Jaan Kross - A People without a Past - Quercus

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  • Paperback £14.99
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    • ISBN:9780857054654
    • Publication date:24 Aug 2017
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    • ISBN:9781784299545
    • Publication date:08 Mar 2018

A People without a Past

Between Three Plagues Volume 2

By Jaan Kross

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The story of a man who rose from peasant stock to become Estonia's most famous medieval chronicler - The second novel in a historical trilogy by Estonia's most famous writer

The second part in an epic historical trilogy - The Estonian answer to Wolf Hall - by the nation's greatest modern writer

The year is 1563, and by any account Balthasar Russow can be said to have risen in the world. Fresh from his studies in the German town of Stetten, he has assumed the role as pastor of Tallinn's Holy Ghost Church. Moreover, he is betrothed to a maiden of the town - much to the chagrin of her father, who has no wish to welcome peasant stock to the family when there is no shortage of upstanding young German men - and is poised to begin the chronicle that will ensure his everlasting fame.

But tribulations still await the now not-quite-young Pastor - Livonia is still plagued by foreign powers, with Tallinn braced to withstand a prolonged Muscovite siege. And he will discover that marriage is often a battlefield in itself.

Translated from the Estonian by Merike Beecher

Biographical Notes

Jaan Kross is Estonia's best-known and most widely translated author. He was born in Tallinn in 1920 and lived much of his life under either Soviet or German occupation. He won countless awards for his writing, including The National Cultural Award, The Amnesty International Golden Flame and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger. He died in 2007.

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  • ISBN: 9781784299552
  • Publication date: 24 Aug 2017
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  • Imprint: MacLehose Press
He's a marvellous novelist - his scope and depth make him a world writer - and they should just hurry up and give him the Nobel. — Doris Lessing
He deserved a Nobel prize and would probably have got it had he written in any other language but Estonian. — Neil Taylor, Guardian.
He's almost alone in writing in the older European tradition of the large-scale historical novel. I'd argue that Kross is heir to the 'great' Russo-European 19th century novelists; his fiction has Tolstoyan sweep. On reading him, moreover, we rediscover that Estonia was always resolutely in Europe and not some obscure outpost this side of the Urals. — Fiona Sampson
No stranger to oppression himself, Kross writes about it with a poignancy devoid of anger. — Adam Zamoyski
MacLehose Press

The Ropewalker

Jaan Kross
Authors:
Jaan Kross

The first part in an epic historical trilogy - The Estonian answer to Wolf Hall - by the nation's greatest modern writer Jaan Kross's trilogy dramatises the life of the renowned Livonian Chronicler Balthasar Russow, whose greatest work described the effects of the Livonian War on the peasantry of what is now Estonia. Like Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell, Russow is a diamond in the rough, a thoroughly modern man in an Early Modern world, rising from humble origins to greatness through wit and learning alone. As Livonia is used as a political football by the warring powers of Russia, Sweden, Poland and Lithuania, he continues to climb the greasy pole of power and influence. Even as a boy, Russow has the happy knack of being in the right place and saying the right thing at the right time. He is equally at home acting as friend and confidante to his ambitious patron and as champion for his humble rural relatives. Can anything halt his vertiginous rise? Like most young men he is prey to temptations of the flesh . . .

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Anders Roslund

Award-winning journalist Anders Roslund and ex-criminal Börge Hellström are Sweden's most acclaimed fiction duo. Their unique ability to combine inside knowledge of the brutal reality of criminal life with searing social criticism in complex, intelligent plots has put them at the forefront of modern Scandinavian crime writing.

Anna Bell

Anna Bell currently writes the weekly column 'The Secret Dreamworld of An Aspiring Author' on the website Novelicious. She is a full-time writer and loves nothing more than going for walks with her husband and Labrador.

Damien Lewis

Damien Lewis has spent twenty years reporting from war, disaster and conflict zones around the world. He has written a dozen non-fiction and fiction books, topping bestseller lists worldwide, and is published in some thirty languages. Two of his books are being made into feature films.

Dan Smith

Dan Smith grew up following his parents across the world to Africa, Indonesia and Brazil. He has been writing short stories for as long as he can remember and has been published in the anthology MATTER 4, shortlisted for the Royal Literary Fund mentor scheme, the Northern Writers Awards, the 2010 Brit Writers Published Author of the Year award and the Authors' Club First Novel award. He lives in Newcastle with his family. Find out more at www.dansmithsbooks.com.

Dave Heyhoe

Dave and Treo have won numerous awards, including the Dickin Medal - more commonly known as 'the animal Victoria Cross' - and the Cruft's Friends for Life Award. Both Dave and Treo are now retired from the army and they share a home in rural Cheshire.

Derek Robinson

Derek Robinson, the son of a policeman, read history at Cambridge before working in advertising in London and New York. His novel Goshawk Squadron was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1971.

Diana Souhami

Diana Souhami is the author of many widely acclaimed books, and she has also written plays for radio and television. She won the Whitbread Biography Award for Selkirk's Island, her biography of Alexander Selkirk, or as he is better known, Robinson Crusoe.

Elaine Proctor

Elaine Proctor was born in South Africa. She became involved in the anti-apartheid movement as a teenager and filmed several political documentaries up until 1986, when the political situation made it impossible for her to continue and she left to study at the National Film and Television School in Britain. She has made several films, including On The Wire (winner of the British Film Institute's Sutherland Trophy) and Friends (selected by the Cannes Film Festival and winner of the Mention Speciale - Prix de Camera D'Or), has written a series for the BBC and published two novels, Rhumba and The Savage Hour. She sits on the chapter for screenwriting at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and is a member of the Writer's Guild of Great Britain. Elaine lives in Queen's Park, London.

Elias Khoury

Elias Khoury is the author of thirteen novels, four volumes of literary criticism and three plays. He was editor-in-chief of the cultural supplement of Beirut's daily newspaper, An-Nahar, and is Global Distinguished Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University.

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Elizabeth Hay is the bestselling, award-winning author of Late Nights on Air, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her other works include A Student of Weather (finalist for the Giller Prize and the Ottawa Book Award), Garbo Laughs (winner of the Ottawa Book Award and a finalist for the Governor General's Award), and Small Change (stories). In 2002, she received the prestigious Marian Engel Award. Elizabeth Hay lives and writes in Ottawa.

Kate McQuaile

Kate McQuaile is a graduate of the Faber novel-writing course. She lives in London and works as a journalist, but is originally from Drogheda in Ireland.