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Restoration Paperback – 2 Jul 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (2 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009953195X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099531951
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rose Tremain's novels have won many prizes including: the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music and Silence); the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger (Sacred Country); the Sunday Express Book of the Year, the Angel Literary Award and shortlisted for the Booker Prize (Restoration) and a Giles Cooper Award (for her radio play, Temporary Shelter). Her novel The Colour, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, and selected for the Daily Mail Reading Club promotion. In June 2007 Rose was made a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

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Review

"Triumphant" Sunday Telegraph "Gripping" Herald "A most beautiful and original novel" Independent "A dazzling triumph... It is nothing less than superb" New York Times Book Review "To be moved and impressed by a novel and yet so entertained, is rare" Fay Weldon

Book Description

The bestselling and much-loved classic from Orange Prize-winning Rose Tremain, Restoration introduces us to the young Robert Merivel and his rise and fall through glittering seventeenth-century society.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Sep 2005
Format: Paperback
Robert Merivel, who has studied to be a physician, is appointed, ironically, to be veterinarian for the spaniels of King Charles II, who has recently been restored to the throne following the death of Oliver Cromwell. Merivel enjoys the gaiety and frivolity of court life, and, a bit of a fool, he entertains the king. The king's decision to placate one of his lovers by marrying off his favorite mistress to Robert Merivel, spells the beginning of the end for Merivel's tenuous fortunes. Warned not to fall in love with his wife, Celia Clemence, since the king intends to continue seeing her, Merivel cannot help himself, and he is cast out, losing not only the king's affection, but also his house and, of course his wife.
Joining a group of men who work at an asylum for the insane, Merivel learns that there are deeper concerns in life than the hedonism of his life at court, and he develops genuine affection for several of the kindly Quaker men with whom he works. When he transgresses the society's rules, however, he is cast out from there, too, ending up in London at the time of the Great Plague and eventually the Great London Fire.
Painting vivid pictures of Merivel's life--at court, at the asylum in Whittlesea, and in the neighborhoods of London--author Rose Tremain brings the age, its customs, its science, and its social structure to life. The years of 1664 - 1666 are especially difficult, and as Merivel lives through the horrors of the Plague and the panic of the Great Fire, which Tremain recreates with the drama they deserve, the reader can see Merivel becoming less a fool and more a human.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By B. Kelly on 22 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback
I have read other books by Rose Tremain and found this very different. You have to stick with this book in the beginning but I found it a really absorbing and highly entertaining read once it got going. Her main character, Merivel is superbly characterized and on the surface quite loathsome but you end up feeling very fond of him because he knows his own weaknesses and is always trying to improve himself. I laughed out loud on several occassions because she vividly depicts the scenes so well. It is historical and she relates the lavish lives of the royal court in contrast to the extreme poverty on the streets with great skill - it is all done within Merivel's narration which I found captivating. Try it - I am sure you will enjoy this unusual journey.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Room for a View VINE VOICE on 4 Nov 2006
Format: Paperback
For me this was a wonderful historic novel written with delightful elegance by a very talented writer. Tremain captures, displaying erudite control, humour and pathos, the licentiousness of the court of Charles II, recently restored following the trauma of civil war and Puritan rule. The principal character, Robert Merivel (who develops an Earl of Rochester appetite for magisterial fun and frolics) finds that his fortuitous veterinarian skills grants him access to a world of aristocratic patronage and privilege. Dismissing the cautious advice of the `saintly' Pearce (close friend, Puritan and fellow medical student), Merivel embarks on an obsequious and opulent lifestyle, indulging himself in beribboned, frivolous antics, accompanying a flamboyant lifestyle to support his position as the `protector' of the beautiful Celia, the King's mistress. Tremain's vivid portrayal of Restoration England is not just a lewd drama of social excesses but is also a story of scientific enquiry. And Pearce's humanity and altruistic medical vocation acts as a rewarding juxtaposition to Merivel's hedonism. The friendship between these two characters is sensitively developed and it is through Pearce that Merivel eventually recognises the superficiality of his existence and the rewards of a life centred on a sincere love for others.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Jan 2006
Format: Paperback
Robert Merivel, who has studied to be a physician, is appointed, ironically, to be veterinarian for the spaniels of King Charles II, who has recently been restored to the throne following the death of Oliver Cromwell. Merivel enjoys the gaiety and frivolity of court life, and, a bit of a fool, he entertains the king. The king's decision to placate one of his lovers by marrying off his favorite mistress to Robert Merivel, spells the beginning of the end for Merivel's tenuous fortunes. Warned not to fall in love with his wife, Celia Clemence, since the king intends to continue seeing her, Merivel cannot help himself, and he is cast out, losing not only the king's affection, but also his house and, of course his wife.
Joining a group of men who work at an asylum for the insane, Merivel learns that there are deeper concerns in life than the hedonism of his life at court, and he develops genuine affection for several of the kindly Quaker men with whom he works. When he transgresses the society's rules, however, he is cast out from there, too, ending up in London at the time of the Great Plague and eventually the Great London Fire.
Painting vivid pictures of Merivel's life--at court, at the asylum in Whittlesea, and in the neighborhoods of London--author Rose Tremain brings the age, its customs, its science, and its social structure to life. The years of 1664 - 1666 are especially difficult, and as Merivel lives through the horrors of the Plague and the panic of the Great Fire, which Tremain recreates with the drama they deserve, the reader can see Merivel becoming less a fool and more a human.
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