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Descripción de editorial
Discover the enthralling Richard & Judy Book Club pick for winter 2020 from international bestseller Joseph O'Connor.
'The best novel that I've read in the last twenty years... It's fantastic' RICHARD MADELEY
'Breathtaking... A hugely entertaining book about the grand scope of friendship and love' Sadie Jones, Guardian
London, 1878. Three extraordinary people begin their life together - and the idea for Dracula is born.
Fresh from life in Dublin, Bram Stoker - now manager of the Lyceum Theatre - is wrestling with dark demons in a new city, in a new marriage, and with his own literary aspirations. As he walks the streets at night, streets haunted by the Ripper and the gossip which swirls around his friend Oscar Wilde, he finds new inspiration. Soon, the eerie tale of Dracula begins to emerge.
But Henry Irving, volcanic leading man and impresario, is determined that nothing will get in the way of Bram's dedication to the Lyceum. And both men are growing ever more enchanted by the beauty and boldness of Ellen Terry, the most celebrated actress of her generation.
Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2019
Winner of the Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year
'A colourful tale of secret love and public performance...in a romantic, lost London' The Times
'Hugely entertaining and atmospheric' DEBORAH MOGGACH
'Extraordinary' SEBASTIAN BARRY
'A novel I'd recommend to anyone: a rollicking and moving story' James Naughtie, Radio Times
'Fabulous... A truly great book you simply cannot put down' JUDY FINNIGAN
'Rich, sad, funny, and a beautiful read. You'll LOVE it' RICHARD MADELEY
'Ingenious...hugely impressive and utterly haunting' Sunday Mirror
O'Connor's high-spirited latest (after The Star of the Sea) puts ample flesh on the bones of the little-known story of the theatrical m nage involving celebrity actors Henry Irving and Ellen Terry, and Irving's business manager, Bram Stoker. Composed (like Dracula) in epistolary style from diary entries, letters, recording transcripts, and the like, the narrative follows Stoker as he moves with his family from Dublin to London in 1879 to help Irving establish his Lyceum Theatre. Over the next quarter century the two indulge in a frequently bitter love/hate relationship Irving drives Stoker mercilessly and cruelly taunts him for his literary ambitions. Via commentary from Terry on Dracula, O'Connor's narrative suggests that Stoker likely channeled the personality of Irving and the drama of their contretemps into his tale of the imperious vampire scourge. O'Connor's characters are magnificently realized and colorfully depicted by the virtues that define them: Irving's egotism, Terry's feminism, Stoker's stoicism, and for the brief time he appears Oscar Wilde's witticisms. The repartee O'Connor imagines between them is priceless, in particular when they refer to each other by their nicknames ("Chief" for Irving, "Auntie" for Stoker), and he fills the tale with numerous rib nudges that readers of Dracula will recognize. This novel blows the dust off its Victorian trappings and brings them to scintillating life.