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In 1329, a beautiful Surrey woman is walled up alive in the village church of Shere. The Anchoress' story is taken up late in this century by deranged Catholic priest Father Michael Duval.
Gradually, two separate sagas unfold: the world of the Middle Ages centered on Christine's entombment, and the 1967 abduction of a young woman from Guildford.
In a series of exotic twists, the medieval world of knights, debauchery, peasant uprisings and civil war merges into a modern hunt for a serial killer. The tragedy of the anchoress is based upon historical facts, yet it is also an exploration of the most dramatic themes of today: sexual freedom, and the power of blief, spiritual bondage and the individual search for self - fulfillment.
Above all, this is a gripping adventure story of a love so obsessive that it spans more than 600 years.
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Dr. Paul Moorcraft has been a professor, policeman, film producer and political pundit as well as a Whitehall warrior and a war correspondent. The author of over 20 books of fiction and non-fiction, his autobiographical Inside the Danger Zones: Travels to Arresting Places (2010) is available in paperback and in e-book version. He lives in the United Kingdom.Review:
This exceptional thriller from British author Moorcraft, a film producer and former war correspondent, exhibits a rare quality of intelligence and imagination, with a remarkable depth of feeling for the book's characters and their predicaments. Be forewarned that there's nothing cozy, or comforting about this engrossing, subtle historical, which centers on a spiritual quest into Christian mysticism and smoothly alternates between past and present. In 1329, Christine Carpenter, an actual personage who lived in the village of Shere in the Surrey woodlands, had herself walled up in a church cell to live out her remaining days in prayer and meditation. In our own time, scholars have come to the village to study the legendary "Anchoress of Shere" to try to understand her drastic decision. Among them is Father Michael Duval, whose interest in Christine's story has grown into a psychotic obsession. Duval has kidnapped and killed six young women in an attempt to reproduce his crazed image of Christine. Now he has seized another victim, Marda Stewart, a bright and courageous lady who knows her only chance to survive is to play an intellectual cat-and-mouse game with her maniacal captor. The resultant suspense will keep the reader riveted to the very end of this brilliantly original tale.-Publishers Weekly starred review
"Anchoress of Shere" by Paul Moorcraft is a wondrously intricate tale of religious fervor gone
horribly wrong that seamlessly weaves back and forth between a present-day deranged English priest and a 14th-century peasant girl who literally gives her body to the Church.
Sexually brutalized by the local lord shortly before her wedding, young Christine Carpenter lingers near death for a month, suffering from what villagers call a "sickness of the soul." But as Father Peter performs extreme unction, Christine sees a live Christ
figure with bleeding hands and feet on the cross held above her face, and rallies. Vowing to serve only God, she breaks off her engagement and asks to be sealed into the walls of her local church where she vows to spend the rest of her life in service to God as the anchoress of her village of Shere. Her only contact with the outside world is through a
small grille in her cell-like room that looks out into the church proper.
Some six hundred years later Christine's voluntary entombment totally consumes a fortyish priest who is writing her story. In order to fully understand Christine, Father Michael Duval has kidnapped and
emtombed alive five young women in cells below his house, hoping to learn through them what Christine gained out of her extreme exile from life. The first five women, however, are not equal to the task and
Duval turns his back on them, leaving them to die of thirst. He has much higher hopes for his newest captive, Marda Stewart, a young wine importer recently arrived in Shere.
This is not a book for the squeamish. Both eras offer up examples of man's inhumanity to man, although Duval's depraved, yet emotionless, brutality seems far more terrible than the actions of the 14th century peasants who passionately tear into the
drawn-and-quartered remains of a hated lord. Yet, as terrible as those scenes are, this is a book for the mind, an intelligently told story that seeks to find answers to the unanswerable. -Denver Post
In the English town of Shere, Father Duval writes the biography of Christine Carpenter, the titular anchoress, but his subject’s attractions discombobulate his mind. With so little evidence available, he decides to embroider her story by adding sodomy and rape to the mix, calling it “selective reinterpretation.” But then he steps over the edge, both in writing and in life: he kidnaps a young woman and immures her, like Christine, in a dark, dungeonlike stone cell, claiming that it is God’s will. This young woman, however, has a clever brother. First published in Britain, this intense, fascinating look at religious dementia is based on a medieval legend. Moorcraft is a former war correspondent and film producer. Strongly recommended for most collections.-Library Journal
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Book Description Paperback. Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory # GOR004069083
Book Description Millstream Press,Shere, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Very Good condition with no significant faults. Clearly used but very few minor defects. Will look good on your book case after reading but may not be suitable as a present unless hard to find elsewhere SECURE DAILY POSTING FROM UK. 30 DAY GUARANTEE. Seller Inventory # mon0002553514
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Book Description Millstream Press,Shere 22/07/2000, 2000. Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 6545-9780953797707
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Book Description Millstream Press, Guildford, UK, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Very Good in a Mylar Cover. Seller Inventory # 116808
Book Description Paperback. Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory # FPS0953797708VG
Book Description Millstream Press,Shere, 2000. Condition: Very Good. Seller Inventory # U9780953797707
Book Description Millstream Press, Guildford, UK, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Hardcover in very good condition. Signed and dedicated by author on dedication page. Light edgewear on dust jacket; minor score at rear. Small mark on page block head. Contents are clean and clear. AM. Signed and Dedicated By Author. Used. Seller Inventory # 446761
Book Description Millstream Press, Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 2ndprinting. Signed on title page by author. Both book and jacket are in excellent clean and sound condition. Psychological thriller set in the village of Shere in Surrey. Signed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # 15280