The wonderful new novel from the much loved author of ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’ and ‘Falling Angels’.
Flames and funerals, circus feats and seduction, neighbours and nakedness: Tracy Chevalier's new novel ‘Burning Bright’ sparkles with drama.
London 1792. The Kellaways move from familiar rural Dorset to the tumult of a cramped, unforgiving city. They are leaving behind a terrible loss, a blow that only a completely new life may soften.
Against the backdrop of a city jittery over the increasingly bloody French Revolution, a surprising bond forms between Jem, the youngest Kellaway boy, and streetwise Londoner Maggie Butterfield. Their friendship takes a dramatic turn when they become entangled in the life of their neighbour, the printer, poet and radical, William Blake. He is a guiding spirit as Jem and Maggie navigate the unpredictable, exhilarating passage from innocence to experience. Their journey inspires one of Blake's most entrancing works.
Georgian London is recreated as vividly in Burning Bright as 17th-century Delft was in Tracy Chevalier's bestselling masterpiece, Girl with a Pearl Earring.
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Jem Kellaway and his family feel far from home. The Kellaways struggle to find their place in the tumultuous London city, alive with repercussions from the blood-splattered French Revolution. Luckily streetwise Maggie Butterfield is on hand to show Jem the ropes. Together they encounter the neighbour they've been warned about - radical poet and artist William Blake. Jem and Maggie's passage from innocence to experience becomes the very stuff of poetic inspiration.Review:
Praise for ‘Burning Bright’:
'A visual delight. Chevalier's meticulous brushstrokes allow us to hear the "youthful harlot's curse" and feel "the damp souls of housemaids"'
'Burning Bright is an ambitious, impressively-researched novel…You can almost smell the smoke and mildewed clothes, see the gaunt, pock-marked faces of people struggling to survive and sense Jem's wonder as he gazes across the murky Thames to a perplexing world'
'A subtle clarity of style, quirky but seldom over-drawn characters, engaging touches of domestic detail and a splendidly vital recreation of Georgian London'
'Vivid, romantic and pacey'
'Those who admired Chevalier's atmospheric evocation of 17th-century Delft will find much to enjoy in her vivid reconstruction of late 18th-century London'
‘Passionate and compelling it provides a fascinating historical insight.’
More praise for ‘Burning Bright’:
‘Marvellously plotted…Chevalier masterfully works the themes and images of Blake's poetry into a tale of pure souls "burning bright" in a tarnished, slippery world'
Susan Vreeland, Waterstone's Books Quarterly
'Her pen-sketches of the squalor, smells and sounds of low-life London flesh out the history into immediacy'
'Entertaining and involving'
'Chevalier's characteristic love of detail - from the smells of the cattle market to a grotesque description of a man eating a pie - brings Georgian London vividly to life, while meticulous research allows her to weave fact and fiction into a convincing and persuasive narrative'
'Great pleasure is derived from Chevalier's vivid sense of place. In her hands, late 18th-century London and Lambeth in particular spring to life, and you see a city teetering on the brink of the rapid expansion and industrialisation that is about to change it forever'
Historical Novels Review
‘great pleasure is derived from Chevalier’s sense of place. In her hands late 18th century London and Lambeth in particular spring to life.’ Historical Novels Review
‘this is an engaging novel of families and friendship’ Choice Magazine
‘Chevalier’s characteristic love of detail…brings Georgian London vividly to life while meticulous research allows her to weave fact and fiction into a convincing and persuasive narrative. Indeed her vivid portrayal of the soico political realities of the day …serves ultimately to vindicate Blake’s warning that “fear of originality will stifle those who speak with original voices.” In Burning Bright, Chevalier gives these people their voice.’ Irish Times
‘This is a book that sets out to paint an absorbing picture of a time, a place and a people – and it does the job wonderfully.’ Irish Examiner
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Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97801430593941.0