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The Glass of Time Paperback – 9 Jul 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (9 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719596904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719596902
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 332,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A satisfyingly sinister yarn (Daily Mail)

'Engrossing . . . all the ingredients of a Gothic romance' (The Times)

'A Gutsy 18-year-old heroine masquerades as a lady's maid to uncover dark secrets. Sounds intriguing' (Bookseller)

'Absorbing' (Times Literary Supplement)

'This is a period mystery told with great skill, notable for its marvellous sense of the past and vividly drawn characters' (Good Book Guide)

Book Description

When the secrets you keep don't want to be kept . . .

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading A Glass of Time, and have that wonderful glow of having read a truly satisfying and well written book. I loved Michael Cox's `The Meaning of Night', and this is a worthy sequel. Although it clearly carries on the story set out in the first book, A Glass of Time can actually be read without first reading its predecessor. For people who have read `The Meaning of Night', this book gives a wonderful continuance of the story and we see major characters in a different light. The twists and turns kept me absolutely gripped throughout and the end brought the tragic story to a satisfying conclusion. It is beautifully written and clearly a homage to Victorian authors such as Wilkie Collins. It is more than just a pastiche though, and I thought the characters had a wonderful ambiguity and depth. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story, but especially to those who love Victorian novels.
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By Bluebell TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Glass of Time is a terrific story. It's a mixture of a suspense thriller, a romance with a bit of detective work too. Dastardly deeds, a string of surprises all add up to a book that is hard to put down. It's a fine sequel to the author's The Meaning of Night in which some of the characters are first introduced. I enjoyed the earlier book, but think this sequel even better. It's written in the first person which gives an immediacy to the story. The pacy story with twists and turns reminded me of Robert Goddard's Painting the Darkness with a touch of Austen's Pride & Prejudice.
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By Denise4891 TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
Despite being a little bored with Victorian fiction lately, I've been totally engrossed in this wonderfully gothic story for the past couple of days.

With the help of forged references, Esperanza Gorst becomes lady's-maid and later paid companion to the cold, haughty Lady Tansor, Emily Duport (nee Cartaret), the lover of Phoebus Daunt who was brutally murdered by Edward Gliver twenty years earlier. At first Esperanza has no idea why her guardian has sent her on this mission, but as she delves deeper into the secrets of the Duport dynasty she uncovers shocking information about her own background and that of the Duport heirs, brooding poet Perseus and nice-but-dim Randolph. Along the way she meets some wonderful almost Dickensian characters, including the comedy double-act of Montagu Wraxall and Inspector Gully, and her quest takes her from the stately Evenwood to the dark, dirty streets of London and beyond.

As for the question 'Do I need to have read The Meaning of Night before reading The Glass of Time?', well strictly speaking no, but I really would recommend it in order to get the full benefit of Glass of Time, as the plot is so closely based on that of its predecessor and the ending is such a satisfying conclusion to the two books. However, if your memories of The Meaning of Night are a bit hazy (as mine were), then don't worry, there are lots of journals and letters flying backwards and forwards between the characters in Glass of Time which serve as helpful synopses of previous events, as well as providing Esperanza with the keys to unlock her past.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I almost gave up but persevered through a very long scene-setting with little to no dialogue and minute description, in the hope that it would eventually 'get going'. The twists and turns, however, weren't very twisty or turny as I could more or less guess what was coming round the next corner and there were no high ideals at stake - it was about money and status. The heroine's character was not very developed and her role was to solve a riddle. I can't understand why she could only be given the 'clues' over a period of time in a series of three letters, except as a device to keep the reader hanging on. I was unconvinced in respect of the love interest and in this I all but despised her at one point, for her shallowness. I won't spoil it for other readers by describing which 'point' this is.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A truly amazing and beautiful story. The follow up to The Meaning of Night. I loved everything about the book. Towards the end I tried to read it as slowly as possible to make it last longer. These two novels by Michael Cox are up among the greats such as The Brontes Thomas Hardy and Wilkie Collins. I hope he writes another one as I will definitely be among its many readers. Thank you to Mr Cox for brightening my life with two fabulous novels.
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Format: Paperback
The Glass of Time is a sequel of sorts to The Meaning of Night. Set in 1876, twenty-two years after Meaning of Night ends, the book begins when Esperanza "Alice" Gorst goes to Evenwood to (ostensibly) become Baroness Tansor's lady's maid. In reality, she's been sent by The Powers That Be to spy on her employer, for reasons that Esperanza will not be told until later.

We first met Baroness Tansor when she was Emily Carteret, engaged to Phoebus Daunt, the poet who was murdered twenty years before The Glass of Time opens. She still harbors feelings for her former flame, however, and one of the things she has Esperanza do is read from Daunt's work. She also has Esperanza run mysterious errands into town, much to the suspicions of Evenwood's housekeeper. What unfolds is a web of deception, lies, and, yes murder--not much more than that about the plot I'll say, only because I don't want to give anything away.

The Glass of Time has been one of the books I've been anticipating the most this year, and it didn't disappoint. Cox's long-winded, Dickensian style won't be to everyone's taste, but I really like his mode of writing--it sucked me right in from start to finish. His prose is descriptive, and his characters unusual and interesting. In Esperanza, Cox finds a bright, fresh, and new way to tell the story of the Tansor family. Cox's depiction of Victorian England is never contrived, like so many books set in that period and written lately are--another thing I loved about The Glass of Time.

Another thing I thought was excellent was that Cox (for the most part) got rid of the fiction that this is a "confession" edited and annotated by someone else for publication, using the convention of using footnotes to explain various passages.
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