Like his popular “art history mysteries,” Iain Pears’s erudite historical novels are as well researched and intricately plotted as they are suspenseful and colorful. With 1998's The Instance of the Fingerpost, his first break from the art-centered Jonathan Argyll series, Pears evoked the most rapturous praise of his career.
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Date of Birth:
Ph.D., Oxford University
|The Best Book to Read First|
|An Instance of the Fingerpost|
In Pears's bestselling tour de force, 17th-century Oxford is a world of scientific advancement, political intrigue -- and murder. According to the Boston Globe, "it may well be the best 'historical mystery' ever written."
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|Favorite Writers from Iain Pears|
|When asked to list some authors he admires, Pears responded in 1998: "Robertson Davies, who was one of the (fairly few) authors I would have liked to have met. More than anyone in recent years, he managed to be profoundly serious, very funny, and an extraordinary storyteller. Lawrence Durrell, despite his many faults, because he avoided all of the pitfalls of recent English writing ... [A]mongst historians (my main affection), Peter Brown, Ernst Gombrich, and Carlo Ginzburg for being smarter than anybody has a right to be. Early le Carré, for his amazing ability at structure, and Simenon among detective novelists, for a brevity I don't seem to have anymore."|
|Timeless Talent||True Art Capers|
|Dream of Scipio|
Three narratives across three embattled centuries are tied to a document of moral philosophy in Pears's recent novel, a beautifully constructed book that confirms the author's prodigious talent.
|Goldberg's Angel: An Adventure in the Antiquities Trade|
The story of a Midwestern art dealer's purchase of four rare Early Christian mosaics, and an ensuing court battle that uncovers a world of art smugglers and shadowy characters. Hofstadter's account encompasses, with humor, his own experience covering this strange story.
|Photo by Jerry Bauer||