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Restoration [Paperback]

Rose Tremain
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)

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Review

There is a heartstopping passage in Restoration, at our hero and narrator Robert Merivel s wedding feast. He describes how, as his father-in-law plays an air of intense melancholy on his viola da gamba, he is overcome with an unhappiness so profound he has to run outside and weep. This epiphany is described to the strains of that very piece, John Dowland s Flow my Tears, one of the most powerful uses of music I have ever heard on an audio production. The period is the 1660s, and we follow the rise, fall and redemption of the troubled physician Merivel, made palpably likeable by Degas s performance. He becomes a favourite of Charles II, gains and loses wealth, works at the new Bedlam in the Fens and returns to London for the plague and the great fire, finally buttressing his sadness with a sense that he can be useful . --Karen Robinson, Sunday Times

The restoration of the English monarchy, in the person of Charles II, forms the background for Tremain's historical fiction, which follows the life of the profligate courtier Robert Merivel. Initially favoured by Charles, Merivel goes from triumph to despair as does the restored king himself. Rupert Degas captures Merivel's character perfectly his self-important foolishness during his time in the limelight and his bumbling nature during his lowest lows. When combined with Tremain's amazing eye for detail, the story shows great promise. The abridgement, however, breaks the flow to an extent that it loses much of its power. --AudioFile --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

'The death of my kindly parents, as well as slaking for the time being my thirst for women, set moving in my anatomist's brain a cute awareness of the speed at which the body can succumb to death.

Fear of death lessened my fear of power, so when summoned to Whitehall, I was no longer overcome with the scent of majesty and thus no longer idiotic and dumb…'

So begins Robert Merivel's rise to honour at the court of Charles II and he finds great favour with the king. But the favour of kings is a fickle thing and Merivel's fall sends him to work in a Quaker Bedlam and from there, restoration both of the soul and society is a hard road.

Rose Tremain's 'Restoration' blends bawdy humour with a keen exploration of the mind of man and sets it against a vivid historical background to paint a rich and glowing word picture for the listener.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Rose Tremain has written numerous plays for radio and television as well as many novels. She lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer, Richard Holmes.
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