Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Highly recommended. Best book I’ve read in some time.

The Pillars of the Earth is a historical novel by Ken Follett published in 1989 about the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England. It is set in the middle of the 12th century …

The book traces the development of Gothic architecture out of the preceding Romanesque architecture, and the fortunes of the Kingsbridge priory and village against the backdrop of historical events of the time. …

Before this novel was published, Follett was known for writing in the thriller genre. The Pillars of the Earth became his best-selling work which was later made into an 8-part miniseries in 2010. …

It is fantastic. Though I have very little interest in either history or architecture, I was entertained for over 40 hours of audio.

The story leads up to the murder of Thomas Becket by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral.

Gothic architecture characteristics include the pointed arch, the ribbed vault (which evolved from the joint vaulting of Romanesque architecture) and the flying buttress. During the course of the book these innovations come to England.

Reims Cathedral

Ken Follett:

I knew it had to be a long book. It took at least thirty years to build a cathedral and most took longer because they would run out of money, or be attacked or invaded. So the story covers the entire lives of the main characters. My publishers were a little nervous about such a very unlikely subject but, paradoxically, it is my most popular book. It’s also the book I’m most proud of. …

I’ve downloaded the sequel World Without End (2007)

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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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