Pavaneby Keith Roberts
A fix-up novel.
On a warm July evening of the year 1588, in the royal palace of Greenwich a woman lay dying, an assassin's bullets lodged in abdomen and chest. Her face was lined, her teeth blackened, and death lent her no dignity; but her last breath started echoes that ran out to shake a hemisphere. Elizabeth the First was no more. The turmoil that followed saw Philip II esconced as ruler of England.
With the authority of the Catholic Church assured, the rising nation of Great Britain deployed her forces in the service of the Popes. In England herself, across a land half ancient and half modern, split as in primitive times by barriers of language, class and race, the castles of medievalism still glowered.
To some the years that passed were years of fulfilment, of the final flowering of God's design; to others they were a new Dark Age, haunted by things dead and others best forgotten; bears and catamounts, dire-wolves and Fairies. Over all, the long arm of the Popes reached out to punish and reward; the Church Militant remained supreme. But by the middle of the twentieth century widespread mutterings were making themselves heard. Rebellion was once more in the air.
Details updated August 18, 2021