A Very English Agent by Julian Rathbone

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Synopsis

Dwarfish Charlie Boylan carries a loaded pistol into the House of Commons. A can of worms waiting to be opened, he was a police spy for nearly forty years. He wants a pension and what he knows will get it! Did he, between Waterloo and Wellington’s funeral, cause the Peterloo riot to happen? Was it Charlie who fingered the Cato Street Conspirators? Did Shelley really drown by accident? And at the opening of the Great Exhibition was it he who saved the Queen from being blown up?



With dark undertones in its revelations of the orchestrated state repression that followed the Napoleonic Wars, A Very English Agent drives a horse, well, a donkey and cart, through the early years of the nineteenth century in a rumbustious, funny, sexy, teeming novel, worthy of the times it describes.
 

About Julian Rathbone

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Julian Rathbone is the author of many books, including Joseph and King Fisher Lives, both of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He lives in Dorset, England.
 
Published September 4, 2008 by Abacus. 448 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Very English Agent

Kirkus Reviews

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As Walt recalls the time leading up to the Norman invasion, when competing bids for the English throne gave rise to intrigues like the one that brought Harold to Normandy to be tricked by William’s magician into swearing an oath of fealty that would later haunt him, an adventure en route brings t...

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Kirkus Reviews

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In addition to committing various murders and masterminding almost as many atrocities, Charlie has sturdily prevented the assassination of Queen Victoria, arranged the death by drowning of dangerous “radical” poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and—for reasons best left to the reader to uncover—accompanie...

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The Guardian

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A Very English Agent by Julian Rathbone Little, Brown £16.99, pp437 The photograph of Julian Rathbone on the dust jacket shows a man with a twinkling eye and a mischievous smile and both adjectives are more than applicable to his new novel, A Very English Agent.

Aug 18 2002 | Read Full Review of A Very English Agent

Publishers Weekly

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Quint's impressive knowledge of religion and philosophy and his anachronistic grasp of the tenets of modern psychology help fill in the blanks of the story that Walt recounts: of the reign of King Edward, the ascent of William the Bastard and King Harold and the historic battle for the throne of ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Boylan's detailed recollections of living in Italy with Mary and Percy Shelley in the role of a deaf-mute—he arrives during one of Mary Shelley's near-fatal miscarriages and helps Shelley come up with rhymes for Percy's "The Triumph of Life"—count as dramatic and comic highlights in a book with m...

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