'...the folly isn't mine. It's God's Folly. Even in the old days He never asked men to do what was reasonable. Men can do that for themselves. They can buy and sell, heal and govern. But then out of some deep place comes the command to do what makes no sense at all - to build a ship on dry land; to sit among the dunghills; to marry a whore; to set ...
'...the folly isn't mine. It's God's Folly. Even in the old days He never asked men to do what was reasonable. Men can do that for themselves. They can buy and sell, heal and govern. But then out of some deep place comes the command to do what makes no sense at all - to build a ship on dry land; to sit among the dunghills; to marry a whore; to set their son on the altar of sacrifice. Then, if men have faith, a new thing comes.' Dean Jocelin has a vision: that God has chosen him to erect a great spire on his cathedral. His mason anxiously advises against it, for the old cathedral was built without foundations. Nevertheless, the spire rises octagon upon octagon, pinnacle by pinnacle, until the stone pillars shriek and the ground beneath it swims. Its shadow falls ever darker on the world below, and on Dean Jocelin in particular.
Very good in very good dust jacket. Price clipped. First edition first printing of this stand alone novel. Light edge wear. There is a stain on the DJ front panel bottom outside corner. Earlier owners name and date on the first free end page. Price... 223p., 19 cm.
Near Fine in Very Good jacket. Book Book has light edge rubbing and the stamp of previous owner on the inside front cover. DJ has wear but no tear, fading on spine and inside flaps. Dust jacket is protected by removable Brodart cover.
Fair in poor dust jacket. Small 8vo. . Binding cloth, silver gilt titles on spine. Covers and back lightly rubbed, shelf wear at extremities, slight lean to spine, spotting on fore-edge. Dust jacket unclipped, worn, stained, chipped at head/tail, front tear/creasing with some loss along outside edge. Red ink scrawl on front pastedown. Contents crisp, fresh and unmarked. Signed presentation copy with pen inscription: "For Oksana Krugerskaya, With our gratitude and best wishes From Ann and Bill Golding." Oksana Krugerskay was a Soviet Writers Union functionary with alleged KGB connections. She acted as an interpreter/translator for the Goldings and numerous other writers, including Yevtushenko, Graham Greene, and Richard Aldington.
I love the medieval world and have studied the Middle Ages for many years. With few exceptions, though, I am disappointed by novels set in the period. They are either historically accurate but written in a plodding style and filled with wooden characters, or are stylishly written but full of inaccuracies and filled with characters who think 21st Century thoughts.
William Golding's "The Spire" is an exception: beautifully written, historically accurate, and peopled by characters with authentic medieval mindsets. At the same time, the events and conflicts in it reflect human characteristics that are universal, even today.
Golding was a Nobel laureate, and although this book is not one of his best known, it bears the hallmarks of a master. I highly recommend it.
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