Animal Wrongs

Animal Wrongs

by Stephen Spotte
Animal Wrongs

Animal Wrongs

by Stephen Spotte


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In a medieval French courtroom, animals are put on trial for "crimes" against mankind and must rely on preposterous legal diatribes by a court-appointed lawyer to defend them—great for fans of Umberto Eco, Edward Carey, and Amor Towles.

Historical fiction has never been more uproarious as master storyteller Stephen Spotte unleashes this wild tale of opposing attorneys battling to defend or prosecute accused animals—including a rat and a pig—facing penalties of being hanged or burned alive at the stake: Think Willard meets The Name of the Rose. Based on actual court records, Spotte captures the wit and bluster of the era, where courtrooms were packed with cheering and heckling spectators in ever-more opaque, convoluted, and dilatory trials. By the end of this novel, Spotte uses his critically-acclaimed storytelling skills to explore still-relevant theories on legal precedent, the church vs. the state, mankind’s place in nature, and animal rights. Hilarious insights into pride, greed, and some of the most bizarre court trials in the history of the world. "Spotte is a master storyteller,” says Library Journal and in ANIMAL WRONGS, this acclaimed author is at his peak.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781953103093
Publisher: Three Rooms Press
Publication date: 10/19/2021
Pages: 378
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Age Range: 16 Years

About the Author

Stephen Spotte, a marine scientist born and raised in West Virginia, is the author of 23 books including seven works of fiction and two memoirs. Spotte has also published more than 80 papers on marine biology, ocean chemistry and engineering, and aquaculture. His field research has encompassed the Canadian Arctic, Bering Sea, West Indies, Indo-West Pacific, Central America, and the Amazon basin of Ecuador and Brazil. ANIMAL WRONGS is his fifth novel. He lives in Longboat Key, Florida.

Read an Excerpt

A few days ago a courier arrived with a letter from the bishop of Autun, my former place of residence until Madame Chassenée and I joined the landed gentry in the countryside. The words were clear enough, if a little strange: the bishop had appointed me as lawyer in an upcoming ecclesiastical proceeding to defend some rats accused of destroying much of last year’s barley crop, both in the local fields and at the municipal granary within the city walls. The proceeding will be conducted by the diocese and judged by a judicial vicar designated by the bishop. My adversary, if I chose to accept, would be the renowned prosecutor Humbert de Révigny. I had come up against Révigny twice before in more conventional civic trials and know him as a worthy opponent: brilliant, iconoclastic, erudite, and extraordinarily well prepared. I would need to be at the top of my game.

Business had been slow through the winter, and I wasn’t looking forward to an uptick in the writing of wills, representing clients in boundary disputes, handling land sales and title searches, and becoming involved in similar mundane tasks that fill an attorney’s hours. My experience until now had been relegated to secular law; here was a chance to participate in the canonical arena. The clients were certainly unusual, but then so was the opportunity. Plus, the opportunity provided a means of escaping Madame Chassenée for weeks or even months, a change no doubt beneficial to us both.

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