Copyright 1966 by
I first read this in 1975 and most recently on the 9th December 2006
In 1588, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth I is killed by an assassin's
bullets, and the whole world lurches into a darker future.
Catholicism seizes the reins of power across England and for the next four
hundred years the Roman Church rules across Europe. The massive
power of the Church, including the Inquisition, is applied brutally
to stem dissent and development.
By the mid twentieth century, however, revolution is simmering beneath
the skin of conformity.
The people of England want to be free, and eventually will fight to
be free. But is it time yet, or is it indeed simply too late?
Perhaps it is all a waste, the struggles of these brave individuals may
just be improvisations upon the stately dance of time. There are those with
secret knowledge and hidden powers to whom the miseries of a few
million may be less important considerations.
A magnificent novel. This is a powerful, mysterious and moving saga.
Quite phenomenal, it's hard to believe the book is so short (188 pages) yet
creates this astonishing world.
I consider this is among the very best of all the alternative universe novels
and I rank it in the same class as Dick's "The Man In The High Castle".
OK, I had to look up Pavane the first time I read the book, but read
it here and save yourself the effort:
- A slow and stately dance of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
- A piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance, usually
characterised by a slow stately triple time
What's it got? Drama and tragedy, brutality and horror, heroes and
heroines and the most amazing steam-powered land trains, twenty tons
of steel carriages thundering through the Dorset heathland on the
way to Swanage. Gosh, it almost makes me want to read
Loaded on the 16th December 2006.