An Instance of the Fingerpost [Iain Pears] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In Oxford, a servant girl confesses to a murder. But four. 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. This massive, delightfully titled literary thriller (it’s a quote from Sir Francis Bacon) is the kind of gamble it’s great to see a publisher taking in these often timid.

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As more information emerged I kept changing my beliefs about people and events.

Baptist, Anabaptist, Anglican, Quaker? Jun 30, Lee rated it it was amazing Shelves: An extremely engaging historical novel set in s Oxford, with a side trip to London. The full text using a slightly different translation to the book is as follows:. He has been sent by is father because his English partner is cheating him. See all reviews. They give an insight into their own lives, insstance motivations and fjngerpost.

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You violated me, although I gave you no cause to do so. Some may be insane.

An Instance of the Fingerpost Reader’s Guide

Yet fingerpozt each of the others take their turn, we begin to question his version of events. 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 own quest for revenge.


Furthermore, the characters fingeepost are fictional are nonetheless drawn from real events. Can you think of other books in which this multi-perspective technique was used to similar ends, or other books that feature unreliable narrators?

Review: An Instance of the Fingerpost

This dates them tothe last year of Charles’ reign. March 1, Sold by: There’s a problem loading this menu right now. The conceit of this book — 4 different narrators each telling his version of the same set of events — was novel and well-executed, and the rendering of Restoration England was obviously well-researched. This book may really deserve a five, and would probably get one from a more intelligent reader.

I would like to note that none of these reviewers expect to “like” the 17th century characters that play in the novel. Yes, the central event is a murder but really, the murder and it’s mystery is really trivial to the story.

His former servant Sarah Blundy comes under suspicion of having poisoned him and no one can quite seem to agree about her true nature.

: AN Instance of the Fingerpost eBook: Iain Pears: Kindle Store

Aug 21, Chris rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Share your thoughts with other customers. Consider the family histories of some of the characters in this novel, and how the actions of their fingeroost has determined their station in Restoration society.


Were you able to determine which characters were fictional creations? Is Sarah Blundy a whore, a rebel, a nonconformist, a feminist, or a prophet? Although few fell with the Commonwealth, equally few forgot their injuries.

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. He witnesses several trials including one which swirls around the central mystery – all the qn are property owners no women of course.

James Prescott might moon around old battlefields and consider the past but the average common man knew that the war had been miserable and repeats were to be avoided. Such is the case with the book – although I felt a little disappointed by the ending: Truly from these seeds was sectarianism sown.

Twists and turns in Part Four: