Burnable Book

In your note to the reader at the end of your book, you mention cultural biases playing a role in our modern perception of the Middle Ages. However, is it possible to separate modern bias from a work that takes place in an era far removed from ours? By using modern conceptualizations of the Middle Ages do we somehow warp the image? Or do you see it as we really are not that far removed, simply occupying different points on the same line?


The character John Gower turned out to have a much bigger role than I originally imagined. Several of Gower’s characteristic traits throughout the book lead me to question if he was potentially designed to be a representation of yourself?

Questions for Dr. Holsinger

The plot of The Burnable Book is very complex, placing historical figures in morally questionable spots as the mystery assassination unfolds. How did you balance the desire to paint an accurate picture of medieval England and the desire to remain creatively free to write an interesting mystery novel? Did you receive any criticism about the way you wrote characters such as Chaucer, King Richard, the Earl of Oxford, etc.?

March 29 A Burnable Book

Holsinger needs to change some things about history, such as a book of prophecy and a murder plot, to make his novel work. Knowing what you know about history, do you feel that Holsinger works with history well enough to create a good book while remaining historically accurate?

Burnable Book March 27

So far in the novel, we have learned a bit more about Chaucer’s character in A Burnable Book. Knowing what we know about his life, do you think this is an accurate picture of Chaucer? Do you think it falls short? Is it true? Explain.