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on 13 September 2015
Firstly this book does not read well or flow well at all. It's the most inaccurate book I have ever read on The Earl of Rochester. Not only that, some of the poems in this book are considered by poetry and historians (and myself) to not even be by John Wilmot! When you have studied him as long as I have, 15 years. I have studied his poetry on courses and the most history I know is from that time period as I was taught by my uncle who is a historian. You just know. The author has got John so unbelievable wrong. He does not get what the man was about in the slightest. This book is very old and very outdated. A boring blurb of wrong facts. I'm struggling to finish it. The most accurate brilliant read and fascinating book is Blazing Star. Which my historian uncle agrees with.
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on 26 June 2014
Graham Green's biography of Lord Rochester, famous poet and rake during the Restoration period, i.e. during the reign of Charles II.
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on 23 September 2012
As this book was out of print, I purchased a second-hand copy through Amazon and although the description said it was in good condition, it isn't. Funny that this has an effect on the enjoyment of a book, but the casual biro scribble across the back rankles every time I pick it up and it is this physical aspect of the book that forced me to give it only three stars. Interestingly the cover image of Rochester is not the painting in the National Portrait Gallery but a finer copy of the original and attributed to Jacob Huysman. Although it was reproduced in 1974 with the permission of Lord Brooke of Warwick Castle, I could find no record of who owns this painting of Rochester with his monkey - the latter due to make a cameo appearance in the second book from The Archivist (Duntisbourne Hall) trilogy as a 'dames de voyages'.

Graham Green held back from publishing this portrait of the eighteenth century rake but as you read his description of this highly talented and conflicted young man one cannot help but feel that his short life - riven with savage psychological conflicts and intense sexual needs - echoes in more modern geniuses who have lived hard and died young.
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