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Dispatch: 23 January 2017
Last Confession/West, Morris/Paper/0732268079/S050-A2
"At this moment, gentlemen, perhaps your fear in passing judgement on me is greater than mine in receiving it.
Giordano Bruno, Dominican monk and rationalist philosopher, was burnt at the stake in Rome's Campo dei Fiori on 17 February 1600, Bruno's beliefs and writings were considered heretical by the Catholic Church. Investigated and tortured by the Holy Office of the Inquisition, and incarcerated for seven years in Rome's worst prison, Bruno was given the opportunity to recant but chose instead to die for his beliefs.
Now, four hundred years later, Morris West brings us Bruno's story. Racked with doubt and despair, waking each day to the knowledge that he is one step closer to death, Bruno undertakes to leave some record of his existence. Not a chronicle of his life, nor a defence of the opinions which have brought him to this end, but a mosaic of anecdote, allusion, and scraps and shards of memory which together create a sense of what West called "the real Bruno within the man's skin". Written with passion and compassion, this is a voice which mesmerises from the first.
This is the last novel Morris West wrote. He died during its final stages.