/ Key title The wonderful new novel from the much loved author of Girl with a Pearl Earring and Falling Angels. / Sales of Girl with a Pearl Earring pb have now exceeded half a million copies in the UK alone / The hardback of The Lady and the Unicorn was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller / New and increased interest in Tracy Chevalier was brought about by the film starring Colin Firth.
Tracy Chevalier is the author of four previous novels, including the international bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Virgin Blue, Falling Angels, and The Lady and the Unicorn. Born in Washington, DC, she moved in 1984 to London, where she lives with her husband and son. She has a website at www.tchevalier.com.
The Kellaways are country mice come to work for Astley's Circus in 1790s London, where they meet city mouse William Blake-and no one is ever the same. The next blockbuster from Chevalier. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Author of Girl with a Pearl Earring, set in the home/studio of Vermeer, and other novels, Chevalier turns in an oblique look at poet and painter William Blake (1757-1827). Following the accidental death of their middle son, the Kellaways, a Dorsetshire chair maker and family, arrive in London's Lambeth district during the anti-Jacobin scare of 1792. Thomas Kellaway talks his way into set design work for the amiable circus impresario Philip Astley, whose fireworks displays provide the same rallying point that the guillotine is providing in Paris. Astley's libertine horseman son, John, sets his sights on Kellaway's daughter, Maisie (an attention she rather demurely returns). Meanwhile, youngest surviving Kellaway boy Jem falls for poor, sexy firebrand Maggie Butterfield. Blake, who imagined heaven and hell as equally incandescent and earth as the point where the two worlds converge, is portrayed as a murky Friar Laurence figure whose task is to bind and loosen the skeins of young love going on around him-that is, until a Royalist mob intrudes into his garden to sound out his rather advanced views on liberty, equality and fraternity. While the setting is dramatically fertile, there's no spark to the dialogue or plot, and allusions to Blake's work and themes are overbaked. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Praise for `Burning Bright':
'A visual delight. Chevalier's meticulous brushstrokes allow us to hear the "youthful harlot's curse" and feel "the damp souls of housemaids"'
'Burning Bright is an ambitious, impressively-researched novel...You can almost smell the smoke and mildewed clothes, see the gaunt, pock-marked faces of people struggling to survive and sense Jem's wonder as he gazes across the murky Thames to a perplexing world'
'A subtle clarity of style, quirky but seldom over-drawn characters, engaging touches of domestic detail and a splendidly vital recreation of Georgian London'
'Vivid, romantic and pacey'
'Those who admired Chevalier's atmospheric evocation of 17th-century Delft will find much to enjoy in her vivid reconstruction of late 18th-century London'