The Rationalist

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9780345391858: The Rationalist

Silas Grange is a handsome young doctor who prides himself on keeping his appetites under perfect control. But when Grange is summoned by a mysterious, voluptuous widow named Celia Quill, he submits readily to the power of her sensuality. Calmly, expertly, and with studied poise, Mrs. Quill initiates Grange into pleasures beyond his imagination . . . and then proceeds to betray him with deceit beyond his darkest fears.
Set in an eighteenth-century English world of polished surfaces and secret desires, THE RATIONALIST weaves a story of reason overthrown by passion, pure intellect subverted by sexual obsession. Warwick Collins, acclaimed author of CHALLENGE, proves himself a master of historical fiction and a prose stylist of extraordinary power.
"Ironic and deliciously lustful . . . THE RATIONALIST is classically elegant and romantically sensuous, comic and sexy." -- New York Newsday

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About the Author:

Warwick Collins is the author of a number of previously acclaimed novels, including the two other works in the trilogy, The Marriage Of Souls and The Rationalist, Computer One and the international best-seller, Gents.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Eighteenth-century morals are at issue in this hotblooded tale of sweet reason at odds with fleshly delights: an elegant US debut from British novelist and yacht designer Collins. In a power play vaguely reminiscent of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, a young, studious physician is the prize contested by an enigmatic widow and his closest friend, the country town's only other doctor. Silas Grange is meticulous and efficient at his work, whether it be lopping off the mangled arm of a sailor, without an anesthetic, or contemplating the sinuous designs of his favorite philosopher, David Hume, but his cool reserve proves inadequate when Mrs. Quill presents him with an immodest proposal one afternoon. Asked to ``awaken'' various unhappy women in her acquaintance through his attentions, he acquiesces, beginning with his soft-spoken, strong-willed hostess. A night of passion with her is followed by an even more pleasant interlude with her married daughter, and his services are required yet again by the free- spirited wife of a prominent mine-owner. Meanwhile, Mr. Hargood, himself a lusty man of healthy appetites, concerned that Grange has ignored his warnings about the widow, tells his friend what he has heard of her: She departed London in disgrace after her high-class brothel, distinguished by the same pattern of manipulation used on him, was exposed. Undone by this proof that his liberated, rational worldview has served only to turn him into a gigolo, he slowly recovers his wits--but suspects that the widow cared more for him than she dared admit. Titillating and richly evocative of its time and place: a well-crafted, subtle probe of refined men and women called by their sensuality to rebel against convention--at their peril. (Film rights to Kenneth Branagh & Emma Thompson) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Warwick Collins
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