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A Place of Greater Safety

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Description

From the double Man Booker prize-winner comes an extraordinary work of historical imagination – this is Hilary Mantel’s epic novel of the French Revolution.

Georges-Jacques Danton: zealous, energetic and debt-ridden. Maximilien Robespierre: small, diligent and terrified of violence. And Camille Desmoulins: a genius of rhetoric, charming and handsome, yet also erratic and untrustworthy. As these young men, key figures of the French Revolution, taste the addictive delights of power, the darker side of the period’s political ideals is unleashed – and all must face the horror that follows.

Reviews

‘Superbly readable…an assured and strange masterpiece.’ Sunday Telegraph

'One of the best English novels of the 20th century.' Diana Athill, The Oldie

‘Hilary Mantel has soaked herself in the history of the period…and a striking picture emerges of the exhilaration, dynamic energy and stark horror of those fearful days.’ Daily Telegraph

‘I cannot think of a historical novel as good as this until one goes back to Marguerite Yourcenar’s “Memoirs of Hadrian”, published forty years ago.’ Evening Standard

‘Marvellous…It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Hilary Mantel captures it all.’ Time Out

‘Intriguing…She has grasped what made these young revolutionaries – and with them the French Revolution – tick.’ Independent

‘Crafty tensions, twists and high drama…a bravura display of her endlessly inventive, eerily observant style.’ Times Literary Supplement

‘An extraordinary and overwhelming novel…immensely detailed and yet fast-moving…she has set herself to capture the excitement and intellectual fervour of the period. She does it admirably…a tour de force.’ Scotsman

'Riveting…the book overflows with a natural storyteller's energy.' New Yorker

‘Much, much more than a historical novel, this is an addictive study of power, and the price that must be paid for it…a triumph.’ Cosmopolitan

'This is a high-class historical blockbuster.' Red Magazine

‘Hilary Mantel has pulled off the apparently impossible…an ambitious, gripping epic.’ Vogue

About the author

Hilary Mantel is the author of thirteen books , including A PLACE OF GREATER SAFETY, BEYOND BLACK, and the memoir GIVING UP THE GHOST. Her two most recent novels, WOLF HALL and its sequel BRING UP THE BODIES, have both been awarded The Man Booker Prize – an unprecedented achievement.

From Publishers Weekly

01 March 1993 – ``History is fiction,'' Robespierre observes at one point during British writer Mantel's monumental fictive account of the French Revolution, her first work to appear in this country. In her hands, it is a spellbinding read. Mantel recounts the events between the fall of the ancien regime and the peak of the Terror as seen through the eyes of the three protagonists--Robespierre, Danton and Desmoulins--and a huge cast of supporting characters (including brief appearances by the scrofulous Marat). The three revolutionaries, longtime acquaintances, spend their days scheming and fighting for a corruption-free French Republic, but their definitions of ``corrupt'' are as different as the men themselves. Robespierre is the fulcrum. Rigidly puritanical, he is able to strike terror into the most stalwart of hearts, and his implacable progress towards his goal makes him the most formidable figure of the age. As the lusty, likable and ultimately more democratic Danton observes, it is impossible to hurt anyone who enjoys nothing. The feckless, charming Camille Desmoulins, loved by all but respected by few, dances between the two, writing incendiary articles to keep the flames of revolt alive. Mantel makes use of diaries, letters, transcripts and her own creative imagination to create vivid portraits of the three men, their families, friends and the character of their everyday lives. Her gift is such that we hang on to every word, following bewildering arguments and Byzantine subplots with eager anticipation. This is historical fiction of the first order. History Book Club, QPB and BOMC alternates.

Customer Reviews

A Place of Greater Safety

Turgid. Too long, too boring too detailed.

Overlong and over detailed

Consider starting this book carefully as it has been a major effort to get through. I love Hilary Mantels other novels but found this really heavy going. The sheer volume of characters becomes overwhelming especially as each one is called by a number of different names. Not for the faint hearted.

A Place of Greater Safety
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  • £4.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: 05 March 2007
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • Print Length: 880 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings