Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

The Courier’s Tale, by Peter Walker

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The Courier’s Tale, by Peter Walker (Bloomsbury Publishing, August 2, 2010)

It takes enormous skill to turn really intricate and esoteric religious debate into gripping fiction, and Peter Walker demonstrates this skill perfectly in The Courier’s Tale, set in Europe in the mid-16th century. Tracing the course of the Protestant Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, and the political separation of the Church of England from Rome that started under England’s King Henry VIII, it features a witness to decades of bloody religious war, a skeptical courier called “Michael Throckmorton”, an actual historical figure.

Not particularly easy to read or grasp (since Walker keeps close to the historical facts of what was a particularly complicated period) the story is nevertheless engrossing, entertaining, and succeeds in getting the reader to think about the nature of religion and the church.

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