- Books, Literature, and Writing
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The Pillars of The Earth is an Epic novel by Ken Follett, voted by BBC viewers as one of Britain's best loved books and Ken Follett's most successful. The sequel, World Without End, was also a best-seller and the books were made into a TV mini-series.
The Pillars of The Earth is set in the twelfth-century, in England and is the story of the building of a cathedral and the intertwining lives of those involved: From the stone-mason's quest to become master builder of a cathedral, his family's struggles with hunger and fight for survival; the monks, Prior and Abbot at the cathedral, politics and treachery of the noblemen all the way up to the King of England as they deal with civil war and famine.
Ken Follett is now considered to be a master of historical novels, but until this book was published, was more famous for his best-selling thrillers (e.g. his first published novel, Eye of the Needle, was an international best-seller) World Without End is the sequel to The Pillars of The Earth was a number one best selling in the United States as well as in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe. Ken Follett researches his historical novels very thoroughly and the characters are believable and well written, but also historically accurate, with a mixture of real and fictional characters interacting. I feel that I have learnt a lot about English medieval history from reading his books, while being entertained and enthralled throughout. A recent British TV documentary: "Ken Follett's Journey into the Dark Ages: Black Death", presented by Ken Follett demonstrates his knowledge and the research he has done on the subject of this period in history and the background to this novel.
This books are a masterpiece of historical fiction, mixed with real historical events. It is very readable and yet educational too. If you want to lose yourself in the very different world of medieval England this is the book to choose.
The Sequel to The Pillars of the Earth: World Without End