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Descripción de editorial
In this Gothic novel told through the journals, notes, and intimate diaries of a cast of fascinating characters, we are taken into a bustling world of passion and intrigue.
While touring Europe, before starting an apprenticeship as a barrister, Gerald Marston, a young Englishman, is running out of cash. He accepts an offer from a London based detective agency to replace a detective who mysteriously vanished while reporting on the activities of the disreputable Lord Ingersoll, the sometime poet and close friend of the late Lord Byron, a man with a dangerous and scandal-ridden past.
Ingersoll is living in exile accompanied by Inez Cortina, his exotic mistress and former maid to his late wife, as well as Crankshaw, his valet and catamite. All three are under suspicion for having been responsible for the death of Lady Ingersoll, who drowned one stormy night while sailing their yacht in the Mediterranean.
Marston follows the trio to Genoa where Ingersoll pays a visit to his former mistress, Clarissa Shelton, and their lovely daughter, Diana. When the young Englishman begins to fall for the girl, he follows that party back to England, where Clarissa has persuaded Ingersoll to take her daughter, in hopes that she might find a proper husband there. Gerald meets secretly with Diana, who returns his love.
Ignoring the warnings of his employer, Gerald accepts an invitation from Diana to dine at Chillon, the ghost-haunted, legendary homestead of the Ingersolls, to meet her father. Little by little, the scandalous legend that surrounds Ingersoll is brought to light, and more mayhem continues to haunt the unfolding drama.
What begins as a murder mystery ends as a rumination on the hazards of celebrity in this quaint epistolary novel steeped in the lore of Lord Byron and his scandalous exploits. Several years after Byron s death in 1824, minor poet Claude Ingersoll, once Byron s close friend, has earned a disreputable reputation for indulging in Byronic antics of his own. Claude s mother-in-law hires barrister-in-training Gerald Marston to keep tabs on the poet, whom she blames for her daughter s suspicious death; Marston complicates matters by falling in love with Diana Shelton, Ingersoll s illegitimate daughter. In their travels from Italy to Claude s English estate, Gerald and Diana uncover intimate details about Byron s life, and as they look beyond the infidelities and sexual indiscretions that have contributed to his public discrediting, they realize that the murders he is rumored to have committed are likely just malicious gossip proof, as Gerald observes, that "once one s name has been tainted, one is fair game." Beim (Touring with Stalin) gives his tale a believable period texture by referring throughout to Gothic literature and incidents in Byron s life. Claude is a likable rogue with old-fashioned swagger, and his adventures will appeal to readers of historical fiction.