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Return to Eden [Paperback]

Rosalind Miles
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Futura Publications (7 Nov 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0708829252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0708829257
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 637,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rosalind Miles

Rosalind is a writer who sidesteps time. Both story-teller and scholar, she has led different lives since her childhood in England. As a girl she endured a voyage through a landscape of life and death when she survived polio at the age of four years after spending several months in an iron lung. Her earliest memories are from this underworld of medical instruments and mechanical isolation, seeing her mother's face remotely through the glass.

After her emergence from the realm of medical support systems, she attained robust health and was permitted to roam freely in a large woodland near her home in Shakespeare's Warwickshire. This woodland was once a medieval hunting park, maintained then as now by the Crown. The wood was an Arcadian paradise for a child, who wandered the park's seven lakes and varied forests from dawn to dusk. This park provided the security and a freedom rare at the time, and now generally denied children, to nurture the interior world of the self far from adult supervision. The fall of night, generally but not always, ended these ramblings and imaginings.

A late child, last in a line of sisters, Rosalind was born into a family where stories were treasured and books were portals to other places and times. The youngest of three, she shared a room with a sister, and had the habit of telling her a bedtime story every night. This variant on the Arabian Nights lasted 1000 evenings before the girls were separated into rooms of their own. Whatever lay at the source of this need to tell endless variations on stories of adventure and triumph, typically of a female heroine, Rosalind was developing a sense of the uses of narrative fiction at an early age, in a compelling and determined sort of way.

At the age of ten Rosalind began recording these stories and other thoughts in writing, a habit that never lapsed since. This was also the year in which she was removed from her village life, as a consequence of broader recognition of her academic precocity, and received state sponsorship to a junior women's college.

There, as an adolescent, she acquired a working knowledge of Latin and Greek, and a life-long love of Shakespeare. At seventeen Rosalind was promoted to St Hilda's College, Oxford University, where she studied English literature, Anglo-Saxon, Middle English, Latin and French. This led to five degrees in all, culminating in a Ph.D. from the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham.

Rosalind's Ph.D. thesis and early works in Shakespeare scholarship and literary theory were considered radical at the time yet have since become mainstream.
Examples of these books have been preserved and may often be found through an internet book search or in libraries. Works from this period include a biography and also a theoretical work on Ben Jonson. Both were the products of a literary press, Routledge & Co., and were received as definitive works.

Other works of literary criticism include "The Female Form", a discussion of the origins of the Victorian novel. Interest in these critical studies persists, and re-publication via specialist press or on the internet is in review.

In her twenties Rosalind rediscovered the world beyond academic scholarship, and developed in some very different directions. A range of activities that was once narrow became characterized by diversity. This coincided with marriage to a fellow-student from Oxford and the mothering of two children of her own, a girl and a boy. During this time Rosalind never stopped writing. She became a lecturer in women's studies, and wrote a number of works in this field, at least one of which transcends its time. Her "Women's History of the World" has become part of the feminist canon, even in Chinese.

A decade later, Rosalind became interested in jurisprudence, soon sitting as a lay magistrate in the English criminal and family courts, and eventually on the bench in a superior court in Coventry, a Crown Court.

Rosalind's work at the time turned to social commentary. "The Children We Deserve" and "The Rites of Man" are examples of this. These efforts in social theory received acceptance among some senior figures in government and media. England's Lord Chancellor placed Rosalind on his advisory committee on the changing legislation around women, the work place and child rearing. She also became a frequent commentator on the BBC, on Canadian Radio and in the London Times and Telegraph.

For her friends and admirers, one of the more interesting aspects of Rosalind's character is that long hours of work have never seemed to dull a sense of whimsy, fun, or the adventure of life: on the contrary, they seem to whet it.

Other interests of this phase of Rosalind Miles's life were horseback riding with her children and others, and recreational travel in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Arab world. Rosalind's travels in the Middle East led to a special relationship with the Sultanate of Oman, an Arab state unusual for its education and promotion of women. There she has been honoured through acquaintance with one of the world's remaining absolute monarchs, the Sultan of Oman. Rosalind has since often visited this kingdom where the modern world co-exists with a past in which ancient and aural literatures still resonate vibrantly for many, and the borders between legend and history are less distinct. These twin themes of the ancient and the modern, the primordial in each of us and our adaptation to the modern world, are familiar paths for Rosalind Miles, and this may have opened doors in Oman.

The writing of novels has been a labor of increasing fascination for Rosalind in recent years. These novels have taken the form of contemporary narratives, like "Return to Eden", or stories built around historical people and events. As the range of her life and work increased, integrating this wide range of experience may simply have required the broader pallet provided by fictional or semi fictional work. Or perhaps, having immersed herself in the grim topics of social justice, crime and punishment, Rosalind has simply found writing fiction to be more fun.

Whatever her motivation, Rosalind's narrative works appeal to a broad spectrum of people with quite diverse cultural backgrounds and tastes. "Return to Eden" for instance was for a while the best selling fictional work in Russian. "I, Elizabeth" was a popular work in Portuguese. Her present effort is a set of nine novels interpreting the Arthurian legends with emphasis on the Queens, and their primacy to the Celts. That many Celtic tribes were matrilineal is documented in Roman sources, among others, and is not seriously disputed. Yet the interpretation of this legacy, as handed down, leaves something to be desired. A rapist and murderer, Malory wrote his Morte d'Arthur from his prison cell. Certainly Malory cannot be relied upon regarding his reading of the Queens. There are other treatments, but the question of who these women were, and the challenges of their lives, remains an inviting one.

Of these Arthurian works, the first trilogy is now finished. The work was conceived as a trilogy of separate trilogies and the second set of three, based on the Irish stories of Isolde and Tristan, is well in hand, with the first novel finished and the second due for publication shortly. The concluding three exist presently only in outline. Sketches, and notes for other, future projects crowd her study.

So the little girl who wanted to live in the woods is now an accomplished author, with an eclectic group of achievements behind her. Rosalind put pen to paper with conviction at the age of ten, and never stopped. Rather than a process of recording, writing seems to comprise for her a process of uncovering the projections of the ancient in the modern, of the possibilities of language, and the overlooked in our history and future lives. Twenty books down this path, the way ahead looks as rich as the work already done.

Rosalind in brief:

- Guenevere is the first of a trilogy of Arthurian novels, which is itself the first of a trilogy of trilogies.

- Award-winning author of 20 books of fiction and non-fiction.

- Published in 18 languages, including Chinese.

- Biggest-selling contemporary British author in Russia after publication of the modern novel Return to Eden.

- Acclaimed for her Guenevere trilogy and short-listed for a number of literary prizes.

- Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

- Designated by the US State Department as an Alien of Extraordinary Ability.

- Resident of Los Angeles and Kent, England.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Return to Eden - found 8 Mar 2010
By JB
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book arrived promptly, well packed, and in the condition described - overall good service.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thank You 19 April 2009
Format:Paperback
Return to Eden

Condition better than I expected.
Prompt delivery
Cost Excellent
Left my original copy on holiday & so glad to have a re-read!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book Ever Written!!! 15 Dec 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This has got to be one of the best books ever written!!! I've been trying to find a copy of the mini-series to view and then I got the idea to read the book version. It is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Stephanie Harper is a frumpy billionaire and the richest woman in Australia. She is also planning to marry ex-tennis-pro, Greg Marsden. At their wedding, Stephanie's best friend Jilly Stewart, and Greg notice each other and are immediately attracted. For their honeymoon Stephanie convinces Greg that they should go to her summer estate in the outback, called Eden. When Stephanie notices how well Greg and Jilly are getting along, she agrees to Greg's idea that Jilly join them at Eden later on. Even though her husband Phillip is against the idea, Jilly agrees.
No sooner does Jilly arrive, then Greg and Jilly meet out in the stables at night and cheat on Stephanie. Awhile later, Greg arranges for the three of them to go on a crocodile hunt. When the biggest gator in the swamp, named Gindy Baru, approaches their boat, Greg shoves Stephanie overboard, and because she can't swim she is pulled under by the croc as Greg and Jilly watch. Even though she is shocked by what Greg has done Jilly decides not to report him to the police.
Unbeknownst to Greg and Jilly, Stephanie has survived the attack, and is dying on an island in the midst of the swamp. Luckily for her, a hermit named Dave is passing by and rescues her from the approaching crocs. After taking her to his house he nurses her back to health and when she tells him she can't remember who she is, he gives her the new name Tara Welles. Finally, when she is well enough to go out on her own, he gives her his valuable collection of opals and gets her aboard a bus headed for Townsville.
When she arrives, her memory slowly returns and she decides she must have a grand revenge against Greg. She cashes the opals at a pawn shop, and still being horribly scared she goes to a renowned plastic surgeon who owns a clinic on Orpheus Island. Once there, she meets the owner, Dr. Dan, and she begins her treatments. She also takes a liking to Dan and she becomes his favorite patient. Even when the liking for one another begins to grown into a romance neither of them say anything. Finally after numerous surgeries Tara has become a different woman. She is thinner, prettier, looks ten years younger, and has lost a lot of weight from eating the island's nutritious food. When she is fully recovered from the surgeries she decides to leave the island, even though Dan encouragers her to stay.
Using her last bit of money, Tara buys a rundown, roach-infested apartment to live in. One night, she gets the urge to see her former home so bad she takes the trip and runs into a servant leaving the home. When he doesn't recognize her, it gives Tara more confidence then ever that neither will Greg. Just as she is leaving she sees Jilly approach the house to meet Greg. She then realizes that Jilly is also involved and beings to plot a way to wreak vengeance on both Greg and her former best friend. A few weeks later, Tara hears that Joanna Randall, the owner of the largest fashion agency in Sydney needs an older model for their new clothing line for older women. Tara walks in and gets the job immediately. She becomes a huge success, buys a new apartment in Sydney, and meets Greg at a charity fund-raiser. Not realizing who she is he is immediately taken by her and dumps Jilly for her, all the while pretending to still be interested in her. After Greg and Tara go out several times, Jilly confronts Tara to find out if anything is going on. Tara denies it and soon she and Jilly are close friends.
However, when Greg invites Tara to spend the weekend with him, Jilly shows up drunk and "chases" Tara off. Actually, Tara leaves of her own will to get Greg furious with Jilly. It works. No sooner has Tara left, then Greg and Jilly attack each other. In the meantime, Dan who now realizes how much he does love Tara finds her and begs her to marry him. She also wants him, buy knows it will spoil her revenge, so she refuses and leaves Dan broken hearted. A few days later, Tara calls Greg, pretending to be upset about the incident with Jilly and convinces him to take her someplace where they can be alone. Soon plans are made for the couple to return to Eden.
Jilly, still believing that Greg loves her, divorces Phillip. No sooner has she has done this, then she receives a call from Tara. She is at the airport with Greg and they are flying out to Eden. Tara's plan works and Jilly, frantic and having nowhere to go, rushes to the airport and buys her own ticket. Out at Eden, Tara pretends to be having a wonderful time with Greg. Katie, Eden's housekeeper, uncovers Tara's secret but says nothing. Now all Tara has to do is wait for Jilly to arrive and everything is in it's place for her revenge to play out.
I won't give away the ending of the book, but I will promise you it is easily the most suspenseful one ever written. I know this book is out of print and hard to find, but you still should try to track down a copy. I promise you won't regret it!!! :-)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ideal Revenge 17 Oct 2000
By Kirsty Quested - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Well written and gripping, Return To Eden tells the story of Stephanie Harper, billionaire mining mogul but unfortunately desperate to be loved. Wimbledon tennis champion Greg Marsden, handsome and predatory, marries her for her money and embarks on an affair with her best friend. When Greg realises he could have Stephanie's money without having to bother with Stephanie herself, he feeds her (literally) to the crocodiles and settles back to enjoy her fortune.
But Greg doesn't count on Stephanie's survival skills, nor the revenge of a woman scorned. After being pulled out of the crocodile swamp and nursed back to health by an old hermit, Stephanie makes her way to a private clinic where she undergoes plastic surgery to completely change her appearance. Armed with her new visage as Tara Welles, Stephanie starts to exact her revenge.
Highy readable with not much brainpower involved. A great one for a rainy day on the sofa.
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as the movie 19 Jan 2013
By patricia lennon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had waited so anxiously to get this book as i loved the movie the story had me spellbound but the book actually pales in comparison
2.0 out of 5 stars Deleted words in the book 4 Aug 2011
By Bettie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Some of the words in the book were Deleted, it was very frustrating, the book is real old and it smells. it would be nicer to advertis it as "poor condtions" instead of " Good conditions" so overall i am not happy.
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