Ex Libris

Ex Libris cover.Ex Libris is a perfectly interesting little novel by Ross King about a bookseller in 1660s London — just a scant few years before the Great Fire, I realized about halfway through, which gave a new dimension to the narrator’s description of the London which he knew — covertly hired by a noblewoman to recover the more esoteric elements of her father’s library, plundered by Cromwell’s men.

That’s all well and good. It’s a serviceable story that seems to serve more as a framework on which to hang delving into the Restoration, Cromwell, Rupert II and other interesting figures of the period.

However — and this is a spoilery however, so we’re going to make a leap behind a cut to prevent giving the book’s ending away — I think we can all agree that the ending of Ex Libris is pretty much that of The Name of the Rose with water in place of fire, right down to a secret piece of knowledge that cannot be allowed to surface because of who wrote it and what it means to the establishment of the time.

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About Tyler

In the wilds of Vermont.
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