The novel features academic Arthur, who is in Paris attempting to recreate the 12th-century story of Heloise and Abelard for a novel. Heloise was a young female scholar who had a passionate affair with radical philosopher Peter Abelard that sent shockwaves through the country and incurred terrible retribution. Arthur is helped by his daughter, who wants to know more about her parents’ fractured relationship, and his own emotional connection to his subject begins to surface.
Bragg is a writer and broadcaster best known for his work as editor and presenter for more than 30 years of ITV’s South Bank Show. His novels include The Hired Man, Grace and Mary, Now is the Time, Without a City Wall and The Soldier’s Return. Here he talks to chief fiction reviewer of The Sunday Times Peter Kemp.