Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize and the Wellcome Trust Prize
‘Richly marbled with intelligence, compassion and compelling characters, leavened with flourishes of lyricism and and attractive tolerance towards human frailties’Angus Clarke, The Times
The wonderful new historical novel set in seventeenth-century England from Rose Tremain, author of Restoration (shortlisted for the Booker Prize), The Road Home (winner of the Orange Prize) and Trespass (a Richard & Judy pick). Merivel has been called ‘wonderfully entertaining’ (Guardian Books of the Year) and ‘an unadulterated delight’ (Independent) and has been shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.
The gaudy years of the Restoration are long gone and Robert Merivel, physician and courtier to King Charles II, sets off for the French court in search of a fresh start. But royal life at the Palace of Versailles – all glitter in front and squalor behind – leaves him in despair, until a chance encounter with the seductive Madame de Flamanville, allows him to dream of a different future. But will that future ever be his? Summoned home urgently to attend to the ailing King, Merivel finds his loyalty and skill tested to their limits.
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‘What ultimately makes the book such a joy is simply being in Merivel’s company. His narration is by turns rueful, comic, despairing and joyful; but it’s always bursting with life, always good-hearted – and always entirely loveable.’James Walton, Daily Mail, 30 August 2012
‘Robert Merivel is one of the great imaginative creations in English literature of the past 50 years. [Merivel is] as rich and as dazzling as its predecessor – steeped in wise and witty reflection on the great Mysteries of Life, and the timeless, futile Hopes and Follies’Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph