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The Cup of Ghosts (Mathilde of Westminster 1) Paperback – 1 May 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; New Ed edition (1 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755328752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755328758
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 2.7 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 426,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Paul Doherty was born in Middlesbrough (North-East England) in 1946. After A-levels, he went to Ushaw College in Durham for three years to study for the Catholic priesthood. In 1967, he was admitted to Liverpool University where he gained a First Class Honours Degree in History and won a state scholarship to Exeter College, Oxford. While there he met his wife Carla Lynn Corbitt. He continued his studies but decided that the academic world was not for him and became a secondary school teacher.

Paul worked in Ascot, Newark and Crawley, before being appointed as Headmaster to Trinity Catholic School, Woodford Green, Essex, in September 1981. Trinity is a large comprehensive (1700 on roll) which teaches the full ability range, ages 11-18. The school has been described as one of the leading comprehensives in the U.K. and has been awarded "Outstanding" in four consecutive OFSTED inspections. All seven of Paul and Carla's children have been educated at Trinity.

Paul's other incarnation is as a novelist. He finished his doctorate on the reign of Edward II of England and decided to start writing about the "undergrowth of history", beginning with THE DEATH OF A KING, published in 1985. Since then, Paul has written nearly 100 books and has published a series of outstanding historical mysteries set in the Middle Ages, Classical Greece, Ancient Egypt and elsewhere. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages and are available in several formats, including large print, audio books, and more recently e-books.

He has been published under several pseudonyms: C. L. Grace, Paul Harding, Michael Clynes, Ann Dukthas and Anna Apostolou but now writes only under his own name. Paul has also written a number of non-fiction titles, among them: ISABELLA AND THE STRANGE DEATH OF EDWARD II, a scholarly study of The Great Crown Jewels Robbery of 1303, THE SECRET LIFE OF ELIZABETH I, and a study of the mystery surrounding the death of Alexander the Great.
Paul lectures for a number of organisations, particularly on historical mysteries, many of which later feature in his writings. A born speaker and trained lecturer Paul loves to tell stories and "bring history to life."

Product Description

Book Description

The first in the series featuring Mathilde of Westminster is played out against the glorious, violent and decadent court of Edward II where ghosts throng, and old sins and innocent blood cry to heaven for vengeance

About the Author

Paul Doherty was born in Middlesbrough. He studied History at Liverpool and Oxford Universities and obtained a doctorate for his thesis on Edward II and Queen Isabella. He is now headmaster of a school in north-east London and lives with his family in Essex.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Amelrode VINE VOICE on 27 Dec 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Paul Doherty is one of the most prolific authors I have come across. His output is quite amazing. Eventough I find it more amazing that he keeps the standards high and always fulfills expectations. "The Cup of Ghosts" is no exception.
The reader finds himself at the court of Edward II. of England, properly one of the most controversial monarchs. Paul Doherty has a long standing interest in the reign of Edward and his Queen. His book "Isabella nd the strange death of Edward II" is amazing and now he uses his knowledge - again - for a novel. With the first page one is drawn into the murky politics of 14th century England by meeting Mathilde of Westminister, the lady in waiting and confidante of Edwards's Queen Isabella, better known as the She-Wolf of France. She is looking back on her life with the Queen and royal life and politics.
As usual P. Doherty has created a vivid and credible picture of life at the royal court. The historical details are accurate and impressive, but never overwhelm the narrative. He creates
an authentic-feeling atmosphere.
His deep historical interest motivates him to find solutions to long-standing historical mysteries or to find the motivtion behind significant events. A writing a novel is a great methode as he can express his views and impresssions easier than via a "proper" book where proof is asked for.
Mathilde of Westminster, the main character, is sympathetically drawn and engaging. Mr. Doherty has the talent of turning his characters into "the reades' friends" and one wants to learn more about them. The "Cup of Ghosts" is a great start for a new series featuring Mathilde of Westminister. I enjoyed every page and I am already looking forward to book No.2 with Mathilde.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kali on 30 Jun 2006
Format: Hardcover
Mathilde of Westminster was a woman born out of time; she was a physician and an alchemist who learnt her art from her Templar Uncle who was savagely murdered on the orders of the French King who coveted the wealth of the Templar's.

Hidden from the wrath of the King by a close friend of her Uncle right under his very nose as the lady-in-waiting to Princess Isabella, who was to marry the sexually ambiguous Edward II, she was reluctantly drawn into the dangerous political life of the English court, where death was only a heartbeat away.

The book actually starts at the end of Mathilde's like when she is living in solitude as a nun, the glory and decadence of the life she saw and even partook in is long gone and all that remains are memories and secrets that could still bring England to her knees.

Mathilde looks back over her many years as the "She Wolf's" (as Queen Isabella was known as) constant and loyal companion and in written code chronicles her turbulent life and times and the things she did in the name of love, politics, and revenge.

Mathilde's keen eye along with her brilliance for understanding symptoms and causes and not just those of a medical nature gives her the skills and ability to survive in a precarious world where life sits on the knife edge of King's cruel whim.

Mathilde's superior intellect helps her distinguish between an accident and murder and when she is confronted by a catalogue of seemingly unconnected murders, along with attempts on her own life she realises she must unravel a puzzle that goes right into the heart of French and English royalty.

Cup of Ghosts is a beautifully written novel, bringing fact and fiction together in a believable story of murder, intrigue, desire for power and passion in a time when violence and murder was a way of life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 July 2006
Format: Paperback
There are very few authors who can even come close to matching Doherty in the writing of this kind of historical novel. His obvious knowledge of the subject and his feeling for the period of history he is writing about shines through the pages.

This book is centred around the reign of Edward II, a violent and decadent period of English history. The lead character is Mathilde of Westminster, who was thought of at the time as one of the leading physicians in the whole of the city of London.

She had spent many years of her life as lady-in-waiting to Isabella the wife of Edward II, a monarch who could be both generous and cruel. Sudden death was part of the everyday life of the English court and Mathilde is inevitably drawn into the politics and intrigue of the world she lives in.

In later life Mathilde looks back and recounts her turbulent past. A host of murders and danger confront her, most of it brought about by the continual rivalry between Edward of England and Philip of France.
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By Zoe Challis on 5 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback
I have read a few of Paul Dohertys novels before and loved them, this one was ok but not as good as some other of his works.

The historical elements are great, life in the Royal courts are vividly described, and the politics of the day brought to life very well.

Despite a great opening with lots of tension and drama it gets a bit boring in the middle. There is alot of talking between characters, alot of plot and intrigue but not alot actually happens, you are left waiting, full of expectation which is never quite fullfilled.

If you're looking for a good gripping story, this isn't it.
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