Tregian’s Ground: The Life and Sometimes Secret Adventures of Francis Tregian, Gentleman and Musician by Anne Cuneo

Tregian's Ground_ 17 sept FINAL

Anne Cuneo

Roland Glasser and Louise Rogers Lalaurie

Price: £10 / $15.95 (print), £5 / $8 (ebook)

Trade Paperback with French flaps


eBook ISBN:

Original language:

Published by:
And Other Stories

Publication date:
7 April 2015 (Europe); 2 June 2015 (North America)

The significance of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book to our musical canon is well known; the remarkable story of its copyist and compiler, Francis Tregian, less so. Born into Cornish Catholic nobility and plumb into the choppy waters of the Elizabethan Age, he must rely on his surpassing skill as a musician to survive.

In this Prix des Libraires (Booksellers Prize) winning novel, Anne Cuneo deftly recreates the musician’s journey across Renaissance Europe, which sees him befriending Shakespeare, swapping scores with William Byrd and Monteverdi, and playing in the court of Henri IV of France.

The result is as gripping as it is authentic: an epic, transcontinental choreography in which Europe’s monarchs tussle with pretenders to their thrones, and ordinary people steer between allegiances to God, nation and family.

Praise for Tregian’s Ground

  • ‘Francis Tregian’s extraordinary journeys through war-torn Europe keep readers riveted to the page and on the edge of their seats.’ Jean-Marie Volet, World Literature Today
  • ‘Anne Cuneo’s magnificent book offers a humanist investigation of the most discerning kind.’ Philippe-Jean Catinchi, Le Monde
  • ‘His adventures transport us, with a jangle of spurs, from one conspiracy to another, from Shakespeare in his playhouse, to the battle camp of his good mate Henri IV. At the invitation of Tregian’s novelist biographer, no reader could fail to be swept up in the excitement.’ Laurence Liban, L’Express 
  • ‘Tregian’s Ground certainly has many cinematic qualities – of the best kind . . . The vivid, free-flowing translation here is by Louise Rogers Lalaurie and Roland Glasser. This more than does justice to what is a marvelously rich and multi-layered piece of work . . . Serious students of either history or music are not going to be disappointed here.’ Andrew Green, Classical Music Magazine
  • ‘This novel is based on a historical figure and, as is the typical benchmark for works in the genre, Cuneo’s empathetic and informed immersion into Tregian’s world gives the novel its claim to prestige. Cuneo handles the historical detail with a deft touch — it is sufficient but not excessive — and intersperses it well with vivacious dialogue and an authoritative, carefully researched knowledge of old London.’ Ben Paynter, LA Review of Books
  • ‘It’s not always that a writer with an interesting life writes interesting fiction. In this case Anne and her equally talented translators have it sussed – this is totally engrossing . . . by the time we take our leave of Francis as he awaits my Lady Death we are breathless and amazed, not to mention chuffed, to have made his acquaintance. And the really good bit? Tregian’s Ground is another novel from & Other Stories, the publishing house that proves once again crowd funding knows a good thing when it sees it.’ Bookbag
  • ‘Francis is a worthy main character and I wanted the best for him, even when I felt he made the wrong choices.’ Historic Novel Review
  • ‘[A] big, fat, absorbing historical novel that is by turns swashbuckling and tender . . . that sweeps us along excitingly and paints a series of vivid pictures . . . strongly cinematic . . . The English translation of Tregian’s Ground does full justice to this long book with its finely calibrated tone and many historical, literary and musical allusions, and it reads beautifully throughout. It’s a lovely, engaging novel that really is a song for tolerance and culture, especially music, and for talented, creative individuals thriving even in the most brutal of times.’ Jean Morris, Shiny New Books
  • ‘an unparalleled contribution to the Bildungsroman genre.’ Glasgow Review of Books

More Information

  • Read more about Anne Cuneo here.
  • Translated by Roland Glasser, who has published over twenty translations from French, and Louise Rogers Lalaurie, whose translation of Olivier Truc’s crime début Forty Days Without Shadow was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger in 2014.

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