Rorate Caeli

New publication: The English Edition of ‘The Execution of Justice’ by Elisabetta Sala


Rorate is happy to announce to our readers the publication of the long-awaited English edition of Italian writer, Elizabetta Sala’s* first-rate historical novel, ‘The Execution of Justice’, a page-turning thriller.

Just over three years ago we published a review by Antonio Socci on Sala’s Italian work (see here: wherein he praised the author’s superlative, narrative writing skills with particular regard to this novel.  Socci  wrote then:


‘It’s the finest, most exciting, most poignant novel I have read in a long time. A real surprise. It captures the reader’s attention from the very first page. It is a historical novel, easy to read, set in the London of the year 1605, amid the alleys, taverns, palaces, shops and theatres on the banks of the Thames.

We become deeply immersed in the London of the early 17th century -  so much so - that you don’t want this story (of love also) to end, full as it is of intrigues, heroic martyrdoms, plots, cowardly betrayals, spies and power-struggles.’ 


I too have read this novel in Italian – and finally, recently, had the pleasure of reading it in English.  I unequivocally apply the same comment I made on Socci’s article to the latest English edition of this compelling story (it would make a wonderful movie plot, by the way!):


I heartily endorse every word of Antonio Socci’s review […] on Elisabetta Sala’s first novel “The Execution of Justice’ […] It is truly a page-turner written by an exceptionally talented author. […] F.R.


Here are two other short laudatory reviews on the cover of the book by two famous Shakespearian scholars:


Altogether, this is at once an enchanting, engrossing, intriguing novel and a novel approach to early modern history, such as to throw an unaccustomed light  on the inner meaning of Shakespeare’s great tragedies from Hamlet and Macbeth to King Lear.

 Peter Milward, SJ **



‘This thrilling and chilling historical novel brings Shakespeare’s England to vivid life amid the backdrop of the vicious intrigue of the plot to kill the King and blow-up Parliament.’


Joseph Pearce*** 



A synopsis of the story on the book’s cover


When Jack Digby’s father is executed for high treason, the boy’s dream life turns into the worst of nightmares; and when he is forced into the murky, ruthless world of double agents and cowardly betrayals, his fate would seem to be already written. As he grows up, however, he discovers that something is wrong with the official narrative concerning his father’s tragic end. It will take time and suffering for him to discover that things are rarely as they seem, that the King’s Men – the greatest playing company of all time – are not just simple entertainers; that our most bitter enemies may turn into our best friends; that, at times, Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair.’


Link to order the book:


The Execution of Justice: A Novel : Sala, Elisabetta, Robertson, Mary Anne: Libri

 It is also available on Kindle: 

The Execution of Justice: A Novel (English Edition) eBook : Sala, Elisabetta, Robertson, Mary Anne: Kindle Store




*Elisabetta Sala is a teacher of English history and literature. To date she has published a book on Henry VIII, one on Elizabeth I, and one on the life and works of William Shakespeare. She is the author of another novel besides The Execution of Justice: Il cardo e la spada [The Thistle and the Sword], set in Germany during the Thirty Years’ War and most recently she published a long essay on Leo Tolstoy – The Interior Fire.


**Father Peter Milward, SJ (12 October 1925 – 16 August 2017) was a Jesuit priest and literary scholar. He was emeritus professor of English Literature at Sophia University in Tokyo and a leading figure in scholarship on English Renaissance literature. He was chair of the Renaissance Institute at Sophia University from its inception in 1974 until it was closed down in 2014 and director of the Renaissance Centre from its start in 1984 until it was closed down in 2002. He primarily published on the works of William Shakespeare (starting with his ground-breaking work Shakespeare’s Religious Background) and Gerard Manley Hopkins.



***Joseph Pearce (born February 12, 1961), is an English-born American writer, and as of 2014 Director of the Center for Faith and Culture at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee. He has written biographies of many Christian literary figures, including William ShakespeareJ. R. R. TolkienOscar Wilde, C. S. LewisG. K. ChestertonAleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Hilaire Belloc. His books have been translated into at least nine languages.