As Henry VIII's cousin, it falls to Reginald Pole—an admired young scholar living in Italy—to make Henry's case for divorce from Katherine of Aragon. And it falls to the hapless Michael Throckmorton, younger son of an impecunious titled family, to become Thomas Cromwell's messenger to Pole in Rome. This dubious privilege not only makes of Throckmorton's life a tragicomedy of endless journeys back and forth between England and Italy, it also makes him a canny observer of the great dramas of his time. And like his King, he too nurses a thwarted desire.
"Gripping fiction, with realistic characters who retain their historical plausibility.... A splendid debut about Michael Throckmorton's endless journeys across Europe on behalf of his master, the future Cardinal Pole."—Financial Times (London)