(Note – following the tragic fire yesterday at the iconic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, I am compelled to share this blog again. Ken Follett’s Book Pillars of the Earth, although based in England, is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read, focused on cathedral building in the Middle Ages. This brilliant story is what I thought of all day yesterday as Notre Dame burned – thinking about the people who created this and other majestic structural wonders during the period.
Today I mourn the loss of historic structure and art while saluting those humans whose perseverance created it all. Who deserve our thanks and reverence. We can be confident it will rise again.)
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
A Saga. A Gripping historical novel from contemporary writer Ken Follett. Published in 1989, how is it that I have waited so long to read this masterpiece? I absolutely love The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.
As a full time traveler, I have been witness to some of the most remarkable cathedrals in the world. And I have often felt flabbergasted at the thought of how these monstrous but beautiful buildings could possibly been constructed in an age with no machinery, electricity, power or technology. These monuments to God are truly a wonder.
Little did I know all this time that Ken Follett had in the 1970’s felt the same, and over a decade of time he wrote his brilliant masterpiece The Pillars of the Earth. I am so glad I found this book. My eyes have been opened and my appreciation will be far greater still, when next I stand in front of one of these masterpiece architectural wonders.
The Pillars of the Earth is set in 12th century England, a time of anarchy and war, brutal famine and poverty, royal power and catholic corruption. The story follows a memorable cast of characters who you grow to love as they struggle in their own existence, as well as a brutal cast of characters – power hungry and evil, who you despise. Follett’s ability to bring together this believable group of people, set against real historical events and characters in a time of medieval anarchy is a masterful work of fiction. The author builds the story alongside the building of the magnificent Kingsbrige Cathedral, despite fire and pillaging, death and destruction, backstabbing and power grabbing at every corner.
The Pillars of the Earth is ambitious to say the least. Masterful at its best. And written with compassion for the everyday people of the time – just trying to survive in a world where any day could bring disaster.
Spectacular classical reading at its best.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Five stars for The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Read what Wikipedia has to say about Pillars of the Earth here.
Read last week’s review of The Keeper of Lost Things.