A pavane is a stately dance, one with all its steps set out, with a clear beginning and a foreseen end. To my ear, the word itself sounds. Pavane [Keith Roberts] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A classic of alternate history, this novel is set in a twentieth century where the. Pavane [Keith Roberts] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

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Indeed in many ways, it is not an alternate history at all. In fact, this was a pretty small element of the book. Most of the original stories were published in Science Fantasy. People live a pastoral existence of guilds and farming, with technology held back to the level of the steam loc In the yearQueen Elizabeth was assassinated.

Roberts traces the implications of this alternate history by relating it through multiple viewpoint characters in different stories, all of which are interconnected.

My main criticism of the book is not really that – it’s simply that it’s a very British novel, so some of it will be lost on any non-Brits such as myself. Light, blue and vague, filtered through the long strips of the skylights, showing the roof ties stark like angular metal bones.

The situation is the same in ; technological development is pretty much non-existent except for steam power, and it is heresy to develop any further technologies. Pavane, by Keith Roberts, is a beautiful collection of six connected stories written in an alternate England where Queen Elizabeth was assassinated and Philip II won the throne of England.


Having just robrrts it, I would rank it with some of the best S. He recently released his 50th album Lost Cities. Not anything really profound but a delight in itself as a work of fiction.

With that I had to read this book. Well, here I can swank obnoxiously.

Pavane: Keith Roberts: : Books

And this leaves space for tradition, for craft and for mystery. Semaphores are used to transmit information, their operators being organized in the most prestigious guild and guarding the secrets of decoding. This is a Pxvane of steam engines, giant semaphore stations, and hand-crafted printing presses.

If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Full review, and other SF books reviews, found here. But this simple thought was well developed.

This is a book that I’m not likely to forget. There is a mechanical semaphore system in place to send messages. This is slow, thoughtful, idealistic and beautiful after the fashion of 70s literary SF. I also enjoyed his much later, and somewhat comparable, Kiteworld.

Pavane – Keith Roberts

Roberts writing is exquisite, and the rhythms of his language are enchanting, but for some reason I found it difficult to get caught up in the narrative.


She can stay in her southern coast village, which is already under suspicion because of an unexplained incident with a mad monk named John in her father’s time, or she can swim out to the ship she sees off-shore, and escape her rural fate.

Because of this I never felt more than a transient connection with the characters. With the English Queen dead, Catholic Phillip brought his armada from Spain to conquer England in the wake of the chaos that followed. Each measure is a story unto itself and can be read as such. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Queen Elizabeth is assassinated, the Spanish armada invades England, and Catholics rule Europe, keeping sciences at a relative standstill.

A few more motifs continue to lodge in my mind. This book’s premise is that Elizabeth I died early and therefore the Elizabethean age never happened and the history of the world changed dramatically. This site uses cookies. A classic of alternate history, this novel is set in a twentieth century where the Roman Catholic Church controls the western world, and has done so so Queen Elizabeth was assassinated in