The atmosphere of Bleak House, the sensuous thrill of Perfume, and the mystery of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell all combine in a story of murder, deceit, love, and revenge in Victorian England.
"After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinn's for an oyster supper."
So begins the extraordinary story of Edward Glyver--booklover, scholar, and murderer. As a young boy, Glyver always believed he was destined for greatness. A chance discovery convinces him that he was right: greatness does await him, along with immense wealth and influence. Overwhelmed by his discovery, he will stop at nothing to win back a prize that he knows is rightfully his.
Glyver's path to reclaim his prize leads him from the depths of Victorian London, with its foggy streets, brothels, and opium dens, to Evenwood, one of England's most beautiful and enchanting country houses, and finally to a consuming love for the beautiful but enigmatic Emily Carteret. His is a story of betrayal and treachery, of death and delusion, of ruthless obsession and ambition. And at every turn, driving Glyver irresistibly onward, is his deadly rival: the poet-criminal Phoebus Rainsford Daunt.
The Meaning of Night is an enthralling novel that will captivate readers right up to its final thrilling revelation.
Part the First
Death of a Stranger
What a skein of ruffled silk is the uncomposed man.
Owen Felltham, Resolves (1623), ii, Of Resolution
After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinns for an
It had been surprisingly almost laughably easy. I had followed him for some distance, after first observing him in Threadneedle-street. I cannot say why I decided it should be him, and not one of the others on whom my searching eye had alighted that evening. I had been walking for an hour or more in the vicinity with one purpose: to find someone to kill. Then I saw him, outside the entrance to the Bank, amongst a huddle of pedestrians waiting for the crossing-sweeper to do his work. Somehow he seemed to stand out from the crowd of identically dressed clerks and City men streaming forth from the premises. He stood regarding the ...
The characters are delightfully typecast - there's the tragic figure of our much put-upon anti-hero who is driven to commit violence for what he believes is a justified cause; a truly dastardly old-Etonian poetry-spouting villain (who, if this was a play, would receive hisses from the audience every time he came on stage); the exceedingly wealthy and influential Lord Tansor, living off the gains of his brighter ancestors; a dead-ringer for Uriah Heap; plus a massive supporting cast representing every strata of society, both urban and country; and last but not least, Evenwood House itself and its great library - the representation of everything that Edward yearns for but that remains tantalizingly out of reach.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (961 words).
In the acknowledgments for The
Meaning of Night, Michael Cox notes
that three real places contributed in
various ways, to the making of Evenwood,
the extremely grand private estate at
the heart of this novel. These are
Drayton House and
Deene Park, both in Northamptonshire and
Burghley House. If you have plans
to read this book, or have read it, it's
worth a few minutes of your time to
visit these houses online, to get a
sense of what Evenwood would have been
Books are an integral part of the ...
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