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Year Of Wonders

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Morality Play, by Barry Unsworth

B- This book is about the issues of Christianity and the power of lords in the 14th century. I didn’t really enjoy the book, but it does illustrate how life went in the 14th century in England. I was a bit angry of the way people were dealt with in that period of time. I did learn know now that this is definitely a part of English history and culture up to today.

C- Time: The action takes place in the 14th century

Place: In England

Setting: A set of actors doing a play because of a murder that took place in a village that was unsolved. They do their play in different villages/towns in England.

D. Summary: The story is about a priest Nicholas Barber who meets a couple of actors and joins them when one of there player ends up dead. Traveling through different villages with their plays, they end up in a village where a murder of a boy (Thomas Well) has been committed. One of the actors ( Martin) comes with the idea to play the murder out in a play. The priest wants to find out who killed the boy, because the suspect seemed to be innocent through stories that they heard from several people who lived in the village. Lord Justice helps him to find out who really committed this crime.

E. Questions:

- What do you think the actors should have done with Brendan?

- What does Morality play mean?

- Why was the woman suspected of killing Thomas Well?

F. Key Passage: “God is not served by self-deceiving. The impulse to run away had not been folly but the wisdom of my heart.”p.187 said by Nicholas Barber.

G. Explanation of key passage: I choose this passage because all what the priest went through on his journey as a part of the actors in the play, I believe he at some time forgot his role as a priest, but yet needed to be freed as a way of finding out what he really liked and realizing that this is following his heart. I believe that God would understand his means for becoming an actor. It made him in some way a better person.

H. Themes of the novel:

- Oppression- the landlords who had all power over land and people.

- Christianity- what role this played in the society of England. For example ways of life, rules, morals ect.

- Corruption: of the church and nobility

- The Laws of murders and prosecution

Vocabulary List.

Word ( Page number) Part of Speech Sentence or phrase in which word occurs Translation

crouch p.1 verb I saw them gather round and crouch over him hurken, knielen

folly p.1 noun At a time when my folly had brought me to great need… dwaasheid, onverstandig gedrag

glimpsed p.2 verb I glimpsed the man’s face… vluchtig kijken

jolting p2. adjective A jolting cart schokkend, schuddend

besieged p.3 adjective The besieged soul flies free at last belegeren, bestormen

hulking p.3 adjective A hulking ragged fellow log, lomp, kolossaal

Piebald p.5


The piebald nag


Scraps p.5


They were wearing scraps of costume against the cold stukjes, beetjes

Inquiry p.5 noun The spirit of inquiry in a well ordered soul…. informatie

Lecherous p.6 adjective With lecherous eagerness wellustig, histig

Vagabonds p7. noun For vagabonds as happens to those accounted fugitives…. landloper, zwervend

Pelted p.8 verb I had been pelted beschieten, bekogelen

Hoarseness p.8 noun A drinker’s hoarseness in it hees, schor

Fleeting p.9 adjective A fleeting horror vluchtig

Rash p.9 noun He will take the rash of speech ondoordacht

Plenteous p.10 adjective Though far from plenteous rijkelijk

Indulgence p.13 Adjective/noun I seek indulgence for a faultвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚¦ genoegen

Relic p.13 noun I lost the holy relic….. overblijfsel, souvenir

Provocation p.15 noun There was provocation in her look…. uitdaging

Contempt p.15 noun There was contempt now minachting

Tattered p.20


The pages tattered

aan fladderen

Writhed p.20 verb Writhed his body on the ground kronkelen, wringen




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