‘When I spotted this in Ketts’ Books I had never heard of it before and was seduced by the cover (not unusual). 700 pages and originally published in 1952, I wasn’t sure this would be worth the effort. How wrong I was. The TLS described it (2017) as one of the best (if not THE best) historical novels ever and I would certainly agree. It is a rich, incredibly knowledgeable, fabulously written novel about the Northern Pilgrimage against the dissolution of thee monasteries during Henry VIII’s reign but it is about so much more than that. It takes the form of the individual chronicles of a range of figures of that time: a destitute, ‘simpleton’ who sees visions of God, an avaricious Abbess who fights to preserve her convent, the minor aristocrat who leads the rebellious ‘pilgrimage’ against the dissolutions and a tyrannous king who behaves like a cruel and petulant child. All in all, a real masterpiece and I doubt I will read another historical novel that will match it!