- Also check our best rated Romance Book reviews
Imposture (Byron Trilogy) Paperback – 6 Sep 2007
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'Entertaining ... A provocative exploration of celebrity, plagiarism and jealousy.' -- The Times
'Exploring themes of originality and celebrity this is, for all its period outfitting, a thoroughly modern book.' **** [four stars] -- Independent
'Imposture is a brilliant miniature of a novel, glittering with fine details.' -- Daily Telegraph
'[Imposture] excavates some of the age-old questions of identity and authorship ... a clever and intriguing yarn.' -- Observer
Imposture by Benjamin Markovits is a brilliant, romantic gothic novel travelling in the shady footsteps of Byron's physician and impostor.See all Product description
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This is not my kind of book, but I can clearly see from the reviews there must be some middle ground between those two purposes described above with a readership attached that does not seem to be able to get enough of this type of novel.
I am quite sure this does not qualify as an example of "faction" as the plot is so loosely tied to any facts that it was more akin to pure fantasy.
Am I too old to appreciate this sort of thing? Probably and who cares. I thought it was poor and a waste of money. I knew nothing more at the end of the book about Polidori than I did before.
Isn't that disgraceful?
Polidori has been totally overshadowed by his short association with the poet and feels his life has been defined by the period he spent with him. The deception was not planned - either of his work being printed as Byron's, or as Eliza recognising him as such. However, Polidori seems unable to emerge from Byron's shadow as the deception continues and he looks back on what happened. The story also considers Eliza and her dreams and wish fulfillment. Even though it seems impossible that she could meet Byron himself and that what is happening occurs, she is desperate to believe it. Polidori has been touched by greatness that is not his own - would The Vampyre have merit if he had been able to publish under his own name? Would Eliza have been interested in him if she had known he was Byron's doctor (and not a very successful one), rather than the poet himself? This is a fairly short book, but the prose is exquisite and there is a great sense of time and place. The dialogue and the description, make the book almost poetical, and it is one to sink into and enjoy. Anyone with an interest in the Romantics will enjoy this short, but satisfying read and will wish to read the next in the trilogy. I am just off to download it now!
Eliza automatically assumes that the handsome John is in fact the celebrated poet and author of The Vampyre, the first vampire story to be published in English. Eliza, however, doesn't quite figure that Polidori, has in fact, written the work himself, when three years earlier, he had entered Lord Byron's service as his personal physician and had accompanied Byron on a trip through Europe where they stayed at the Villa Diodati, a house Byron rented by Lake Geneva.
It is here, undertaking the chance to further his ambitions that Polidori had met with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her fiancie Percy Bysshe Shelley, and also Mary's stepsister, Claire Clairmont, and where the famous novel Frankenstein was born. Well aware of Byon's promiscuous reputation and also his infamous associations, particulary with the Shelley's, Eliza automatically falls under Polidori/Byron's spell, totally enamored and also quite flattered by the possibly that she has at last reconnected with the striking poet.
Unfortunately Polidori is not the sort of man to accept his failings and "apt to stick when nothing good could come of sticking," he decides to go along with the pretense, the girl's ridiculous attentions somehow heartening him and her silly delusions proving to be something that he could quite easily perpetuate. Certainly this imposture could work because in the past people have commented that Byron and Polidori are like a youthful mirror" and are much alike. On more than one occasion they had been mistaken for each other.
As this hero and heroine are fuelled by their propensity towards artifice and the urge to indulge their impulsive natures, neither prepared to face the truth, the author interlaces his story with Polidori's past as he sinks into the reveries of his travels with Byron. It is here that the kernal of his story began: the first taste of woman's flesh, the night that he spent in Dover with the poet on the eve of their setting forth for France, and also Byron's old friend Hobhouse who openly resented having to chaperone this young and ambitious doctor.
Of course, Byron and Polidori do eventually go their separate ways, but not before the physician has engendered a type of sympathy for Byron with regard to the amusement at "playing the part." But Polidoro also learns that everyone needs a pose and a posture to get what one wants, which is why it becomes so easy for him to pass his work off as someone else's and also to lie to the poor, willing Eliza about his identity.
Polidori, however doesn't count on the tender feelings that indulging in this kind of charade can evoke. Although he becomes intent on seducing Eliza, an innocent girl whose only sin is her sensibility, Polidori is constantly wracked by his impulsive nature - there's nothing in his life that cannot be wagered and bet upon - and for him, even as he spends his evenings gambling his fortune away, his imposture, that of countenancing Eliza's silly misapprehensions, allows him to find relief even for a moment from the squalor of his life.
Meanwhile, the poor Eliza never senses trouble, at least until it is too late. Her older sister Beatrice warns her by whispering furtive hints into her ear and Beatrice knows that it's just like Eliza to fall for a hopeless impostor by the way she wastes herself on books. Surely she cannot realistically imagine that one day Lord Byron himself would actually come to woo her. Still, Eliza refuses to listen, her youthful imagination belying a sense of self-importance and arrogence. In the end, her confidence that she can one day actually persuade Byon to love her triumphs all of her powers of reason.
In truly elegant prose and containing some of the most kaleidoscopic imagery of Victorian England, Imposture comes across as almost reminiscent of the nineteenth century courtship novel. Benjamin Markovits eventually coalesces Polidori's own spiritual and financial struggles with that of Eliza's growth and maturity as a woman in a society where the urge for desire has its own sensual rewards and where the price of fakery and deceit seems to be boundless.
Thrown into a maelstrom of unrestrained deceitfulness from which it seems almost impossible to escape, the poor Eliza must endure the ultimate imposture and the most crucial misapprehension of character yet before she can move on with her life and free herself from the structures of Polidori's attentions.
In the end, both of these flawed protagonists are blindsided by the delusions of romance and confounded by a predicament they just cannot control: Polidori continues to be consumed with his enigmatic sexuality and perhaps even by his furtive attraction to Bryon, and Eliza, the wild child, although playing at being grown, becomes dangerously close to sacrificing her most precious commodity: her innocence. Mike Leonard May 2008
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Benjamin Markovits has written two previous novels.Read more
With an authentic 19th century prose, Markovits manages to convey a trully authentic...Read more