Sophie and the Sibyl: A Victorian Romance

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9781408860533: Sophie and the Sibyl: A Victorian Romance

From the author of Hallucinating Foucault, a playfully erudite novel about George Eliot, literature, and a surprising romance.     In Berlin, Max Duncker and his brother, Wolfgang, own a thriving publishing business, which owes its success to one woman: the Sibyl, or Mary Ann Evans, better known as George Eliot,who is writing the final installment of her bestselling serial Middlemarch. Max is as fond of gambling and brothels as Wolfgang is of making a profit and berating his spendthrift brother, but Max is given a chance to prove his worth by visiting the Sibyl and her not-quite-husband Lewes, to finalize the publishing rights to her new novel. The Sibyl proves to be as enthralling and intelligent as her books, bewitching Max and all of those around her.      But Wolfgang has an ulterior motive for Maxâ€TMs visit; he wants his brother to consider the beautiful eighteen-year-old Countess Sophie von Hahn as a potential wife. An acquaintance from Maxâ€TMs childhood, she comes from a German family of great wealth. However, Sophie proves to be nothing like the angelic vision of domesticity Max envisaged; wild and willful, she gambles recklessly yet always wins, rides horses fiercely, and is happy to disobey authority, especially when it comes to her idol, George Eliot. Enchanted by this whirlwind of a woman, Max nevertheless fears he will never be able to tame her.      With its vivid portrayal of George Eliot and how she lived her life, and the turbulent love story of the countess and Max, Sophie and the Sibyl is both a compulsive read and a high literary achievement.

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About the Author:

Patricia Duncker is the author of five previous novels: Hallucinating Foucault (winner of the Dillons First Fiction Award and the McKitterick Prize in 1996), James Miranda Barry, The Deadly Space Between, Miss Webster and Ch rif (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 2007) and The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge (shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger award for Best Crime Novel of the Year in 2010). She has written two books of short fiction, Monsieur Shoushana's Lemon Trees (shortlisted for the Macmillan Silver Pen Award in 1997) and Seven Tales of Sex and Death, and a collection of essays on writing and contemporary literature, Writing on the Wall. She is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of Manchester. She lives in Wales.

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