Qui falsitate vivit, animam occidit. Falsus in ore, caret honore.
The Latin inscription carved on the shining blade read: He who lives in falsehood slays his soul; he who lies, his honour. If only they had known how true those words would prove to be...
Lovingly crafted by a Saxon swordsmith shortly before the Norman invasion, treachery and deceit are the Sword of Shame's constant companions. From the Norman conquest of 1066 to the murder of Thomas à Becket, from an attempted coup against Richard the Lionheart to the bloodstained battle of Poitiers: at the heart of every treasonous plot, murder and betrayal lies the malign influence of the cursed sword. As it passes from owner to owner in this intriguing series of interlinked mysteries, ill fortune and disgrace befall all who wield its glittering but deadly blade.
- - in which I tell of the creation of the sword and its first shameful use.
- Act One
- - in which Bernard Knight's Crowner John buys his officer a new sword, but soon regrets his generosity.
- Act Two
- - in which Ian Morson relates Nick Zuliani's deadly involvement in election fraud and murder in Venice in 1262.
- Act Three
- - in which my old friends, Keeper Sir Baldwin and Bailiff Simon Puttock learn how the sword could have been used in a martyrdom.
- Act Four
- - in which Susanna Gregory's Matthew Bartholomew and Brother Michael are sent to the remote Cambridgeshire village of Ickleton to investigate why the manor is behind with its rent. They discover passions and tempers running high.
- Act Five
- - in which Philip Gooden's player Nick Revill arrives at a snow-bound house to discover that, even after several hundred years, the Sword of Shame can still wreak havoc and murder.
- - in which Ian Morson comes up to modern times.
Order The Sword of Shame from Amazon:
The large print edition of The Sword of Shame is published by WF Howes, under their Clipper imprint (ISBN: 978 1 84632 128 3). Your local library should be able to order this for you.
There is also an audio edition of the full text, read by Paul Matthews and published by Whole Story Audio Books (click the link to go their web site, where you can listen to an excerpt).