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Christopher John "C.J." Sansom is an Englishmarker writer of crime novels. He was born in 1952 and was educated at the University of Birminghammarker, where he took a BA and then a PhD in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he decided to retrain as a solicitor. He practised for a while in Sussex as a lawyer for the disadvantaged, before quitting in order to work full-time as a writer. He currently lives in Sussex.


He came to prominence with his series set in the reign of Henry VIII in the 16th century, whose main character is the hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake. Shardlake works on commission initially from Thomas Cromwell in Dissolution and Dark Fire and then Thomas Cranmer in Sovereign and Revelation.

The BBC have commissioned an adaptation of Dissolution with the actor Kenneth Branagh set to star as Shardlake. The rest of the Shardlake books are expected to follow. C. J. Sansom has been consulted on the series, which is in the final stages of negotiation. .

He has also written Winter in Madrid, a thriller set in Spainmarker in 1940 in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.


Dark Fire won the 2005 Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, awarded by the Crime Writers' Association (CWA). Sansom himself was "Very Highly Commended" in the 2007 CWA Dagger in the Library award, for the Shardlake series.


Matthew Shardlake Series

Other Novels



  1. the CWA Dagger in the Library 2007 – C.J. Sansom is Very Highly Commended.

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