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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘St Bartholomew’s Man’ by Mary Delorme

Top to toe, Rahere was white with cold. His black woollen robe had been handed down from one singing boy to another for years, and it was threadbare. The other boys were calling to each other, racing on the frosty grass, but he was too cold; stiffly, he bent to coax some warmth into his feet.

“Here. lad.”

The voice came from the scriptorium. There, in the cloisters, monks sat at their manuscripts, murmuring each letter as they wrote, for mistakes on vellum or even parchment were costly. Rahere loved the busy sound they made, like the bees in Brother Gilbert’s hives. Cautiously, he hobbled towards them.

Historical Fiction with quite so much factual information incorporated, isn’t a genre that I tend to read on a regular basis, unless as a specific review request.  However the premise for ‘St Bartholomew’s Man’, offered such a unique and potentially interesting reading experience, that I was just too intrigued to pass up the review offer from its author, Mary Delorme.

If you want to find out more about the book’s premise you can click on the image, or to find out more about both book and author, click here


A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City ReaderWould the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?

If so, would you like to share them with us, (without revealing too many spoilers of course) ?

Click here and visit Gilion @ Rose City Reader

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Don’t forget that Gilion and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time?

I can’t wait to do a little blog hopping myself and check out all the great Book Beginnings you have!


As this was an invitation to read and review, a complimentary MOBI file for Kindle download of ‘St Bartholomew’s Man’, was gifted to me, by its author, Mary Delorme.

 This will in no way influence any comments I may express about the book, in any blog article I may post. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.


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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • I don’t read a lot of historical fiction and, when I do, it’s generally 20th century or later. You’ve made this one sound intriguing and I’ll be curious to see how you end up liking it.

    • Hi Kathy,

      Whilst this possibly wouldn’t be my book of choice either, I am oddly intrigued by this story and I love those opening lines, they will definitely make me keep wanting to turn the pages. I also have a feeling that there may be quite a few words for future ‘Wondrous Words Wednesday’posts!

      Thanks for stopping by and have a good weekend.

  • Ooooo- this sounds so good!! As you know, I already have this waiting in my kindle and I may have to read it sooner than later. I really like the way it starts off.

    Here are the opening lines to what I’m reading (Enemies at Home by Lindsey Davis).

    “Even before I started, I knew I should say no.
    There are rules for private informers accepting a new case. Never take on clients who cannot pay you. Never do favors for friends. Don’t work with relatives. Think carefully about legal work. If, like me, you are a woman, keep clear of men you find attractive.
    The Aviola inquiry broke every one of those rules, not least because the clients had no money, yet I took it on. Will I never learn?”

    • Hi Kelly,

      I have to confess that for the first time ever, I have moved a book up my reading schedule, which goes completely against my principles. I have been influenced in that decision making process, by the fact that author Mary Delorme is now into her 90th year and I would really like to get the review for ‘St Bartholomew’s Man’ down on record!

      Whilst I am still not sure that ‘Enemies At Home’, is a book I would enjoy, those opening lines are setting the scene beautifully and are really oh! so true! Having said that, hubbie and I are the biggest suckers I know for breaking just about every one of those rules! I just couldn’t be that hard hearted.

      Thanks for sharing your opening lines and I hope that this book lives up to your expectations.

    • Hi Naida,

      I have the feeling that there are going to be plenty more eloquently written and descriptive passages throughout this book, which should ensure that I keep turning those pages just as fast as I can.

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I hope that all is well with you and have a good weekend.

    • Hi Tea,

      I guess that the constant mumbling would sound ultra loud in the otherwise silence of the cloisters, although if all the monks were doing the same thing, at least they wouldn’t be annoying each other.

      I am always getting pulled up for talking to myself and I find myself reading aloud when I am editing or writing a post,or replying to a comment. I think that I can liken myself to the monks in the story, as I am basically checking for any mistakes as I type, although I do still manage to make plenty of errors which I then have to go back and correct – which the monks didn’t have the luxury of doing!

      A good opening paragraph to whet the appetite, don’t you think?

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and I hope that you enjoy your weekend.

  • Going by that brief excerpt this is definitely one I’d WANT to carry on reading rather than reading because I’m too stubborn to do otherwise.

    A quarter of the way through The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules, so far I’m really impressed and can’t understand why this didn’t receive the hype accorded To The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I am certain that this is one book you will probably want to carry on reading, without a doubt. I should imagine that the research will have been carried out to meticulous standards and the storyline will unfold with precise and descriptively detailed language.

      I wonder how ‘The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules’ works in translation, as I see that the author is Swedish. I can imagine there must be some words which are open to misinterpretation when transposed into English! I am not sure this is one for me, as it sounds very similar to a story I have recently finished and I don’t think that I necessarily need to read two books with such a unique, yet similar premise.


      Thanks for sharing your lines and I hope that your weekend is good.

  • It does sound like there’s a lot of factual information, but I think I prefer too much information over no information at all! And this one sounds really interesting! I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend!
    My Friday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

    • Hi Juli.

      I totally agree that more information is better than too little and I am certain that, after checking out some of Mary’s other books, the research will be immaculate, well thought through and presented in a descriptive and detailed fashion.

      It was the interesting subject of the storyline which drew me to ‘St Bartholomew’s Man’, so I am truly looking forward to following Rahere’s journey.

      Thanks for taking the time to check out this time’s post and I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

    • Hi Katherine,

      I always enjoy descriptive writing, particularly when there are historical elements to a story. Factual information in itself, is all well and good, but unless I can get a ‘feel’ for the time and place of the story, facts in themselves can become quite meaningless and boring.

      ‘St Bartholomew’s Man’ seems to tick all the boxes, from what I have read in other folks reviews, so it all looks promising!

      Thanks for your comment, I always appreciate your visits.

  • Cloisters, monks, robes, and great descriptions. Sounds like a good one. Bees in Brother Gilbert’s Hives is a fantastic description.

    I am reading a book about a cloister that was turned into a bed and breakfast.

    THANKS for sharing, Yvonne.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      Neighbours of ours, who have long since divorced and moved on, used to keep beehives in their back garden, so I can vouch for the sound comparison between the mumbling monks and the soft buzzing of the bees in the hive …. Mind you, they weren’t quite so subdued on the occasions they decided to swarm into our garden, frightening both us and our guests terribly!

      I am hoping that your reference to reading a book about cloisters, is taken from ‘The Wishing Tide’. I love everything I have read about this book so far and can’t wait to read it for myself. I shall be awaiting your review with interest.

      Thanks for stopping by, I always look forward to your comments.

  • I love the description in the opening. “White with cold” says so much, and I can almost hear the buzzing sound from the scribes. Sounds like a fascinating book.
    Here’s the link to my Friday post: REMIX.

    • Hi Sandra,

      It is generally my hands and fingers which go ‘white with cold’ in the Wintertime, although my Nan always used to insist that we were ‘blue with cold’. It really doesn’t commit either one way or the other on Google, so take your pick!

      The ‘buzzing’ of the monks, would probably have been mingled with a little gentle snoring, as they spent many long hours at their work and often fell asleep at their desks!

      Thanks for the visit and for taking the time to comment.

Written by Yvonne