A sweeping story about obsession, mysticism, art and earthly desire.
At the centre of this story is the Cathedral. Its design and construction in the 13th and 14th centuries in the fictional town of Hagenburg unites a vast array of unforgettable characters whose fortunes are inseparable from the shifting political factions and economic interests vying for supremacy. From the bishop to his treasurer, from local merchants to lowly stonecutters, the fate of everyone, both Gentile and Jew, is affected by the slow rise of Hagenburg’s cathedral, a holy building growing over an often unholy city.
Around this narrative core, Ben Hopkins has constructed his own monumental edifice, a choral novel that is rich with the vicissitudes of mercantilism, politics, religion and human enterprise. Ambitious, immersive, a remarkable feat of imagination, Cathedral deftly combines historical fiction, the literary novel of ideas and a tale of adventure and intrigue.
Fans of authors like Umberto Eco, Elif Shafak, Hilary Mantel, Ken Follett and Jose Saramago will delight at the atmosphere, the beautiful prose and the vivid characters of Ben Hopkins’ Cathedral.