arthur's Bones 2009 Description / Buy
6 The Sacred Stone 2010 Description / Buy
7 Hill of Bones 2011 Description / Buy
8 The First Murder 2012 Description / Buy
9 The False Virgin 2013 Description / Buy
10 The Deadliest Sin 2014 Description / Buy

Order of C.J. Sansom Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 Winter in Madrid 2006 Description / Buy
2 Dominion 2012 Description / Buy
Print: Print PDF

The author has nothing to show for his time at George Watson’s College. He had no qualifications when he left the institution. Additionally, he used his literary work to explore the bullying he encountered at the college.

Later on, Sansom secured his BA and Ph.D. (History) from the University of Birmingham. After dabbling in various fields, he retrained as a solicitor and started plying his trade as a lawyer in Sussex, using his skills to help disadvantaged individuals.

Sansom is best known for the Shardlake books, a series that follows the adventures of a hunchbacked lawyer in Tudor England. Shardlake spends his days doing the bidding of Lady Elizabeth, Henry’s daughter.

Sansom was still a teenager when his love for Tudor history was sparked. He watched ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ and loved it. He prefers the TV show to the other Tudor projects that came after because it was a serious drama that delved into the trials and tribulations that men and women faced during that era of history.

‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ fascinated Sansom because it showed him that human feelings were the same regardless of the century and the beliefs that governed society.

The author started reading about Tudor history, and his obsession grew. Once he decided to write the Shardlake series, the decision to make Shardlake, the protagonist, a lawyer made sense.

First of all, Sansom was a lawyer. As such, he was writing about what he knew. Despite his growing obsession with the Tudors, his interest in the law hadn’t waned.

Secondly, the law created a bridge between Henry VIII’s England and modern times. While the law had changed drastically over the centuries, the basic structure was the same.

Third, the law created opportunities for Shardlake to meet interesting characters from all walks of life. The author has admitted that it was a bit of a struggle to separate his modern sensibilities from the historical society he was trying to portray.

Learning to walk in the shoes of people from an era he barely understood was equally challenging. But based on the opinions of his fans, he clearly succeeded.

Sansom does extensive research for his books. Some books are easy to write because of all the knowledge he has accumulated over the years, not to mention the many published works surrounding the topics he wants to dissect.

But other novels are challenging because they tackle subjects that few people have bothered to research. The author tries to visit every location he writes about. The only exception is ‘Dissolution,’ his first novel, but only because it has a fictional setting.

C. J. Sansom Awards

Sansom has received Dagger and Walter Scott prize nominations. He won the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award (Crime Writer’s Association).

C. J. Sansom Books into Movies

Sansom’s Shardlake books have become BBC radio dramas.

Best C. J. Sansom Books

The author believes that he made Shardlake disabled because subconsciously, he knew that the condition would justify the character’s loner persona. Sansom’s best books include:

Dissolution: Shardlake was exhausted when Lord Thomas Cromwell summoned him. His work was too taxing. He despised the fear and hate he saw in the eyes of people when they learned of his connection to Cromwell. His hunchback was making things worse.

The last thing Shardlake wanted was to travel to St. Donatus Monastery. But Cromwell did not give him a choice in the matter. One of his representatives was dead, and Cromwell wanted Shardlake to find the killer.

Sovereign: King Henry VIII was going North to accept the submissions of his rebellious subjects. Shardlake was sent ahead to process the various petitions. But the lawyer had a secret mission.

Archbishop Cranmer wanted Shardlake to secure and return a dangerous conspirator to London, where his interrogation would begin in earnest.

The last thing Shardlake expected was a murder. Now, the lawyer is caught in the web of a profound mystery. Even worse, he just found a problematic cache of documents. The danger they pose to the royal family is immense.

When Does The Next C.J. Sansom book come out?

C.J. Sansom doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is King Arthur's Bones and was released on June, 27th 2020. It is the newest book in the Medieval Murderers Series.


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