"An important and inspiring novel."
VOICE LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
It is 18th-century London and John Lempriere, a young scholar, is writing a dictionary of classical mythology in an attempt to exorcise the demons raised by his father's violent and bizarre death. While tending to his father's business affairs, Lempriere discovers a 150-year old conspiracy that has kept his family from its share of the fabulously wealthy East India Company. But as John begins to untangle the years of mystery and deceit, people begin to die, in ways that mirror the very myths he is researching....
From the Trade Paperback edition.
A masterful debut from Londoner Norfolk that delves into 18th- century commerce by way of classical mythology, suggesting grim secrets behind the spectacular success of the East India Company- -secrets that have root in the mass suicide of Huguenots under siege in the French port city of Rochelle more that a century earlier. Deftly merging history, classical allusions, and fabulous fantasy, in a style that merits comparison to Dickens as well as Gilbert & Sullivan, Norfolk conjures up an imaginary life of John LempriŠre, actual author of a popular precursor to Bullfinch's Mythology. As an awkward young man on the isle of Jersey, John witnesses his father's violent death when assaulted by a pack of savage hounds owned by neighbor Viscount Casterleigh, whose daughter John loves with paralyzing passion. Then, while settling his father's estate in London, he learns of a mysterious contract between a distant Huguenot ancestor and an English earl, and his interest in it grows as he makes contact with others who fill in pieces of the puzzle. Meanwhile, in caverns deep beneath the city, a cabbala plots to lure young LempriŠre into their midst using member Casterleigh's daughter as bait; an assassin from the Indian Nawab' palace stalks the two; a ship full of ancient mariners, pirates all, plies its way to the London docks in pursuit of a cargo of sulphur from which to make gunpowder; and unrest among city laborers and the lower classes grows, incited by the firebrand Farina. LempriŠre comes face-to-face with the cabbala in their lair, where he finds their leader to be his own distant ancestor and learns why he was encouraged to write his dictionary, triggering a larger conflagration as the assassin, pirates, and the mob make their moves while the evil Company is destroyed, literally, by an avenging angel. Wildly and wonderfully improbable, reveling in the countless allusions that feed its dark vision: a delight for classicists, historians, and any reader eager to be overwhelmed by a story. An exceptional achievement. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly :
Few discerning readers will care to hack through this choked jungle of historical fiction, fantasy and myth, despite the obvious intelligence and erudition British first novelist Norfolk displays here. John Lempriere, an actual 18th-century classicist and mythographer, perceives the world through the lenses of Greek and Latin fables. When he sees his father mangled by hunting dogs, just after both have witnessed a naked girl--John's adored Juliette--bathing in a forest stream, this evocation of Actaeon and Diana goads Lempriere to "lay the ghosts to Antiquity" by compiling his famed Dictionary . In 19th-century London, ancient ghosts proliferate. Lampriere views Pork Club revelers as Circe's swine; a grotesquely murdered woman who was fed molten gold is perceived as Danae, seduced by Jove in a golden rain; a Juliette lookalike, slain in a goatskin, is a latter-day Iphigenia. Interlarded is a bloated subplot, delineating a scam enacted generations earlier by a party of East India traders, which in 1627 led to Richelieu's crushing siege of the French city of La Rochelle when Huguenots sided with the English. During an eerie trance (paralleling the underworld visits of heroes Ulysses and Aeneas) Lempriere learns of his ancestor's meddling in the traders' "Cabbala." It is the phantoms of history who drove him to authorship. Norfolk's superimposition of mythic patterns on urban life implies a model in James Joyce's Ulysses. While his scheme misfires, he is a writer of talent who may yet write a better novel.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Description du livre Sinclair-Stevenson Ltd 01/01/1991, 1991. État : Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. N° de réf. du libraire 2341-9781856190534
Description du livre Paperback. État : Fair. N° de réf. du libraire PL01344543B
Description du livre Sinclair-Stevenson Ltd 01/01/1991, 1991. État : Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. N° de réf. du libraire 9053-9781856190534
Description du livre Sinclair-Stevenson Ltd 01/01/1991, 1991. État : Good. This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. N° de réf. du libraire 9053-9781856190534
Description du livre Sinclair-Stevenson Ltd 01/01/1991, 1991. État : Very Good. This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . N° de réf. du libraire 7719-9781856190534
Description du livre Harmony Books, 1991. Paperback. État : Very Good. N° de réf. du libraire mon0000187910
Description du livre Sinclair-Stevenson Ltd 01/01/1991, 1991. État : used-good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. N° de réf. du libraire 6545-9781856190534
Description du livre London Limited Editions (Sinclair-Stevenson), 1991. État : Very Good. First Edition. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. N° de réf. du libraire GRP94364065
Description du livre Sinclair-Stevenson Ltd, 1991. Hardcover. État : Used; Good. N° de réf. du libraire 1574363
Description du livre Sinclair-Stevenson Ltd, London, United Kingdom, 1991. Paperback. État : Good++. Good++ conditon. Oversize paperback. 530 page historical novel . Edges a little soiled. Book. N° de réf. du libraire 7044