The Butcher's Daughter
by Victoria Glendinning
Pub Date 13 Jun 2019
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The Butcher's Daughter is a richly atmospheric story of a young woman's struggle to define herself in a world of uncertainty, intrigue and danger in a time of great upheaval during the Tudor era.
It is 1535 and Agnes Peppin, daughter of a West-country butcher, has been banished, leaving her family home in disgrace to live out the rest of her life cloistered behind the walls of Shaftesbury Abbey. While Agnes grapples with the complex rules and hierarchies of the sisterhood, King Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Head of the Church of England. Religious houses are being formally subjugated, monasteries dissolved, and the great Abbey is no exception to the purge.
Cast out with her sisters, Agnes is at last free to be the master of her own fate. But freedom comes at a price as she descends into a world she knows little about, using her wits and testing her moral convictions against her need to survive - by any means necessary...
‘Glendinning writes with a vivid immediacy about a fascinating, dark moment in our island story… a refreshing and original tale [about] the underside of Henry’s religious Reformation.’ The Times
'Marvellous.... heart-breaking and unforgettable... a by times humorous, by times tragic but always compelling picaresque tale.' The Irish Times
‘An absolute pleasure… assured, quietly gripping, surprising and educative, with a terrific central character, it pins down the precarious nature of life in 16th-century England.’ Daily Mail
‘A touching, vivid and sometimes deeply shocking depiction of the lives of ordinary people whose world was shattered by Henry VIII’s policy to dissolve England’s monasteries. A must for anyone interested in the Tudor period.' Elizabeth Fremantle
‘A powerful and very immediate picture of another age. It is full of violence and loss, and yet it is also a testament to survival, courage, pity, and the eternal beauty to be found in small things’ Anne Perry
"'The enchanting, unputdownable fictional biography of a girl thrown out to make her own way in the world with nothing and no one to help her.’ Hilary Spurling