Morality Play by Barry UnsworthMorality Play by Barry Unsworth

Morality Play

byBarry Unsworth

Paperback | September 3, 1996

not yet rated|write a review

Pricing and Purchase Info

$13.14 online 
$15.95 list price save 17%
Earn 66 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


The time is the fourteenth century. The place is a small town in rural England, and the setting a snow-laden winter. A small troupe of actors accompanied by Nicholas Barber, a young renegade priest, prepare to play the drama of their lives. Breaking the longstanding tradition of only performing religious plays, the groups leader, Martin, wants them to enact the murder that is foremost in the townspeoples minds. A young boy has been found dead, and a mute-and-deaf girl has been arrested and stands to be hanged for the murder. As members of the troupe delve deeper into the circumstances of the murder, they find themselves entering a political and class feud that may undo them. Intriguing and suspenseful, Morality Play is an exquisite work that captivates by its power, while opening up the distant past as new to the reader.

About The Author

Barry Unsworth (1930-2012), who won the Booker Prize for Sacred Hunger, was a Booker Prize finalist for Morality Play and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize for The Ruby in Her Navel.
The Ruby In Her Navel
The Ruby In Her Navel

by Barry Unsworth


Pre-order online

Not yet available in stores

Sacred Hunger
Sacred Hunger

by Barry Unsworth


In stock online

Available in stores


by Barry Unsworth


In stock online

Not available in stores

Shop this author

Details & Specs

Title:Morality PlayFormat:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8.2 × 5.5 × 0.55 inPublished:September 3, 1996Publisher:WW Norton

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393315606

ISBN - 13:9780393315608

Look for similar items by category:

Nearby Stores

We found 0 nearby stores

Customer Reviews of Morality Play


Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

Morality Play is a bravura performance. . . . The novel is a thought-provoking comedy on the eternal sameness of disaster and the recurrent uses we put it to in art. On the way we toy with morality and also play our way to the truth. — Janet Burroway (New York Times Book Review)Morality Play is a book of subtlety, compassion, and skill, and it confirms Barry Unsworth's position as a master craftsman of contemporary British fiction. — Charles Nicholl (Los Angeles Times Book Review)A historical novelist of rare talent. . . . A spare and disquieting tale that, like a morality play itself, urges us to question the allure of Murder One, Prime Suspect 3, and our most recent trial of the century. — Linda Simon (Boston Globe)The entire novel is brilliantly imagined. . . . It is a dramatic meditation on the relationship between life and play. — Brian Finney (San Francisco Chronicle)In Morality Play, [Unsworth] has created an entertaining, thought-provoking work of remarkable scope and detail. — Rick Quackenbush (Houston Chronicle)A gem. . . . Morality Play resonates with meaning for our own time. — Dan Cryer (Newsday)A perfect novel. . . . This book dazzles on every level. Its lyrically surprising, unforgettably credible, darkly challenging. You succumb happily on page one and stay in thrall right up to the quick, bruising end. — Julie Myerson (Independent on Sunday [London])