We are sad to announce the death of CJ Sansom

From Antony Topping, CJ Sansom's agent:

"It is with enormous sadness that we announce the death of CJ Sansom, a writer it has been our privilege to represent since publication of his first novel, DISSOLUTION, more than twenty years ago. Chris was first introduced to the agency by another of our authors, herself a legend in crime fiction, PD James. Chris had sent some early chapters of DISSOLUTION to PD James who picked up on his talent and posted the chapters to us. If I remember correctly she wrote a cover note saying something characteristically understated like “I think there might be something here…”, and she wasn’t wrong.

DISSOLUTION introduced us to Chris’ most famous protagonist, Tudor lawyer Matthew Shardlake, and, following DISSOLUTION in the same series, Chris went on to write the international bestsellers DARK FIRE, SOVEREIGN, REVELATION, HEARTSTONE, LAMENTATION, and TOMBLAND and also the standalone thrillers, equally successful, WINTER IN MADRID and DOMINION.

Chris did not seek the limelight, preferring to be known through his novels, and so in comparison with his fame and reputation relatively few people were lucky enough to know the person behind the work. He had an immense, far-reaching and deeply humane intelligence. His fans can see this in the novels but he applied it equally in his everyday dealings with friends, his politics and his charitable acts. He had a loathing of injustice of any kind and a special contempt for bullies. At the same time he had a joyful and piercing sense of humour which he would spring on you, with an attempt at a straight face, when you were least expecting it. I already cherish the memories of my visits to his house where we would discuss his latest novel-in-progress – but also the latest HBO series, the latest harmful nonsense emanating from the Government, the latest geopolitical breezes coming our way from abroad which Chris always analysed with the long and sure eye of a world-class historian – but I think I will remember best the laughter we enjoyed together.

It is an extraordinarily strange coincidence that Chris has died only a handful of days before a new generation of fans will meet Matthew Shardlake, Barak and Guy and co. for the first time through the Disney+ adaptation of DISSOLUTION which is being released on Wednesday of this week. This is also a moment for which Chris’ established fans have been waiting a long time. Chris was so proud of all the work and determination that went into bringing the novels to our television screens, which I hope will bring an entirely new audience to the books and which will maybe also inspire some old fans to return to their favourite CJ Sansom novels. So long, Chris. We were lucky to know you.”