He was looking for a book to read 😉
Beneath the eaves of a modern day shop in the centre of York you will find the Stonegate Devil – a carved wooden figure which dates back to the 16th century when the premises was a printers shop. I couldn’t write a book set in York without putting him in somewhere and if you read Chapter Seven of Blackfeather, you’ll find him watching the tourists as they do their shopping. He often gives Kate, the protagonist of my novel, the creeps as she passes him on her way to and from work everyday. The Devil was a traditional sign for a printers shop and referred to the young boys (printer’s devils) whose job it was to carry and sort the type.
Stonegate was well known for its printers shops and bookshops. This one was owned by Thomas Gent who ruined his business by arguing with his customers. The first printer set up in York in 1480.
Next door, at no. 35, you can see a bible above the door which denoted the bookshop known as “At The Sign of the Bible” and on the corner of Stonegate and High Petergate you can find a statue of Minerva with her arm resting on a pile of books. This too indicated that the shop below was a bookshop. If you look carefully you will see many such statues and ornamentation around the streets of York, each one an indicator of what you’d find traded in the premises below.