Ken Follett is one of the world's most popular novelists. He has sold approximately 90 million books. His wife, Barbara, is a member of Parliament representing Stevenage, in Hertfordshire. They live in a rambling rectory with two Labrador retrievers, Custard and Bess. They also have an 18th-century town house in London and a beach house in Antigua. Ken Follett is a lover of Shakespeare, and is often seen attending the Globe Theatre in London. An enthusiastic amateur musician, he plays bass guitar in the band Damn Right I Got the Blues, and he appears occasionally with the folk group Clog Iron, playing a bass balalaika.
Ken Follett on his blues band.
Follett served as chair of the National Year of Reading in 1998–1999, an initiative by the British government to raise literacy levels. He is president of the Dyslexia Institute, chair of the advisory committee of Reading Is Fundamental (UK), a trustee of the National Literacy Trust, a member of the Welsh Academy, a board director of the National Academy of Writing, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is active in numerous Stevenage charities and is a governor of Roebuck Primary School.
World Without End, the long-awaited sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, was published in October 2007. It is set in Kingsbridge, the fictional location of the cathedral in Pillars, at the time of the Black Death, and features the descendants of the original characters.
Read an excerpt from World Without End!
An audience member asks Ken Follett why it took him so long to write a sequel.
More from the complete reading guide to The Pillars of the Earth.