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Tregian's Ground

Anne Cuneo; Roland Glasser and Louise Rogers Lalaurie (translators)

And Other Stories, June 2015

The significance of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book to our musical canon is well known; the remarkable story of its copyist and compiler, Francis Tregian, less so.

Born into Cornish Catholic nobility and plumb into the choppy waters of the Elizabethan Age, he must rely on his surpassing skill as a musician to survive.

In this Prix des Libraires (Booksellers Prize) winning novel, Anne Cuneo deftly recreates the musician's journey across Renaissance Europe, which sees him befriending Shakespeare, swapping partitions with William Byrd and Monteverdi, and playing in the court of Henri IV of France.

The result is as gripping as it is authentic: an epic, transcontinental choreography in which Europe's monarchs tussle with pretenders to their thrones, and ordinary people steer between allegiances to God, nation, and family.

About the Author

Anne Cuneo was born in Paris, France, to Italian parents, and raised in Switzerland and in England. She was a writer, filmmaker, and journalist, and held a degree in literature from the University of Lausanne. Her career spans four decades and fifteen novels, as well as dozens of plays and scripts for theater, TV, and radio. She died at age 78 on February 11, 2015.