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WorldWithoutEnd World Without End Pillars of the Earth Book II Ken Follett file:/// C|/Dokumente%20und%20Einstellungen. 1 New York Times Bestseller In , Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, a sweeping epic novel set in twelfth-century. In , Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, a sweeping epic novel set in twelfth-century England centered on the building of a cathedral and many of the hundreds of lives it affected. Look out for the next book in this series, A Column of Fire.

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In , Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, a sweeping epic novel set in twelfth-century England that centered on the building . The purpose of this book is to marshal the evidence that cancer is a Although it is often stated World Witho THE LEAD WITHOUT A TITLE MANIFESTO - Robin. Editorial Reviews. Review. Ken Follett has 90 million readers worldwide. World Without End (Kingsbridge Book 2) - Kindle edition by Ken Follett. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets .

Merthin and Caris love each other. Gwenda is in love with Wulfric, who is in love with Annet. Ralph is training to be a knight in the household of Earl Roland, the Earl of Shiring.

Merthin is an apprentice under the master builder, Elfric. Life never goes as planned. When Merthin refuses to marry Elfric's daughter, he is dismissed as an apprentice.

Caris loves Merthin but does not want to be restricted by the vows of marriage. She wants her independence and Merthin too. He wants to be a master builder, have a family and own a house.

Gwenda is sold as a commodity by her father to Sim Chapman. Caris is working with her father in the wool business. Ralph despairs of ever becoming a knight. Then the bridge collapse and Kingsbridge is threatened with economic ruin. Without a bridge, the merchants and traders will travel to Shiring for market days and fairs.

Kingsbridge Fleece Fair merchants and traders will suffer from lack of trade. The priory will not pay for a new stone bridge because they have no money. It will be up to the townspeople to raise the funds, with the promise of reimbursement from the priory. Merthin is hired to build the bridge.

In replacement for part of his pay, Merthin receives Leper Island as his property. Leper Island joins the expansion bridges. He has great plans to build up the property with rentals and storage areas. Then Caris is accused of witchcraft and enters the nunnery to save herself.

Merthin is heartbroken and decides to leave for Florence, Italy, after he is dismissed as the builder of the bridge. This epic tome follows the life of the four individuals -- Merthin, Ralph, Caris and Gwenda -- and the people connected to Kingsbridge.

Two hundred years after the Kingsbridge cathedral is built in the Pillars of the Earth , we are carried along in the lives of its descendents.

Through love, greed, lust, plague, and prosperity, we witness the lives in and around Kingsbridge. From lives decimated from the plague to the resurgence of the community, we ride along on the journey. This is a character-driven novel. Though the plot and subplots are important, it is the characters we identify with throughout the book. The settings and descriptions are stunning. The pace is consistent and flows smoothly.

I could set this book down for a respite and pick it back up and still be enthralled in its pages. This over a thousand page book isn't for everyone, but if you are looking for a story that is full-bodied, rich and textured, then this is the novel for you.

View all 10 comments. Jan 24, Christine Whitney rated it it was ok Recommends it for: ONLY extremely bored people with no capacity for long term memory. However, WWE seems to be a page snorefest after the first book.

Perhaps if I had read them 18 years apart They have the same plot, same polar characters no one is reasonable, they are all so totally overboard in every description , same activities, same cads, same villians, same love story Same everything But the characters all have new names. So, if you decide to read them Skip 18 years before reading the sequel, which takes place in the same town as TPOTE years later.

If you wait 18 years, the book might seem fresh instead of boring, annoying, unoriginal and tedious. I kept wanting people to die just so I would not have to read another word about them. If I did not have this incessant need to complete books, I would have just thrown it on the floor and never picked it up again. It makes me annoyed every time I pick it up.. I was so depressed while reading book one, I had to take a month in between, so I can get my Happy back. I feel like this book is even more devastating emotionally to me than the previous one.

You might say, but of course, in the first book there was no Plague, while here it is very prominent and we all know that more than half of Europe's population was wiped out by the merciless infection, bringing devastation on a scale we can't even imagine today. But this is not the only reason this whole tome had a solid core of depression to it. It is the thick fog of misfortune and crap everyone with some measure of decency had to thread through on every page, while those with darkness in their hearts kept on prospering and rejoicing with every evil deed perpetuated on the weak and unfortunate.

Follet does that with no respite for the entirety of the book. Just when you think something might happen that would make all the struggles of our characters worth it, they still have to pay a heavy price for it and the feeling of hopeless helplessness that emotes from the page infuses into the reader until you wear it as a second skin At one point I became well trained - the author gives us struggle toward something, we have hope and even a good result, only to follow it up with something to put us back in our place, cowering in fear and despair back into the dark and dusty corner of a surfs' latrine.

We're all good when it suits us, he used to say: It's when you want so badly to do something wrong - when you're about to make a fortune from a dishonest deal, or kiss the lovely lips of your neighbor's wife, or tell a lie to get yourself out of terrible trouble - that's when you need the rules.

Your integrity is like a sword, he would say: Don't get me wrong. It was not anger because the writing was terrible or the storytelling inadequate.

The opposite. I was riveted to the story and even did not sleep last night so I could finish it up today. The author has done his research into the time period perfectly and the story is more than realistic, it is down right depressingly so. I know that what my 21st century heart truly rebels against is the historical truth of how one people, who happened to have been born to a class of privilege and influence, exerted their power over other people, who happen to be born in a circumstance that makes them into almost a property of the other, stripping them from everything we believe to be a human right, all the way down to the smallest choices over their livelihood and personhood My free-loving spirit wanted to spit in the faces of the "Lords" and "Nobility" and kick them in the balls, show the bullies that we will not let them bully us or anyone else, but I had to let the author lead me through his story and hope he would take us to a place where we would have some literary vengeance and a pay-off for all the hopeless emotions he put us through Kingsbridge Priory is well established and the town is prosperous.

There are many descendants of Jack and Aliena Fitzgerald, and they are representatives of all the social classes of the time.

Our main protagonist Merthin and his brother, the heartless monster of the age, Ralph, are just two of those coming from the branch of the Earls, but long ago fallen into poverty and as kids, circumstances make them and their parents dependents of the Priory. Ralph, being a big boy and physically fit, is given into the care of the current Earl as a squire, while Merthin, having not been blessed with great physique, goes as an unpaid apprentice to a carpenter-builder.

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He falls for the daughter of a prosperous wool merchant, and the rest is history. Caris meets Merthin, Ralph, Gwenda and her brother Philemon while playing in church as kids and their lives change for ever when they encounter a fleeing knight, wounded in the forest.

From that day on their faiths are intertwined in intrigue, power-struggles, murder, secrets and a never-ending personal loves and hatreds, which shape their actions and their personalities on the long run. Although there are some redemption for some of the main characters, the overall hardships they go through are demoralizing. No wonder people thought of themselves as old at the age of 40 and ancient if they were able to reach fifty years old. Caris was strong and independent of spirit, but she also came from a place where she had been given a sense of self-worth since she was born.

Merthin and Ralph were raised to think of themselves as better than the rest, despite their impoverished state, but Gwenda and Philemon came from the lowest of the low and their parents only made them feel and be even lower than that.

My heart broke for both of them when we first met them. As much as I loved and respected Caris, despite her acting ridiculously irrational at times, Gwenda was the one whose story I couldn't get enough of. I hurt for her, I loved for her, I was angry and disappointed by her, I wanted to shake her and and hug her alternatively, and I wept with her, but I was just as taken by her perseverance and strength, both in body and mind, which made her survive in this miserable time with so little going for her.

She was so flawed, so real, that it hurt. And I loved reading about her, every single word. I would still recommend it to those who loved the first installment in the series and those who love a realistic but slow portrayal of 14th century Europe in the mids of the Black Plague. Feb 24, PennyiSD rated it did not like it.

One of my book clubs selected this as we had all read and loved Pillars of the Earth when it came out 20 years ago. I got halfway through this tome and decided I didn't want to waste another moment of my life on a book which failed on so many counts.

The characters didn't seem real and certainly didn't elicit any sympathy from this reader as they moved from one contrived crisis to the next, the writing was repetitive and juvenile a gifted high school student could write better , the language wa One of my book clubs selected this as we had all read and loved Pillars of the Earth when it came out 20 years ago.

The characters didn't seem real and certainly didn't elicit any sympathy from this reader as they moved from one contrived crisis to the next, the writing was repetitive and juvenile a gifted high school student could write better , the language was too modern for the time period "shagged" didn't come into use - at least in print - until late 18th C.

If you want to read really well written and very well researched historical fiction try Dorothy Dunnett or Diane Gabaldon. View all 4 comments. Dec 29, Mary Catherine rated it it was ok. This is the sequel to "Pillars of the Earth. Every main character from "Pillars" has their parallel in this book: It gets to the point where you start to wonder why you're bothering reading it.

There's absolutely nothing new here. Like "Pillar This is the sequel to "Pillars of the Earth. Like "Pillars," this one starts with a "mystery" that goes nowhere. When the big revelation comes, I was left thinking, "That's it? Talk about offensive! And once again, an aggressive editor would have done wonders. Book 1: The book started out much like a carbon copy of its predecessor.

It is era two and there are a lot of parallels between many of the characters and the plot. However this one was much darker and the author put more empathy into his character. There were still some head scratching actions of different characters that seems completely out of character for this time period.

There were a Book 1: There were also some reactions I couldn't buy into or responses where I thought nobody says that there. Overall though a very good second effort and I'll finish the series off. Feb 11, Mom rated it did not like it. I cannot find the words to express how disappointed I was with this book.

Having enjoyed "Pillars of the Earth" twice I awaited the issue of the sequel with immense enthusiasm. What a letdown! The characters, the plot,the writing are all dreadful Mr Follett has tried to bring the 13th century into the 21st and it hasn't worked. The gratuitous sex and foul language spoil the book from the first chapter and for the first time in years, I will not be finishing this novel!

Very sad to see a good au I cannot find the words to express how disappointed I was with this book. Very sad to see a good author with good ideas go down the path of populism. Second Ken Follett, second Ken Follett audiobook, second Ken Follett audiobook listened to in car, first time I have ever wished to be caught in a really humungous traffic jam.

This was an enthralling sort of sequel to the The Pillars of the Earth. I say sort of because it is set some years after the end of that wondrous story. The story centres around the lives of four young children who witness the killing of two men at arms who themselves had come to kill the young knight who turned the tables on them. From those deaths unfurl the long, long journey of the story which cleverly comes full circle right at the end of this huge work.

A mysterious letter, buried by this young man, is pivotal to the story and, though it does not reappear fully until the end, punctuates the plot's every twist and turn like a hinted shadow or a glimpsed figure of menace. The four children grow from pre-adolescent exploring and friendship to middle age and all the accrued experiences. Caris, a young rich girl who is beautiful as well as wealthy but who is a natural leader, strikingly independant in thought, vision and action and is, if I may be so bold, a tad anachronistic.

This does seem to be a theme for Follett. Certainly in the two novels which I have read and loved, the main female character is brilliant and strong and intelligent and insightful and therefore, whether people like it or not, not a very accurate outline of how a woman would have been able to be in the 14th Century.

She is a great character but not of her time. Then we have Merthin, the great love of her life. Of lower gentry fallen on hard times. Should be of rich stock but incompetence by his father results in a lower standing. He becomes an Architect and Trailblazer and courageous man of honour and decency. Another visionary. His brother, Ralph, an unbelievably squalid shit.

Cruel and vengeful and vicious and murderous and irredeemably awful and then we have Gwenda. She is the token peasant not quite the tart with the heart but every soap opera has to have the poor girl whose role is to be the best friend of the rich girl thus enabling aforesaid rich girl to take on another mantel, that of democratic liberal.

This is to belittle Gwenda really as she is a brilliantly drawn and brave character and her struggles serve to mark momentous moments in the story and the ebb and flow of her life is one which really holds the reader's sympathy.

Re-reading this it might sound as if i did not like the book. I did. It is excellent. However this volume, more than the first one I think, is a total Middle Ages Soap opera.

I am not sneering at that; it is ridiculously addictive, hence my desire for a big traffic jam but this time the historical awkwardness jarred more. The language used, the opinions expressed Their middle class sensitivities and liberal attitudes are wonderful for middle class and liberal people living and working and falling in love in the 21st Century but though Caris may well have struggled with all sorts of things I felt she was struggling as would a 21st century women transferred by magic back to the 14th century.

Her struggles were of a woman going to bed in Surrey and waking up in , the Bobby Ewing shower scene in reverse. Follett again keeps 'plates' spinning brilliantly and draws characters with sharp lines so that you do not need to think much but know exactly who you are to boo and who you are to cheer.

There was an oddly convenient use of the Black Death where his scythe seemed always to cut down the right people to ease the plot along and enable the main characters to progress. Only one central character died of it and indeed that was massively convenient and came at just the right time. Once again i am not criticizing for the sake of it but it does reinforce the idea of Soap Opera. In Emmerdale or 'Corrie' we will have a plane crash or a train pile up. In the pre-machine, pre-Industrial age of Medieaval Kingsbridge we will use the mightily convenient pandemic making sure only minor characters or certainly those whose usefulness to the plot is past or maybe they want to move on to do a season in Pantomime at Blackpool for the Christmas season.

Anyway they will be the ones who 'buy it'.

Things i found briliant were the ways Follett easily explains the development of social structures and the growth of industry and the discovery of different ways of weaving or dyeing or construction. I felt I was learning as i read without even realizing it. The development of surnames and titles and the beginnings of the loosening of the serf structure was fascinating.

The political and ecclesiastical battles were cleverly hinted at. The hopelessness of the poor before the tyranny of the powerful was well expressed and the stagnating grip of the status quo was well illustrated. I felt myself groan with frustration along with Caris and Merthin even as I knew this was another anachronism. By this stage i didn't care.

That is the power of Mr Follett, I recognize that he is manipulating and twisting reality to suit his story and characters but he did it so well that i was totally Team Caris. Each time Ralph did something monstrous, each time Godwin was an underhand shite, every time Philemon Well, all i will say is I was not massively disappointed Follett does a good plate of comeuppance and here he parts company with Soap opera cos he, quite evidently, believes in happy endings.

View all 7 comments. Nov 23, Miquel Reina rated it it was amazing Shelves: I was wrong. In this second book, Follet makes a big temporary jump and presents a more evolved society with a fascinating female as its main character. I think the female character gives to the story a new point of view, a richness and completely new way of facing the problems of that time. Spanish version: Pero mis dudas fueron infundadas.

Un mundo sin fin es un libro extraordinario, y ahora tengo que decir que compite con el puesto de Los Pilares. Aug 19, Leah rated it did not like it Recommends it for: Recommended to Leah by: QPB sent it 'cause I'm slow at saying 'no'. Good Lord, I must be reading a different book than everyone else. This seems formulaic and forced.

Characters are more like caricatures; and what's the deal with everyone fornicating all the time??! Not that there's anything wrong with fornicating per se, I just don't care for books that use it as a major plot device time after time after time.

I actually checked the cover to make sure it wasn't "Clan of the Cave Bear" 2. I'm going to finish this book I think 'caus " I'm going to finish this book I think 'cause I'm feeling a little masochistic.

I may have to make my own book cover though, with Fabio as the builder replete with heaving chest and flowing locks on the cover. I've finished. Unless you are on the beach and looking to read but not think, and feel that a book cover emblazoned with 'Harlequin' is benath you-I really can't recommend this book.

Es cierto que tiene muchas similitudes, aunque con cambios serios. Oct 13, Becky rated it it was ok Shelves: Let me preface this review by saying that I loved Pillars of the Earth.

A lot. I thought it was almost perfect, in fact, except for one minor issue that I had with the dialogue sounding too modern for the time period an issue I had with World Without End, too. After being engrossed in that book, loving, hating, caring about the characters in it, after feeling like I was living in Kingsbridge for pages, I was excited for this follow up. I wanted more, I wanted to be back in that world, expe Let me preface this review by saying that I loved Pillars of the Earth.

I wanted more, I wanted to be back in that world, experiencing life right along with the people I was reading about, the people I cared about.

So I picked this audiobook up and started it. And all was good It didn't take me long to start feeling that something was wrong.

It didn't take me long to start feeling like Follett had ripped off his own book. Maybe if I'd had 20 years to forget the details of Pillars before reading Book World Without End, maybe I wouldn't have felt the similarities as much, and I'd have liked it more.

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It isn't a BAD story, but I lost patience with it really quickly and then I stuck with it far longer than I should have hoping that it would come around. It was playing in the background while I worked, and I could hear it, but it wasn't holding my attention at all. Now With New Character Names! I wanted a different story. Instead, I got a rehash of Pillars, and so I kept comparing them in my head.


Did I like the characters? I didn't care about them nearly as much as I cared about the Pillars characters though. Did I like the story? I guess. I did love the performance though. John Lee read this audio, and he was great.

But still I just endured this one, rather than enjoyed it, and couldn't bring myself to keep going another twelve hours to finish. Enough is enough. Mar 14, Sarah rated it it was amazing Shelves: I think this is one of those rare occasions where the "sequel" turned out better than the original. I use the term sequel loosely, there are a few references to the first book, but most of what happens is independent of that. Pillars of the Earth was an amazing story, but I think at times it was a little bogged down with the descriptions of medieval masonry.

World Without End certainly has architectural elements, but it was usually a couple quick sentences about how Merthin could build somethi I think this is one of those rare occasions where the "sequel" turned out better than the original. World Without End certainly has architectural elements, but it was usually a couple quick sentences about how Merthin could build something new, but simplistic, that no one had ever seen before. The same general theme of good vs. There are times when, maddeningly, it seems the only way to get ahead in life is to stomp on all the other people around you, but ultimately, Follett gives the reader the happy ending they were looking for.

I was satisfied that many more of the characters received more poetic justice. I think Follett did an excellent job of trying to portray how people would think and operate in a world that didn't understand how communicable disease was spread in this case the plague. The muslims believed the disease was transmitted by light beams reflected from the eyes of a sick person.

I'm not sure if this is a historically accurate viewpoint, but it was an interesting thought. As was seeing how modern medicine might have found it's beginnings in 14th century Europe.

What if the plague had never come? How long might it have taken people to discover why sickness could spread and how? Would we still be bleeding people and speaking of humors? My only real complaint is that there were a few mysteries that were never quite solved. Who was Philemon's secret lover? Was it a man or woman? What happened to old King Edward? And what was the deal with the damn cat!

I know he's supposed to symbolize something, and that it could be interpreted differently according to each reader, but I'm curious to know what the author intended the cat to mean. Ultimately, these minor mysteries are of little to no consequence and have no real impact on the story. Overall an excellent book and a must read for anyone who enjoyed Pillars of the Earth. This book is like the book before the Pillar of the Earth in that it is about the lives of three or four main characters throughout their lives of childhood through adulthood seen through their troubles and hopes every so often in the the city of Kingsbridge, two hundred years after.

It starts with two family, the family of Gwenda, who is poor and steals from Merthin and Ralph, making them without broke. It is a book that is epic with their struggle between the them along with other characters, This book is like the book before the Pillar of the Earth in that it is about the lives of three or four main characters throughout their lives of childhood through adulthood seen through their troubles and hopes every so often in the the city of Kingsbridge, two hundred years after.

It is a book that is epic with their struggle between the them along with other characters, in which some stands in their ways through the hate between certain characters by making lives bad. For example, not allowing things to be build or allowed land to be owned. Then halfway throughout the book turns to the problem of the Black Death of how it spreads across Europe.

Also throughout the book, the men uses their dominates to get their sexual needs fulfilled. I would have give this book five stars, but does the book really has to end on a happy ending before the full life of the characters are seen? Corrections 1 12 Oct 16, World Without End [Feb ] 53 37 Feb 20, World Without End by Follett 53 35 Dec 03, Readers Also Enjoyed. About Ken Follett. Ken Follett. Over million copies of the 31 books he has written have been sold in over 80 countries and in 33 languages.

Born on June 5th, in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector, Ken was educated at state schools and went on to graduate from University College, London, with an Honours degree in Philosophy — later to be made a Fellow of the College in He started his career as a reporter, first with his hometown newspaper the South Wales Echo and then with the London Evening News.

Subsequently, he worked for a small London publishing house, Everest Books, eventually becoming Deputy Managing Director.

Set partly in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, it is a sequel to bestsellers The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End and was published in September His previous project, The Century Trilogy, has sold 22 million copies worldwide. The three books tell the story of the twentieth century through five generations on three continents.

It reached number one on best-seller lists everywhere and has sold over 24 million copies worldwide. It was turned into a major television series produced by Ridley Scott, which aired in World Without End, the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, proved equally popular when it was published in Ken has been active in numerous literacy charities and was president of Dyslexia Action for ten years. He was chair of the National Year of Reading, a joint initiative between government and businesses.

Ken, who loves music almost as much as he loves books, is an enthusiastic bass guitar player in two bands. Other books in the series. Kingsbridge 3 books. Books by Ken Follett. Trivia About World Without End Quotes from World Without End. Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. World Without End vs Pillars of the Earth. Is that still true? Who are you reading now? Is it harder now, in the age of television and Internet distractions, to find new authors?

I still read a lot all the time, some history and biography but mostly fiction. I just finished a wonderful novel called The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. One of the reasons I liked it so much is that the author engages the reader totally even though not much happens—quite the opposite of my own books, which are full of incident! Your wife is a Member of Parliament in Britain, and you are also involved in politics. Is that a completely separate realm from writing for you or do they feed one another?

I never write directly about my own life, but indirectly everything ends up being used in my work. For example, in Pillars and in World Without End , there are elections in which the monks choose their prior. My handling of those dramas is strongly influenced by things that I have experienced as a political campaigner. You and your wife have a large blended family, and you all spend quite a bit of time together.

How do you balance work and family? Has that changed over the years? I always give my children priority. If they phone, or show up at my house, I drop my work and talk to them. Nothing else is as important. What is a typical day like for you, or is there such a thing? I start work early in the morning, around seven. I do an hour or so then walk the dogs and have breakfast. Then I work until four p. After four, I return phone calls and reply to emails for an hour or two.

I have a glass of champagne at six. Then I either cook dinner at home or put on a suit and go out on the town. What is your next project? Give me a break!

Read An Excerpt. Paperback 2 —. Buy the Audiobook Download: Apple Audible downpour eMusic audiobooks. About World Without End Make this your next book club selection and everyone saves. Ken Follett has 90 million readers worldwide. The Pillars of the Earth is his bestselling book of all time. Now, eighteen years after the publication of The Pillars of the Earth , Ken Follett has written the most anticipated sequel of the year- World Without End.

Abridged edition read by Richard E. Also in Kingsbridge. Also by Ken Follett. John in the Forest. Ends his life having achieved very few of his aspirations despite his cruel efforts. In the TV adaptation he is played by Rupert Evans. Gwenda: The daughter of landless laborers in the village of Wigleigh and sister to Philemon, as a small child she is taught by her father, Joby, to steal to save her family from starvation. She steals Sir Gerald's purse and therefore is partly responsible for his disgraced status and for the destiny of his two sons, Merthin and Ralph.

She becomes estranged from her family when her father sells her to vagabonds for a cow. Though she never escapes poverty and tragedy, she uses her wits to better her situation and escape danger. Though not pretty and is described as "rat-like", Gwenda is sensual in her appearance and is both desired and despised by Ralph. Gwenda loves Wulfric, despite the fact that he is engaged to Annet and is a lifelong friend to Caris, despite the great difference in their social class.

She is raped by Ralph and marries Wulfric once he cannot marry Annet. Gwenda rams her dagger into the dying Ralph's mouth to protect the secret that her son Sam, is Ralph's and not Wulfric's. Ralph: Merthin's younger brother and complete opposite, he is a rapist and a murderer. A natural-born warrior, Ralph is selfish, ruthless, and will stop at nothing to become an Earl and redeem his family's disgrace.

He holds his brother in great esteem and maintains a wish for his approval, although he rarely curtails his behavior in order to achieve it. Ralph has as a lifelong obsession with Lady Philippa, who becomes his second wife.

He hates Wulfric. Ralph is forced into exile after a trial for rape and becomes a feared outlaw, who is scheduled to hang.

Returns from war a knight, fulfilling lifelong goal of repairing family name; is eventually made Earl of Shiring. Realizing that Sam is his son, he blackmails Gwenda into having sex with him. He is killed by Gwenda, when Sam finds them together after protectively following his mother.

Minor characters[ edit ] Thomas Langley: a Knight who arrives in Kingsbridge at the beginning of the book. Together with Ralph, he kills two of the Queen's men after they attack him.

He is injured in the fight and eventually loses his left arm at the elbow. Together with Merthin, he buries a message at the base of the tree. Becomes a monk to avoid retribution and tells Merthin that if he hears of Thomas' death, to bring the letter to a priest.

He is a friend to Merthin and Caris and a foil to many of Godwyn's actions. He captures Ralph and brings him to justice for his many crimes, although Ralph is later pardoned by the king. Thomas Langley dies in as an old monk, suffering symptoms of senility.

Merthin completes his promise to dig up the letter and learns that King Edward II was not assassinated, but escaped and is hiding in exile. Philemon also learned the secret, but Merthin outwits him and sells the letter to the King in exchange for the promotion of Canon Claude to Bishop and sending Philemon to Avignon to be ambassador to the Pope.

In the TV adaptation he is played by Ben Chaplin. She loathes Ralph from the moment he becomes a squire but after William and both of their sons die in the plague is forced by King Edward III to marry him. Soon after Ralph becomes earl, their mutual distaste for each other results in Philippa moving into the nunnery and a love affair with Merthin, in which she conceives a child.

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She seduces Ralph to convince him that the son Roley is his and avoid being killed for adultery. In the TV adaptation she is played by Sarah Gadon. Wulfric: Attractive and hard-working; son of landed peasants of Wigleigh; hated by Ralph Fitzgerald because he does not let Ralph intimidate him; loses his birthright when family dies during the collapse of Kingsbridge bridge; town politics and Ralph keep him from earning back his family's land; becomes impoverished but happily married to Gwenda and has two sons although, unbeknownst to him, one of them is not his.

He is eventually, much to Ralph's disgust, given back his family's land as the Plague has killed all others capable of farming the land. In the TV adaptation he is played by Tom Cullen. For years he is Godwyn's loyal assistant. When the monks start to be wiped out by the Plague, he escapes and disappears for a long time.

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Eventually he succeeds Godwyn as Prior after he returns, when the Plague has run its course. Dishonest and shamelessly self-promoting, Philemon has a penchant for stealing trinkets and keeps them in a secret hiding place. He aspires to become Bishop of Shiring, but is rejected after Merthin bargains with the King's man with his letter from Thomas Langley.

In the end, he becomes the royal emissary to the Pope and leaves Kingsbridge. Elfric: Bitter and vindictive Master Carpenter, Builder. Son of old, and more talented master, Joachim. He sees Merthin as a challenge to his status and livelihood and does everything possible to make his life difficult. While alive resists attempts to admit Merthin to the Guilds as he never finished his apprenticeship. Dies in the first outbreak of the Plague.

In the TV adaptation he is played by Ian Pirie. Annet: Pretty and flirtatious, but dull; uses her feminine charms to sell her family's eggs at Kingsbridge market and attract Wulfric; attracts unwanted attention from Ralph Fitzgerald and is later raped by him.

Broke off her engagement to Wulfric when he is disinherited. Is never happy with life and eventually realizes the great mistake she made. Throughout life Gwenda views her as an adversary as she keeps flirting with Wulfric. Eventually at the wedding of their children the two are reconciled as Gwenda realizes that she has won. Mattie Wise: Kingsbridge's herbalist and midwife; leaves town abruptly when another citizen is accused of witchcraft; teaches young Caris healing arts and herbology; saves Gwenda's life when educated doctors and nuns fail to help her safely through delivering her first child; always instructs patients to pray to God, to avoid any claims of witchcraft or devil-conjuring.

In the TV adaption she is played by Indira Varma. Joby Wigleigh: lowest in Wigleigh social hierarchy; landless laborer; missing one hand from when caught stealing; lies, cheats, and steals to feed his family; sells his daughter Gwenda to outlaws for a cow.

In the TV adaptation he is played by Andre Hennicke. Madge Webber: Only surviving member of the Webber family; honest but poor at the outset, Caris changes the family fortunes by contracting them to weave and make dyed cloth.

Husband Mark was the first Kingsbridge resident to die of the plague, her sons also died. Later she remarries and has a daughter. In the TV adaptation she is played by Sally Bankes.This is my favourite historical fiction series, I recommend it most highly.

See all 18 questions about World Without End…. You can remove the unavailable item s now or we'll automatically remove it at Checkout. Caris meets Merthin, Ralph, Gwenda and her brother Philemon while playing in church as kids and their lives change for ever when they encounter a fleeing knight, wounded in the forest. After a time away, Merthin returns with an ominous gift from abroad, leaving Kingsbridge under the cloud of plague. Ralph, as lord, is merciless and brutal, and he winds up raping Annet as well.

Merthin and Ralph go to the archery field to try out Merthin's homemade bow and arrows.