Merivel by Rose Tremain
A Man of His Time

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Synopsis

Get ready to laugh, prepare to weep—Robert Merivel is back in Rose Tremain’s magical sequel to Restoration.


The gaudy years of the Restoration are long gone. Robert Merivel, physician and courtier to Charles II, loved for his gift for turning sorrow into laughter, now faces the agitations and anxieties of middle age. Questions crowd his mind: has he been a good father? Is he a fair master? Is he the King’s friend or the King’s slave?

In search of answers, Merivel sets off for the French court. But Versailles—all glitter in front and squalor behind—leaves Merivel in despair, until a chance encounter with Madame de Flamanville, a seductive Swiss botanist, allows him to dream of an honorable future.


Yet will that future ever be his? Back home at Bidnold Manor, his loyalty and medical skills are tested to their limits, while the captive bear he has brought back from France begins to cause havoc in his heart and on his estate.


With a cascade of lace at his neck and a laugh that can burst out of him in the midst of torment, Merivel is a uniquely brilliant creation—soulful, funny, outrageous, and achingly sad. He is Everyman. His unmistakable, self-mocking voice speaks directly to us down the centuries.

 

About Rose Tremain

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Rose Tremain's best-selling novels have won many awards, including the Orange Prize (The Road Home), the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music & Silence), the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger (Sacred Country). Restoration, the first of her novels to feature Robert Merivel, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1989 and made into a film in 1995. She lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer Richard Holmes.
 
Published April 15, 2013 by W. W. Norton & Company. 385 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Merivel

The Boston Globe

The life of Merivel, narrator and protagonist of Rose Tremain’s novel by the same name, is told as a kind of picaresque.

Apr 20 2013 | Read Full Review of Merivel: A Man of His Time

Boston.com

“The World is as it chooses to be,” she pronounces, “and he was one who knew it well.” A blithe man, an enterprising man, and one whose brand of acid humor makes him a favorite of King Charles II, his patron and — insofar as a king can be — his friend, Merivel laces his account with a q...

Apr 18 2013 | Read Full Review of Merivel: A Man of His Time

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