Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "In this age, all fortunes are made in court.", 16 Jan 2006
This review is from: Restoration (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. Like the restoration of the king to the throne, Merivel's "restoration" to dignity takes place after a period of dark reflection and self-examination, and both Merivel and the country learn from their travails.
Tremain develops Merivel's personal transformation with sensitivity, finesse, and much ironic humor, and when, at last, he is noticed again by the court, his understanding of himself and his role in the world is far more profound than it was before. Depicting the personal and the philosophical turmoils of these early Restoration years with a historian's eye for detail and a detached observer's sense of wit, Tremain illustrates the contradictions of this period realistically and often with dark humor. A fine historical novel, Restoration transcends its period, offering observations, themes, and lessons for the present day. Mary Whipple
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.2 out of 5 stars (112 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (60)
4 star:
 (28)
3 star:
 (12)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
Used & New from: 0.01
Add to wishlist
Reviewer

Mary Whipple
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

Location: New England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 91