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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Torturing a corpse seems like an odd thing to do. Riverhead Books April 1, Language: View all 4 comments. For the King or late Cromwell sympathiser?

An Instance of the Fingerpost Reader’s Guide

He turns out to be much more than a rapist, but also a liar and a manufacturer of evidence. View all 32 comments. A great recipe that few authors have the talent to follow. Even places such as Oxford – the intellectual center of the country, and the place of great intellectual debates – are not safe for political dissent, and just a few overheard words can grant one a great deal vingerpost trouble.

We are supposed to believe this investment is about souls and not about gold. Not only is this bastard a frumpy, misogynistic, boring prick with a dessicatingly dry writing style, he’s a stupid Christian to boot.

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 fimgerpost such as Robert Boyle of the famous gas law and Thurloe of political intrigue forgotten by all but scholars of the time.

What a perfect combination for a book! A young woman is fingdrpost of his murder. It teaches while entertaining on a grand scale. Merton Street I read Stone’s Fall earlier this year, so was familiar with Pears’ dense and often demanding prose – this is no light read to be dipped in and out of, An Instance of the Fingerpost is a book to dive in to and savour. What is their religion?


The suspicion of Catholics remained like the modern threat of Islamic ;ears and always the worry of how paers they were to the King. Yet as each of the others take their turn, we begin to question his version of events.

I also think the book is more rewarding upon finishing it and reflecting on it as a whole; I felt only moderately warm fongerpost it until I reached the end of the final narration, at which point I felt considerably awestruck Sarah Waters’ Affinity had the same effect, although I felt only less-than-lukewarm about the novel up until the end.

The scientists are deeply religious and superstitious.

An Instance of the Fingerpost

His former servant Sarah Blundy comes under suspicion of having poisoned him and no one can quite seem to agree about her true nature. As long as one is willing to grind through the first pages, of course.

It is cruel that we are granted the desire to know, but denied the time to do so properly. Want to Read saving…. And then – this is the technical tour de force – they are overlaid, There’s a lovely bit in the musical film “Call Me Madam”, when a lyrical ballad is succeeded by a contrasting upbeat number – both good – then, miraculously they are sung at the same time, working brilliantly together watch it here – if you’re interested, but ignore Ethel Merman’s over-acting.

Thank you for your feedback. Oxford is the intellectual seat of the country, a place of great scientific, religious, and political ferment. How can people rid themselves of personal bias?


Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. More than most books, this vividly brings to light the unenviable situation of simply being a woman without means in this time and place. At its heart it is a thriller, full of twists and turns and dark alleys full of danger yet it is the reader who gets to play detective, to judge each of the witnesses pearx reach their own conclusions. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs.

An Instance of the Fingerpost – Wikipedia

But that is all on the periphery of our story, merely serving as a backdrop for a good old fashioned English murder mystery. Add to that a death that may or may not have been suspicious, apparent witnesses who may or may not have seen anything, and multiple reporters on fingerppst event who give us their views on what happened.

Is this feature helpful? Now that I have earned the wrath of the literati, let me conclude that I would highly recommend this book to serious readers, not only of the mystery genre, but of the historical novel genre as well.

The second of the four long narratives is just about bearable but the boredom begins to set in like a fine drenching cold rain. How do the characters in this novel decide if their peers are trustworthy or not?

I was impressed by Pears’s grasp of the fingerpodt and its complex cross-currents of science, religion, and superstition. He is probably the only man in this novel lacking in guile. Keeping track of all the characters most of whom are historical figurestheir motivations, and the elements that agree and conflict in each of their stories is intellectually stimulating.