The Professor of Poetry Paperback – 13 Mar 2014
- 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 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.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
An astonishing and luminous novel . . . every line is newly felt and freshly experienced. The reader is kept guessing: is this an emotional farce and an intellectual tragedy, or is it the opposite? The novel's ironies are multiple and stinging . . . Grace McCleen is an author who, with only her second novel, is setting her own clever agenda. She is a finished artist, but performs on the page with all the aerial grace of someone who senses no limits to what she can do. (Hilary Mantel)
Moving and beautiful . . . this is a remarkable piece of work, empathetic, intelligent and genuinely poetic (Spectator)
Enchanting . . . An utterly fascinating piece for poetry-lovers, and also an extremely poignant read. (Book of the Month, Image)
A grand tragedy with an intimate focus . . . for those who readers sympathetic to Anne's regrets in Jane Austen's Persuasion, or who find richness in the academic wrangling of AS Byatt's literary sleuths and lovers in Possession, there is much here to adore. McCleen's manipulation of suspense is extraordinary - hope for Elizabeth's enlightenment lurks in the shadows of her insecurities and emotional blind spots, and exploration of these dark places renders the novel sinewy with tension . . . her Prufrock-like world is painted with bewitching vitality . . . the narrative sweeps with a sumptuous musicality. (Financial Times)
Her new novel catapults her into the literary big league . . . McCleen invests this ostensibly dry subject matter with enormous poignancy and eroticism (Mail on Sunday)
An intricate tapestry in which past and present mingle to mesmerising effect . . . what eloquence! There are sentences here of such agile cleverness, charged with wit and beauty and enchantment. (Observer)
It's McCleen's unflinching dedication to detail that will enchant readers. This novel has obviously been pored over, cherished and perfected . . . [her] graceful weaving through the present and past of her main character produces an intriguing - and original - story. (Stylist)
McCleen doesn't make Elizabeth easy to like and this is part of the professor's charm. She doesn't "do" summer, most definitely does not do love poetry, and would like to teach Virginia Woolf a thing or two about semicolons . . . an intricate tapestry in which past and present mingle to mesmerising effect . . . what eloquence! There are sentences here of such agile cleverness, charged with wit and beauty and enchantment. (Guardian)
'Astonishing and luminous' - Hilary Mantel. The dazzling new novel from the prize-winning author of The Land of Decoration.See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Should she contact Professor Hunt? Or should she leave things alone and hope she bumps into him? Eventually she writes but doesn't receive the reply she had hoped and feared but she decides to stick to her plans anyway and consult the archive which she now has permission to do.
This is an incredibly beautiful book. The story is slight and it is all in the writing and the way the author makes Elizabeth's thoughts and life almost luminous. Elizabeth is very sensitive to sounds and when she goes out she wears ear plugs. Which could make her seem something of a hypochondriac but it doesn't because it is treated matter of factly by the author as just part of Elizabeth.
The descriptions of how poetry, music and daily life make Elizabeth feel and react are marvellously done and can be lingered over and savoured by the reader. The book describes episodes from her childhood and from her time at university and I thought it was particularly good on the way learning about a subject can set your mind alight and energise you. I found myself nodding in agreement when over how Elizabeth feels about reading and how she loses herself in a book.
This is a book to be lingered over and savoured and Grace McClean has to be one of the best authors writing today in my opinion. If you enjoy reading A S Byatt then you will probably enjoy reading this book.
Elizabeth decides to return to Oxford: "the city of books", a city she hasn't revisited for more than thirty years, to carry out research on some of the papers of the poet T.S. Eliot, which she feels may help to make her next book her 'magnum opus'. There, Elizabeth becomes reacquainted with Professor Edward Hunt: "Black boots, scuffed, laces knotted three times. Jumper: too large, small hole near cuff. Hair: grey but still rising in ridiculous tufts" - who was Elizabeth's tutor when she was studying in Oxford, and a man to whom she was in thrall all those years ago ...
Intelligent, beautifully written and, at times, rather moving and intense, this story, with a strong evocation of place, is about being alone and how some people bury themselves in their work in order to fill their empty spaces; it's about how people avoid confronting issues that they would rather not face, and it's about being trapped in the past and regretting that life has not been lived to the full.Read more ›
Like many writers before her, following on from a book of such extraordinary critical acclaim as "The Land of Decoration" is always a challenge. There are some familiar elements though. Again, McCleen writes of a detached outsider and there is a similar haunting sadness to her writing which make McCleen such an interesting writer. However, in other ways until the end of the book where she does pull a rabbit out of the hat, it suffers somewhat in comparison.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a poet myself I found this novel really irritating, like a nagging sore that I couldn't leave alone. Read morePublished 4 months ago by D Webster
Slowish start and useful to have a dictionary - or google - to hand for the odd word, but a thoroughly engaging, interesting read. Read morePublished 5 months ago by bookworm8
I have just read this for the second time. After reading The Land Of Decoration and loving it I bought this immediately but found it hard going on first read although still a... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tina
The language and use of language reminds me of a poor translation into English, or a book written by someone whose second language English was learned some decades ago. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ali
This is the life story, from childhood to maturity, of Elizabeth Stone whose passion, obsession and solace is books. Read morePublished 6 months ago by hfffoman
I find this book really hard to summarise and give a simple yes/no recommendation - this is a complex biographical prose / poetry with very little of a traditional narrative that... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Klingsor
Well, this is a change of direction after her debut novel – a turn from magic to very serious relationship drama. I have to say I find this better territory for her style. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Thomas Pots
It's all to easy to get put off this book. It starts by describing the onset of an illness in a Professor of Poetry which turns out to be just a device. Read morePublished 8 months ago by R. Lawson
This is a fairly short novel but oh so beautifully written. An esteemed professor of poetry is in remission after treatment for cancer, and decides to spend her recuperation time... Read morePublished 8 months ago by EllyBlue