This book stood unread and unloved on a dusty attic shelf for many years, until a few weeks ago when I finally decided to give it a chance. After the fist few pages I was absolutely riveted. It definitely qualifies as one of my all time favorites now. As the others have noted, Reade's scholarship is amazing and one is simply immersed in the Middle Ages. The characters are wonderfully drawn (I adore Denys) and while there is a great deal of pathos there are also parts that made me literally laugh out loud. This is simply a wonderful book and I wish I'd had the pleasure of discovering it earlier.