Beautiful Lies Paperback – 6 Jun 2013
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"A captivating fable of truth and memory" (New York Times)
"A shining example of historical literary fiction... Nothing less than literary pyrotechnics...a dazzingly elegant novel steeped in the rich detail of the period" (Lucy Scholes Independent)
"Clare Clark is one of those writers who can see into the past and help us feel its texture" (Hilary Mantel)
"A stirring and seductive novel" (The Economist)
"[A] beautifully crafted piece of Victoriana…a satisfying blend of period melodrama and psychological sharpness" (Adrian Turpin Financial Times)
London, 1887. In a momentous year dogged by economic crisis, riots and a voracious press hungry for scandal - how can one MP's wife bury the truth about her past?See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The focus eventually narrows to Maribel and to her husband, Edward Campbell Lowe, who is a passionate Radical Member of Parliament. Their love for each other glows throughout the book. Clare Clark’s note at the end tells us that Edward is closely based on Robert Cunningham Graham, a little-known politician, whose biography she gives. As for Maribel, one puzzling thing that only became known in 1985 about the politician’s wife makes it possible for the author to imagine what might account for that enigma, and most of her story in this novel is pure fiction. Another character, here portrayed as the utterly loathsome Alfred Webster, is modelled on the journalist W.T.Stead of the Pall Mall Gazette, founder of lurid and sensational exposures of sexual sleaze, and here, despite espousing radicalism himself, a hate-filled enemy of Edward and Maribel. Others playing a part in the story appear under their own names: John Burns, William and Jane Morris, Annie Besant, Mrs Aveling, Oscar and Constance Wilde, Asquith etc. So this is a novel based on a mass of well-researched political and social history.Read more ›
Our main protagonist, Maribel, we are told, was born Maria Isabel Constanza de la Flamandiere, the only child of a French father and a Spanish mother, who spent her childhood in Chile and, at the age of twelve, was sent to live with an aunt in Paris where she attended a convent school. At the age of seventeen, Maribel met Edward Campbell Lowe when his horse reared in front of her, and they both fell in love with each other. At least that is the story people are told whenever they enquire about Maribel or her family - but this is all a fabrication, for Maribel and Edward are hiding a secret about Maribel's past, and that is not all, for Maribel is hiding further secrets of which even Edward is unaware. And when Maribel meets Alfred Webster, the exciting and enterprising editor of a popular newspaper and is initially attracted, but later repelled by him, she begins to realize that he may know secrets about her that, if published, would totally ruin Edward's career and possibly Edward's love for her.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
London 1887. The country is absorbed by Queen Victoria’s Jubilee and Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show, with an economic recession causing poverty and disaffection amongst the... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Douglas Kemp
Clare Clark's "Beautiful Lies" takes in Royal jubilees, London riots, newspaper editors overstepping the bounds on personal vendettas and political sex scandals - all set in the... Read morePublished on 2 July 2013 by Ripple
Excellent read. Fantastic I loved this book. Highly recommended. I will certainly be buying other titles by the author.
large heavy hardback book. Brilliant!
Just one of the beauties of this book is the way that Clare takes a series of real-life characters from the 1880s and "fictionalises" them. Read morePublished on 20 April 2013 by David Ebsworth
Just like Savage Lands, this is terribly overwritten with 'colourful' description of place and character. Read morePublished on 14 April 2013 by JediNights
As you would expect from Clare Clark, the historical background gives the impression that it is well researched. The writing is intelligent and elegant. Read morePublished on 13 April 2013 by Aquatron
This is the fourth book of Clark's novels I have read and they get better and better. This is a tale beautifully told, beautifully written. Read morePublished on 7 Feb. 2013 by Andreas
This is the first book by Clare Clark that I have read and by the description and Kindle sample sent to me, I was looking forward to it. Read morePublished on 10 Jan. 2013 by Anne McHardy
I looked forward to this book, as I loved the author's 2 other books. However, this was a disappointment. Read morePublished on 9 Sept. 2012 by Cazz