Barry Unsworth, The Ruby in Her Navel

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

Barry Unsworth’s fifteenth novel, The Ruby in Her Navel (2006), opens with an enigma – what is the true story behind the ruby which glows in the navel of Nesrin, the beautiful Anatolian dancer who is famous in the courts of Europe? In resolving that question, the first-person narrator, Thurstan Beauchamp, provides the kind of lucid but multi-layered tale which is characteristic of Unsworth’s fiction at its best. Thurstan’s story starts in April 1149, in Palermo in Sicily, where a King reigns for the first time – the Norman King, Roger, whose father and uncle conquered the island after two centuries of Arab rule. But a strong Arab presence remains. Yusuf ibn Mansur, a Moslem, is the powerful head of the Diwan of Control, the chief financial office of the palace administration.…

1568 words

Citation: Tredell, Nicolas. "The Ruby in Her Navel". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 December 2006 [, accessed 10 December 2023.]

21597 The Ruby in Her Navel 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.