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Publication Date: 19 Sep 2019
Publisher: Marylebone House
Page Count: 352
Author: Derek Wilson
ISBN-13: 9781910674529, 9781910674536

The Cromwell Enigma

By Derek Wilson
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ISBN: 9781910674529
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ISBN: 9781910674536
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July 1540: the shock news of Cromwell’s fall reaches the court of Margaret of Navarre, sister of Francis I of France and arguably the most cultured woman north of the Alps. She sends her courtier and poet, Nicolas Bourbon, an avid reformer with many friends in English court circles, to find out what is happening.

What Bourbon discovers from members of Cromwell’s family, his protégés and his enemies sets him on a quest for the real man behind all the competing versions on offer. What emerges is a ‘biography in reverse’ which takes Bourbon to various English locations, thence to the Antwerp business community, on to Florence, Rome and Venice and, finally, back to London and Putney, where Cromwell’s remarkable career began.

Gradually, it is revealed not only how Cromwell became a remarkably astute businessman and student of politics, but also how he was won over to evangelical Christianity, possessing a profound loathing of Rome and all its works. Bourbon meets several of the people who influenced the young Cromwell and who can describe some of the scrapes he was prone to getting into. Yet always there remains for the inquisitive Frenchman an irritating dark area in his subject’s life, a skeleton in a closet to which he can find no key – until the last page of the novel.
About the Author
Derek Wilson, a renowned historian and well-known novelist, is the author of over 70 books, including The Plantagenets (Quercus, 2011), A Brief History of Henry VIII (Robinson, 2009) and The Uncrowned Kings of England (Robinson, 2005), as well as critically acclaimed biographies of Charlemagne and Holbein. He writes and presents for television and radio, frequently contributes to history magazines, and is the founder of the Cambridge History festival.
Press Reviews

[On THE THOMAS TEVIOT SERIES] Derek Wilson is a fine historian – and he can also tell a gripping story. This is historical fiction at its best, effortlessly underpinned by a wealth of research by a writer whose understanding of the period is profound.

- Alison Weir, author of Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen and Innocent Traitor

Going one better than the C. J. Sansom’s Shardlake series and penned with the force of a Robert Harris narrative, D. K. Wilson’s Devil’s Chalice is the 3rd historical novel with the charming and adventurous Goldsmith Thomas Treviot and his household of characters as they unravel royal plots and sedition in Tudor London. This historical thriller pushes all the right buttons and gallops through the fall of 1549 intrigue towards a ‘courtroom drama’ finale in the King’s Privy Council. A great read!

- Unattributed

Perfectly balances fact and fiction

- History of Royals

A must-read for anyone who enjoys historical thrillers like those of C.J. Sansom

- Claire Ridgway

[On TRIPLETREE, Constable, 2003] Well constructed, bags of atmosphere and an exciting denouement to keep you on the edge of your seat

- Daily Mail

[On THE ENGLISH REFORMATION (Robinson, 2012)] Masterly. [Wilson] has a deep understanding of . . . characters, reaching out across the centuries.

- Sunday Times

[On A BRIEF HISTORY OF HENRY VIII (Constable, 2009)] This masterful biography breaks new ground in its portrayal of a monarch who, perhaps, more than any other, changed the course of our history.

- Choice Magazine

[On FRANCIS WALSINGHAM (Constable, 2007)] Walsingham, Elizabeth’s spy master, and a great admirer of Machiavelli, is widely recognised as the Father of modern intelligence . . . Derek Wilson throws fresh light on this somewhat enigmatic figure, bringing the polished courtier and spymaster to vivid life.

- Good Book Guide

[On OUT OF THE STORM – THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF MARTIN LUTHER (Hutchinson, 2007)] Scores highly in thoroughness, clarity and human sympathy.

- Sunday Telegraph

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