Sophie and the Sibyl: A Victorian Romance

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9781632860644: Sophie and the Sibyl: A Victorian Romance
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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 Max's visit; he wants his brother to consider the beautiful eighteen-year-old Countess Sophie von Hahn as a potential wife. An acquaintance from Max's 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 a professor of contemporary literature at the University of Manchester. She is the author of five previous novels, including Hallucinating Foucault, winner of the Dillons First Fiction Award and the McKitterick Prize, and another Neo-Victorian tale, James Miranda Barry; the story collections Monsieur Shoushana's Lemon Trees and Seven Tales of Sex and Death; and the essay collection Writing on the Wall. She lives in Wales. Her website is
www.patriciaduncker.com.

Review:

“Brilliant . . . A fiendishly clever blending of real-life and fiction. I was completely gripped all the way through.” ―Kathryn Hughes, author of GEORGE ELIOT, THE LAST VICTORIAN

“This witty novel could wear a number of labels--neo-Victorian, postmodern, literary, romantic--but ultimately, it's highly enjoyable historical fiction, playfully blending actual and fictional characters while offering an erudite commentary on 19th-century European arts and letters . . . The story is rich with sophisticated historical and artistic allusions, and the prose is as chewy-tasting as a fine Cabernet. Duncker (The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge) has created a delightfully memorable character in Countess Sophie, who is more than mere foil to the wily Eliot. But the reader doesn't need to be a literary scholar to fully appreciate this tale, as the Victorian-style omniscient narrator guides the way.” ―starred review, Library Journal

“The plot thickens, the layers of metafiction deepen, but all the while Duncker manages to unfurl a novel the structure of which is never baggy or wanting. It's a feat of design and engineering as much as an exhibition of literary pyrotechnics.” ―The Independent

“Knowledgeable George Eliot readers, in particular, will have fun with this clever literary exercise.” ―Booklist

“A madcap comedy of manners . . . Duncker is also wittily critiquing the conventions of the historical novel . . . This sprightly, intellectually teasing novel is hugely enjoyable without all the homework.” ―The Guardian

"A witty, wildly inventive, playful dance with the greatest English novelist, George Eliot . . . A sparklingly knowing gavotte. Its intertextuality is allusive, immensely intelligent and, above all, great fun." ―Neel Mukherjee, New Statesman, "Books of the Year"

“Beguiling.” ―New Statesman

Sophie and the Sibyl plays fast and loose, indeed plays merry hell, with Daniel Deronda and its author . . . An exuberantly clever novel.” ―Times Literary Supplement

“A must-read for fans of George Eliot and lovers of literary fiction.” ―Historical Novel Society

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9781408860557: Sophie and the Sibyl: A Victorian Romance

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Book Description Bloomsbury USA, 2015. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. 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 Max s visit; he wants his brother to consider the beautiful eighteen-year-old Countess Sophie von Hahn as a potential wife. An acquaintance from Max s 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. Seller Inventory # BTE9781632860644

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Book Description Bloomsbury USA, 2015. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 Max s visit; he wants his brother to consider the beautiful eighteen-year-old Countess Sophie von Hahn as a potential wife. An acquaintance from Max s 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. Seller Inventory # FLT9781632860644

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Book Description Bloomsbury USA, 2015. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 Max s visit; he wants his brother to consider the beautiful eighteen-year-old Countess Sophie von Hahn as a potential wife. An acquaintance from Max s 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. Seller Inventory # FLT9781632860644

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