Sunday, 27 April 2008

Book of the week and Bibliography - CJ Sansom, Revelation

CJ Sansom was born in 1952 and educated at the University of Birmingham, where he took a BA and then a PhD in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he decided to retrain as a solicitor. He practised for a while in Sussex as a lawyer for the disadvantaged, then he quit in order to work full-time as a writer. Revelation is the fourth book in his series featuring the hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake, and he has written one further book, Winter in Madrid, set in the Spanish Civil War. All of his books are superbly written and researched, with detailed and convincing backgrounds and plots. Kenneth Branagh is to star as Shardlake in a forthcoming BBC adaptation of the first novel, Dissolution, which may well increase the popularlity of the series further.
The bad news is that the early books in the series are now very difficult to obtain cheaply. When the series commenced, it was recommended by a number of dealers, but copies disappeared fairly rapidly. Revelation has been published simultaneously as both paperback and hardcover, and since Sansom has been unwell, signed copies are uncommon.

Matthew Shardlake Novels

Dissolution (MacMillan, 2003)

Dark Fire (MacMillan, 2004)

Sovereign (MacMillan, 2006)

Revelation (MacMillan, 2008)

Heartstone (Macmillan, 2010. The majority of signed copies (perhaps as many as 2000, although could be less) have the author's signature on a tipped-in page with the printed words signed first edition. 100 copies were signed directly by the author and sold via Postmortem Books. This represents a distinct and less common state of the first edition.

Winter in Madrid (MacMillan, 2006)


Post Mortem Books said...

Just an update on his latest book: HEARTSTONE. His publisher got Chris to sign no less than 2000 tipped in pages designated "signed first edition"- although they (the publishers) have been extremeley reluctant to own up to where they have all gone. I was the only bookseller to actually meet up with Chris (we've been in contact ever since his first books and he has signed copies of every title) and the 100 copies he signed were, he says, the only ones he actually signed DIRECTLY IN THE BOOK. As these were all spoken for pre-publication I'm afraid I have none left. But an important bibliographic notation...

Trapnel said...

Many thanks for this very interesting comment. I have updated the bibliography accordingly. Presumably, your copies do not have the tipped-in page, which will allow them to be distinguished in future. It will be very interesting to see if they attract a premium for this reason.