The Skull and the Nightingale: A Novel

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9780062202369: The Skull and the Nightingale: A Novel

Michael Irwin’s The Skull and the Nightingale is a chilling and deliciously dark, literary novel of manipulation and sex, intrigue and seduction, set in 18th-century England.
 
When Richard Fenwick returns to London, his wealthy godfather, James Gilbert, has an unexpected proposition. Gilbert has led a sedate life in Worcestershire, but feels the urge to experience, even vicariously, the extremes of human feeling: love, passion, and something much more sinister.
 
It becomes apparent that Gilbert desires news filled with tales of carousing, flirtation, excess, and London’s more salacious side. But Gilbert’s elaborate and manipulative “experiments” into the workings of human behavior soon drag Richard into a Faustian vortex of betrayal and danger where lives are ruined and tragedy is only a step away.
 
With echoes of Dangerous Liaisons, Michael Irwin’s The Skull and the Nightingale is an urgent period drama that seduces the senses.

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From the Back Cover:

A chilling and deliciously dark tale of manipulation, sex, and seduction in eighteenth-century England

When Richard Fenwick returns to London in 1761, his wealthy godfather, James Gilbert, has an unexpected proposition. Gilbert has led a sedate life in the country, but now feels the urge to experience, even vicariously, the extremes of human feeling: love, passion, and something much more sinister. He asks Richard to serve as his proxy and to write to him of his city adventures—tales of carousing, seduction, and excess. Richard rises to the challenge and delves deep into London's salacious side.

Gilbert's elaborate and manipulative "experiments" into the intimate workings of human behavior soon drag Richard into a vortex of betrayal, where lives are ruined and tragedy is only a step away. And when Richard does the unthinkable and falls in love, the stakes are raised and he must make a defining choice. But what sort of man has he by now become?

About the Author:

Michael Irwin is an emeritus professor of English at the University of Kent in Canterbury, where he specialized in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature. His published work includes a full-length study of Fielding and essays on Defoe, Richardson, Sterne, Smollett, Johnson, and Pope. He lives in Kent, England.

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