Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion
Barbara Scott Emmett
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How many times had I dreamt of coming across the yellowing manuscript of La Chasse Spirituelle? Inside an old book on a stall in Paris, perhaps. Or in the attic of some befriended ancient. How many daydreams had I enjoyed over the possibility that one day...?
I shook myself. It couldn’t possibly be true.
1872: The explosive love affair between flamboyant French poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine rocks French society. They flee to London, abandoning the manuscript of La Chasse Spirituelle to Verlaine’s scorned young wife. When a lawyer's clerk salvages it from a dusty deed box, the manuscript begins its journey down the decades, revealing the secrets and betrayals of its various keepers.
2004: Andrea Mann, disenchanted with life and love, travels to France. Driven by her obsession with Rimbaud, she’s chasing her dream – the missing manuscript. Beside the poet’s grave at Charleville-Mézières, she meets a beautiful young man who shows her a single page – from La Chasse Spirituelle.
Andrea embarks on a desperate quest. Drawn into a manipulative relationship with the youth and his Svengali-like mentor, the mysterious Albert, she faces unwelcome truths. The closer she gets to the manuscript, the further she veers from reality.
But is Albert’s copy genuine? And can La Chasse Spirituelle fill the void in Andrea’s soul?