Omnibus Books, 1995 – newest
edition, Allen & Unwin, 2007

Book Four in the ‘Pagan Chronicles’

Available from
Pagan’s Scribe
Amazon
iTunes

Other books in the ‘Pagan Chronicles’
Pagan’s CrusadePagan’s In Exile
Pagan’s Vows | Pagan’s Daughter

The fourth book in the Pagan Chronicles, this is the story of delicate, bookish Isidore, who becomes scribe to Pagan Kidrouk, Archdeacon of Carcassonne, in 1209 – the year in which papal forces from the north begin their bloody crusade against the Cathar heretics of Isidore’s country.

Winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, 1997 (Young Adult Fiction).

This title is also available in the United States (Candlewick Press) and Germany (Carl Hanser Verlag).

‘Jinks again displays an amazing knack for blending utterly convincing period detail, earthy wisecracking and profound respect for courtly and spiritual ideals.’
Bulletin of the Centre for Children’s Books

‘Jinks is a quirky and good-humoured story-teller and a true historian.’
The Sydney Morning Herald

‘The first-person narrative moves to Isidore and his bookish complacency provides a beautiful counterpoint to Pagan’s earthy forthrightness . . . The quality, depth, distinctiveness of these books, not to mention their sweeping themes – honour, alienation, the conflict of emotion and intellect, the nature of faith – make their formal recognition well deserved.’
Magpies

Click here for more reviews

‘ . . . the final scenes of the novel (plus an epilogue) leave us with a wrenching combination of grief and renewal . . . when you add a riotous enjoyment of language, a guided tour through a relatively uncharted area of history and an examination of some of the basic values that people live by – hey, it’s hats off to Catherine Jinks.’
Viewpoint

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  • Tobie

    Dear Ms. Jinks,

    Thank you very much for this book. It inspired me to study neurology (I am a nursing student).

    One question though. I understand that you couldn’t have an older Pagan narrate a YA novel, but where did you get the idea for a bookish, naive, delicate (and loveable) orphan?

    Thanks again for this wonderful series! They provide lots of enjoyment.

    Sincerely,

    Tobie (Ontario, Canada)

    • Catherine Jinks

      Wow, Tobie! I inspired you to become a nursing student? That’s AMAZING! I’m so … gosh, blown away that I’ve actually had such a positive effect on someone – because I’ve always had a LOT of regard for the nursing profession. Wow.
      As far as Isidore goes, he had to be an orphan the way Pagan was an orphan – they both had to be looking for ‘family’ and a place in the world. And I thought someone rather prim and bookish would be a good contrast to Pagan, who’s anything but; you need a bit of contrast when you’re writing different characters. And of course the fact that Isidore’s well educated would give him a proper appreciation of Pagan’s skills and learning.
      Thank YOU for posting such a flattering message!

      Subject: Re: New comment posted on Pagan’s Scribe

      • Tobie

        We need to give each other a pat on the back, since we live in different continents. Unless you come to Ontario, of course. Please do.

        I have to ask though… where does the idea for epilepsy come from? Is it because it provides a contrast between Pagan and Isidore, as you said? If so, why epilepsy and not a dodgy leg or something?

        Cheers,

        Tobie

        • Catherine Jinks

          I wrote that book a long time ago, but looking back, I think my decision had something to do with the fact that epilepsy was regarded as rather unclean and frightening, because it was associated with evil spirits. So it would have left Isidore more isolated than a plain old wonky leg, from a very young age. Though it wouldn’t have had the same effect as leprosy, it certainly would have frightened people, and made things very difficult for Isidore.
          Subject: Re: New comment posted on Pagan’s Scribe

          • Tobie

            Hi Catherine,

            I’m in my last year of nursing now, I hope to graduate this May!

            Tobie

          • Catherine Jinks

            Yay! Well done, you! And I can take part of the credit (not)!

            Seriously, though – congratulations, Tobie. I have this sudden vision of my ‘graduating class’, full of people who did neuroscience or international studies because of Pagan, and computer science or cryptography because of Cadel, and history because of some of my other books … suddenly I feel USEFUL!
            Subject: Re: New comment posted on Pagan’s Scribe

          • Tobie

            Ms Jinks, I now have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Once I write my licensing exam I will be a real nurse.
            Woohoo!

            Tobie

          • Catherine Jinks

            Well done, Tobie. And it will be ALL DOWN TO ME! (Not.) I mentioned you in a speech of mine, last year, when I was trying to maintain that I wasn’t a complete social parasite. So get out there and save lives, please, because I need to know I serve some kind of useful function!
            Oh – and good luck with the exam. I hope it won’t be some sort of verbal joust, like in ‘Pagan’s Scribe’. I’ve always thought vivas were a monstrous invention.
            Subject: Re: Comment on Pagan’s Scribe

          • Catherine Jinks

            Well done, Tobie. And it will be ALL DOWN TO ME! (Not.) I mentioned you in a speech of mine, last year, when I was trying to maintain that I wasn’t a complete social parasite. So get out there and save lives, please, because I need to know I serve some kind of useful function!
            Oh – and good luck with the exam. I hope it won’t be some sort of verbal joust, like in ‘Pagan’s Scribe’. I’ve always thought vivas were a monstrous invention.
            Subject: Re: Comment on Pagan’s Scribe

          • Catherine Jinks

            Well done, Tobie. And it will be ALL DOWN TO ME! (Not.) I mentioned you in a speech of mine, last year, when I was trying to maintain that I wasn’t a complete social parasite. So get out there and save lives, please, because I need to know I serve some kind of useful function!
            Oh – and good luck with the exam. I hope it won’t be some sort of verbal joust, like in ‘Pagan’s Scribe’. I’ve always thought vivas were a monstrous invention.
            Subject: Re: Comment on Pagan’s Scribe