This article is about Ken Follett’the pillars of the earth pdf free download novel. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. The book was listed at no. 2003 survey with the goal of finding the “nation’s best-loved book”.
Follett tells readers that he grew up in a Puritan-based family, whose worship space was very spare. Before too long, it occurred to me to channel this enthusiasm into a novel. I knew it had to be a long book. It took at least thirty years to build a cathedral and most took longer because they would run out of money, or be attacked or invaded. So the story covers the entire lives of the main characters. My publishers were a little nervous about such a very unlikely subject but, paradoxically, it is my most popular book.
It’s also the book I’m most proud of. It recreates, quite vividly, the entire life of the village and the people who live there. You feel you know the place and the people as intimately as if you yourself were living there in the Middle Ages. The novel’s Kingsbridge is fictional.
Ambitious nobles and churchmen take sides, hoping to gain advantages. A red-headed man is hanged for theft after being condemned by a priest, a knight, and a monk. His pregnant lover curses the men who condemned him, declaring that their children will be hanged, their enemies will prosper, and that they will live the rest of their lives with regret and sorrow. Circumstances leave mason Tom Builder and his family destitute and starving.
After his pregnant wife Agnes dies in childbirth, Tom abandons his newborn by his wife’s grave in the snowy woods, having no way to feed the infant. He later has a change of heart and returns, but finds the baby missing. After meeting up with an outlaw named Ellen and her son Jack, whom they had first met earlier, the group discover that Tom’s infant has been taken to a monastery cell belonging to the Kingsbridge Priory. Knowing that he will be charged with abandonment if he says the baby is his, and confident that the monks will be able to look after him, Tom decides to leave the infant to the monastery.
After several unsuccessful attempts to find work, Tom convinces Bartholomew, Earl of Shiring, to hire him to repair the walls of the Earl’s castle. Philip, the leader of the cell, is visited by his brother Francis, a priest, who warns him of a plot by Earl of Shiring Bartholomew and the Earl of Gloucestershire against King Stephen. Philip tells Waleran Bigod, the ambitious archdeacon to the Bishop of Kingsbridge, of the plot, and travels to Kingsbridge Priory where the previous manager, Prior James, has died only a few days before. Waleran promises to make Philip the bishop’s nomination for prior, practically guaranteeing Philip’s election, in return for Philip’s support to later make Waleran bishop though Waleran conceals that the bishop is also already dead. Philip agrees as the priory has become financially and spiritually destitute under Prior James, and he believes he can correct that. He wins, making enemies of the rivals for the post, in particular the sub-prior Remigius.
Tom’s infant, now named Jonathan, is sent to live with Philip at the priory. Unsure of the validity of Philip’s words, Waleran goes to the Hamleighs, a noble family who have been enemies of the Earl of Shiring ever since the earl’s daughter, Aliena, rejected a marriage with William, the only son of the Hamleighs. Seeing this as an excuse for them to take their revenge, the Hamleighs take Bartholomew’s castle and arrest the earl, forcing Tom and Ellen, now lovers, and their children into homelessness once again. They eventually settle in Kingsbridge, Tom hoping to get a job rebuilding the cathedral there. The family sees Jonathan during this time, although only Tom and Ellen know that he is Tom’s son.
To ensure that Tom will have work, Jack burns down the old Romanesque cathedral, telling no one else of his actions. After some convincing, Philip hires Tom to build the new cathedral. Tom’s strong son Alfred physically bullies smaller and weaker Jack through repeated acts of battery which creates friction with Ellen as Tom sees no fault in his son and never disciplines him. Brother Remigius, who is opposed to Philip as prior, charges Ellen and Tom with fornication. Waleran, who was cursed by the woman at the hanging, orders Ellen to live apart from Tom. Outraged by Tom’s willingness to accept this, Ellen returns to the forest with Jack.
Philip and Waleran go to King Stephen in the hope of convincing him to give Bartholomew’s estates, including a huge limestone quarry, to the church, so that they can be used to pay for the new cathedral’s construction. Initially believing that Waleran will be loyal to him as a fellow cleric, Philip learns from the Hamleighs that Waleran intends to use the earldom solely to boost his own position. Realising that the Hamleighs are trying to divide him and Waleran so that they can take the earldom for themselves, Philip secretly conspires with the Hamleighs. They agree that Kingsbridge Priory will be given the quarry and some other lands with the rest of Shiring going to the Hamleighs, but the Hamleighs betray this deal and are given ownership of the quarry with Philip getting rights to, not ownership of, the stone. Furious at being foiled, Waleran vows to never let Philip build his cathedral. Finding her still living in Shiring Castle, William attacks Aliena and her brother Richard. He mutilates the boy to coerce Aliena into not resisting as he and his man-at-arms gang rape her.