Michael Cox The Meaning of Night

ISBN 13 : 9780719568374

The Meaning of Night

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9780719568374: The Meaning of Night
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Editor’s Preface

The following work, printed here for the first time, is one of the lost curiosities of nineteenth-century literature. It is a strange concoction, being a kind of confession, often shocking in its frank, conscienceless brutality and explicit sexuality, that also has a strongly novelistic flavour; indeed, it appears in the hand-list that accompanies the Duport papers in the Cambridge University Library with the annotation ‘(Fiction?)’. Many of the presented facts — names, places, events (including the unprovoked murder of Lucas Trendle) — that I have been able to check are verifiable; others appear dubious at best or have been deliberately falsified, distorted, or simply invented. Real people move briefly in and out of the narrative, others remain unidentified — or unidentifiable — or are perhaps pseudonymous. As the author himself says, ‘The boundaries of this world are forever shifting — from day to night, joy to sorrow, love to hate, and from life itself to death.’ And, he might have added, from fact to fiction.

As to the author, despite his desire to confess all to posterity, his own identity remains a tantalizing mystery. His name as given here, Edward Charles Glyver, does not appear in the Eton Lists of the period, and I have been unable to trace it or any of his pseudonyms in any other source, including the London Post-office Directories for the relevant years. Perhaps, after we have read these confessions, this should not surprise us; yet it is strange that someone who wished to lay his soul bare to posterity in this way chose not to reveal his real name. I simply do not know how to account for this, but note the anomaly in the hope that further research, perhaps by other scholars, may unravel the mystery.

His adversary Phoebus Daunt, on the other hand, is real enough. The main events of his life may be traced in various contemporary sources. He may be found, for instance, in both the Eton Lists and in Venn’s Alumni Cantabrigienses, and is mentioned in several literary memoirs of the period — though on his supposed criminal career the historical record is silent. On the other hand, his now (deservedly) forgotten literary works, consisting principally of turgid historical and mythological epics and a few slight volumes of poems and poetic translations, once enjoyed a fleeting popularity. They may still be sought out by the curious in specialist libraries and booksellers’ catalogues (as can his father’s edition of Catullus, mentioned in the text), and perhaps may yet furnish some industrious PhD student with a dissertation subject.

The text has been transcribed, more or less verbatim, from the unique holograph manuscript now held in the Cambridge University Library. The manuscript came to the CUL in 1948 as part of an anonymous bequest, with other papers and books relating to the Duport family of Evenwood in Northamptonshire. It is written, for the most part, in a clear and confident hand on large-quarto lined sheets, the whole being bound in dark-red morocco (by R. Riviere, Great Queen Street) with the Duport arms blocked in gold on the front. Despite a few passages where the author’s hand deteriorates, apparently under psychological duress, or perhaps as a result of his opium habit, there are relatively few deletions, additions, or other amendments. In addition to the author’s narrative there are several interpolated documents and extracts by other hands.

I have made a number of silent emendments in matters of orthography, punctuation, and so on; and because the MS lacks a title, I have used a phrase from one of the prefatory quotations, the source of which is a poem, appropriately enough, from the pen of P. Rainsford Daunt himself. I have also supplied titles for each of the five parts, and for the five sections of the so-called Intermezzo.

The sometimes enigmatic Latin titles to the forty-seven sections or chapters have been retained (their idiosyncrasy seemed typical of the author), though I have provided translations. On the first leaf of the manuscript are a dozen or so quotations from Owen Felltham’s Resolves, some of which I have used as epigraphs to each of the five parts. Throughout the text, my own editorial interpolations and footnotes are given within square brackets.

J.J. Antrobus
Professor of Post-Authentic Victorian Fiction
University of Cambridge

Revue de presse :

A tale of obsession, love and revenge, played out amid London's swirling smog ... Glyver is an outstanding creation ... Cox lovingly recreates the atmosphere of the period, from grand dinner parties to assignation with ladies of the night ... Yet he never allows period detail to swamp the human drama at the novel's heart' (Daily Mail)

'Spellbinding Victorian mystery . . .Dark atmospheric storytelling with wicked twists and turns' (Good Housekeeping)

'A handsome slice of Victoriana... a rewarding, sinister yarn wrapped around an austere meditation on fate, faith and privilege' (Observer)

'A novel of fate and free will, forensic detection and blind love, crime and its justifications. The atmosphere crackles, but beneath all is a sly sense of humour. The plotting is second to non - a finely tuned yet extravagantly complex piece of clockwork' (Evening Standard)

'An unadulterated pleasure. In prose as flamboyant as a bespoke smoking jacket, Cox's metropolis comes to life, teeming with hearty whores and weasily clerks ... As thrilling as a Hansom cab chase and as guilty a pleasure as a nocturnal turn at a gentleman's "introducing house"' (Independent on Sunday)

'Like Charles Palliser, Michel Faber and Sarah Waters, Cox is making the Victorian era a switchback ride for the reader's mind... a rich and complicated tale ... a journey into darkness' (Independent)

'A brooding, sinister work ... seeps with questions about good and evil, fate, inheritance, love and, above all, faith' (Scotsman)

'The pages teem with wit and erudition and the plot thickens like a good minestrone soup . . . Thrilling' (Courier Mail)

'An enthralling journey into the depths of Victorian London and the psyche of a man obsessed, Michael Cox's The Meaning of Night will have you hooked from [the] stunning opening line to the thrilling final revelation' (InStyle)

'Resonant with echoes of Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens, Cox's richly imagined thriller features an unreliable narrator, Edward Glyver, who opens his chilling 'confession'; with a cold-blooded account of an anonymous murder that he commits one night on the streets of l854 London...Cox's tale abounds with startling surprises that are made credible by its scrupulously researched background and details of everyday Victorian life. Its exemplary blend of intrigue, history and romance mark a stand-out literary debut' (Publishers Weekly)

'Impressively fluent first novel' (Sunday Telegraph)

'Cox creates a strong sense of place, a complex narrative full of unexpectedly wicked twists, and a well-drawn cast of supporting characters. His language is mesmerizing, and his themes of betrayal, revenge, social stratification, sexual repression, and moral hypocrisy echo those of the great 19th-century novelists. Written in the tradition of Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White and Sarah Waters's Fingersmith, Cox's masterpiece is highly recommended for all fiction collections' (Library Journal)

'This is a gripping page-turner for dark winter evenings' (Good Book Guide)

'A remarkably entertaining treat which begs comparison with the world of Patricia Highsmith' (Kirkus)

'Unusual and remarkable... Key to the convincing nature of this confession is Cox's grasp of the minutiae of the times and the language of the period, so that the reader at times forgets this isn't a contemporary of Dickens' (South China Sunday Morning Post)

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Michael Cox
Edité par John Murray General Publishing Division, United Kingdom (2007)
ISBN 10 : 0719568374 ISBN 13 : 9780719568374
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Description du livre John Murray General Publishing Division, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. État : New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A cold October night, 1854. In a dark passageway, an innocent man is stabbed to death. So begins the extraordinary story of Edward Glyver, book lover, scholar and murderer. As a young boy, Glyver always believed he was destined for greatness. This seems the stuff of dreams, until a chance discovery convinces Glyver that he was right: greatness does await him, along with immense wealth and influence. And he will stop at nothing to win back a prize that he now knows is rightfully his. Glyver s path leads him from the depths of Victorian London, with its foggy streets, brothels and opium dens, to Evenwood, one of England s most enchanting country houses. His is a story of betrayal and treachery, of death and delusion, of ruthless obsession and ambition. And at every turn, driving Glyver irresistibly onwards, is his deadly rival: the poet-criminal Phoebus Rainsford Daunt. Thirty years in the writing, The Meaning of Night is a stunning achievement. Full of drama and passion, it is an enthralling novel that will captivate readers right up to its final thrilling revelation. N° de réf. du libraire AA69780719568374

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Description du livre Hodder Stoughton General Division, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. État : New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A cold October night, 1854. In a dark passageway, an innocent man is stabbed to death. So begins the extraordinary story of Edward Glyver, book lover, scholar and murderer. As a young boy, Glyver always believed he was destined for greatness. This seems the stuff of dreams, until a chance discovery convinces Glyver that he was right: greatness does await him, along with immense wealth and influence. And he will stop at nothing to win back a prize that he now knows is rightfully his. Glyver s path leads him from the depths of Victorian London, with its foggy streets, brothels and opium dens, to Evenwood, one of England s most enchanting country houses. His is a story of betrayal and treachery, of death and delusion, of ruthless obsession and ambition. And at every turn, driving Glyver irresistibly onwards, is his deadly rival: the poet-criminal Phoebus Rainsford Daunt. Thirty years in the writing, The Meaning of Night is a stunning achievement. Full of drama and passion, it is an enthralling novel that will captivate readers right up to its final thrilling revelation. N° de réf. du libraire AA69780719568374

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Description du livre Hodder And Stoughton Ltd., 2006. État : New. 2006. First Edition (6th). Paperback. The bestselling mystery of murder, love and obsession Num Pages: 608 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 131 x 35. Weight in Grams: 412. . . . . . . N° de réf. du libraire V9780719568374

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Description du livre Hodder And Stoughton Ltd. État : New. 2006. First Edition (6th). Paperback. The bestselling mystery of murder, love and obsession Num Pages: 608 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 131 x 35. Weight in Grams: 412. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. N° de réf. du libraire V9780719568374

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Description du livre Paperback. État : New. Not Signed; A cold October night, 1854. In a dark passageway, an innocent man is stabbed to death. So begins the extraordinary story of Edward Glyver, book lover, scholar and murderer. As a young boy, Glyver always believed he was destined for greatness. This seems the stuff of dreams, until a chance discovery. book. N° de réf. du libraire ria9780719568374_rkm

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Description du livre 2007. Paperback. État : New. 129mm x 198mm x 38mm. Paperback. A cold October night, 1854. In a dark passageway, an innocent man is stabbed to death. So begins the extraordinary story of Edward Glyver, book lover, scholar and murderer. As a young boy,.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 608 pages. 0.410. N° de réf. du libraire 9780719568374

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Description du livre John Murray, 2007. Paperback. État : New. Brand New Book. Shipping: Once your order has been confirmed and payment received, your order will then be processed. The book will be located by our staff, packaged and despatched to you as quickly as possible. From time to time, items get mislaid en route. If your item fails to arrive, please contact us first. We will endeavour to trace the item for you and where necessary, replace or refund the item. Please do not leave negative feedback without contacting us first. All orders will be dispatched within two working days. If you have any quesions please contact us. N° de réf. du libraire V9780719568374

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