‘Complex Norfolk dialect is one of the most distinct in the country’ - C.J Sansom talks new book Tombland at Norwich Cathedral

PUBLISHED: 17:37 03 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:04 04 November 2018

Author CJ Sansom launches new book Tombland at Norwich Cathedral

Author CJ Sansom launches new book Tombland at Norwich Cathedral


From the odd layout of Norwich to his sympathy for one of Norfolk’s most famous rebels, fans of the best-selling author CJ Sansom have enjoyed a rare opportunity to hear the author talk about his latest novel.

On Saturday, an audience of more than 720 people gathered in Norwich Cathedral’s nave to hear CJ Samson discuss the latest instalment in his popular Shardlake series, Tombland, with fellow author William Shaw.

In a rare public appearance, the author touched on the trips he took to Norwich while researching the book, the difficulty of writing while undergoing chemotherapy and how his own childhood experience of bullying informed the creation of one of book’s characters.

The audience even got chance to hear Mr Sansom read an extract from the novel describing the moment Matthew Shardlake visits Norwich Cathedral.

Talking about the various research trips he undertook to Norwich while writing the book, including standing on Mousehold Heath where Robert Kett based his rebel’s camp, the author said: “You can stand at Kett’s Heights... on the steepest part of the escarpment next to the one surviving remnant of the chapel Kett used as his head quarters, and on a clear day you’ve got a magnificent view.

Author CJ Sansom launches new book Tombland at Norwich CathedralAuthor CJ Sansom launches new book Tombland at Norwich Cathedral

“You feel that you can almost reach out and touch the cathedral spire - that was a real highlight for me.”

But, while the author said the odd layout of Norwich had made it hard to visualise some parts of the city’s history, he added: “One thing I found very difficult, and particularly because of the odd layout of Norwich, [was] to work out where the fighting took place.”

He had found the Norfolk dialect to be particularly unique.

“I found it interesting how the Norfolk dialect was incredibly complex with a whole set of different usages but it seems to me that it was one of the most distinct in the country, even more so than Geordie or Scots,” he said.

Following the event, Carole Slaughter, marketing manager at Jarrold which organised the sold out event in partnership with Norwich School, Norwich Cathedral and Pan Macmillan said: “The event has gone really well, we’re really pleased, we’ve already had some lovely comments.”

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