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  • A Plague on Both Your Houses

  • The First Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew
  • By: Susanna Gregory
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (485 ratings)
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A Plague on Both Your Houses cover art

A Plague on Both Your Houses

By: Susanna Gregory
Narrated by: David Thorpe
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Summary

Matthew Bartholomew, unorthodox but effective physician to Michaelhouse college in medieval Cambridge, is as worried as anyone about the pestilence that is ravaging Europe and seems to be approaching England. But he is distracted by the sudden and inexplicable death of the Master of Michaelhouse - a death the University authorities do not want investigated.

But Matt is determined to get to the truth, leading him into a tangle of lies and intrigue that cause him to question the innocence of his closest friends - and even his family - just as the Black Death finally arrives.

A Plague on Both Your Houses is the book that introduced Matthew Bartholomew to the world.

©1996 Susanna Gregory (P)2017 Little Brown Book Group

What listeners say about A Plague on Both Your Houses

Average customer ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant !!

Wonderfully intricate, well plotted and charming mystery that unfolds in a fascinating historical context. Excellent narration. Because there are many characters, the narrator’s skilful use of distinctive character voices is extremely helpful for clarity and visualisation. Can’t wait to start the next one.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great set of books wrong narrator

I listened to this after reading the book years ago looking to remember the first book in a series I've enjoyed reading. I nearly didn't get thru it but did. Somewhat disappointed that I remembered it so fondly. Then I listened to one I'd already brought with a different narrator and wow I was then reminded why I do love this character and series. It's a shame so few are done with the other narrator I'd love to relive then all again but not if it ruins the book for me. Sorry Mr narrator nothing personal.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Mildly disappointing

It was always going to be tricky finding a historical novelist as accomplished as CJ Sansom. This fell short for me on a number of levels. I found the narration ( as opposed to the dialogue) a bit too jaunty and lightweight. The verbal characterisations on the other hand were good. Although all the ingredients were there, the plot felt bit flabby, and the denouement ...that it was all about obtaining a bishopric ..was pretty anticlimactic. The most irritating aspect was the language itself...it just seemed to be very 20thC, the odd ‘forsooth’ or ‘Gods bones’ thrown in, but the phraseology, use of metaphors, use of cliches was pure modern English. I got pretty bored and nearly didn’t finish it. I have downloaded 2 others, so will persevere, though without much enthusiasm!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Continuous story over series of books.

I found this book very interesting and as they are based on actual historical fact of the time in Cambridge, it makes them more enjoyable. I try work out who is the murderer but sometimes she leads you up the garden path. All in all these books about Mathew are very enjoyable and as there is a collection of them you can follow the progression of life in Cambridge.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Simply superb

I read this on the recommendation of my partner - he has read the full series - and it's clear why he was hooked. The plot twists and turns, leaving you guessing until the end. Set against the background of the Black Death, it was very interesting to listen to in the current Sars-Cov-2 pandemic.

The narration was excellent.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • K
  • 13-06-17

Fairly Ridiculous

Imagine a bad James Bond, Moonraker or Diamonds Are Forever, say, take it back 500ish years and you'll get a reasonable idea of the quality of this book. The characters are not exactly endearing and the plot seems to blunder about in the guise of being thrilling but actually only manages to be somewhat annoying. Each 'twist' seems to be mere happenstance rather than part of a carefully wrought storyline. When the protagonist's theories or deductions have unravelled - yet again - we are provided with a lengthy exposition as to what contributed to his mis-conception. I was expecting a white-clad, face-less monk, pew bound and stroking a moggy to materialise at many points throughout this tale.

The historical features seem accurate and certainly interested me - I think this is what kept me listening. Although, I am always annoyed by the assumption that because women lived in a fiercely patriarchal society they were ninnies and/or easily duped by men and are portrayed as such in historical novels.

The narrator was fine and gave distinctive features to each of his characters and made this relatively engaging to listen to.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

one of the best books i've ever read

So. enjoyable and informative, i've listenend to this over and over . A Plague on Both your Houses sets the highest standard for all the books in the series to come.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic !

I absolutely love these books and they have helped me through some very dark times. Thank you so much and keep them coming.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

My First Matthew Bartholomew - And Not My Last

This is my first listen to a Susanna Gregory novel in my search for a worthy follow-up to C J Sansom's, Shardlake series. It fitted my needs and has a very able narrator that is able to characterise the various voices with great skill. I am pleased to see that he reads the others in the series. I purchased the second in this series with readiness. I listened whilst keeping safe at home from Covid-19. Perhaps because of this the novel's depiction of the plague that descended on Cambridge in 1348 had real impact both in terms of who catches the plague and whom not, and the various attitudes to it. It seemed very realistic. I like the way that Matthew Bartholomew is out of the ordinary as a physician, not being mired in a limited medical outlook. I also liked the manner in which he was not immediately clear about what was going on; this fallibility was appealing. I very much liked the plump ripeness of the character of Brother Michael - at least in the narrator's portrayal of him. I am hoping he returns in subsequent novels. There are other characters too that one hopes will return as they provide healthy energy and challenge to the physician detective.Well worth a listen.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Needs tweaking but overall it’s good

The authoress contradicts the story content at least once
The narrator isn’t consistent with his voice when announcing chapters and does get stretched with soo many voice , two characters sound a little alike and the one doesn’t sound pompous just camp and lisping
The story does have plenty of twists and turns to keep the listener interested

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