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Kept : a Victorian mystery

Author: D J Taylor
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, ©2007.
Edition/Format:   Book : Fiction : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
A talented and versatile writer, author of The Comedy Man (2001) and a biography of George Orwell (2003), Taylor presents a literary Victorian mystery that combines a Dickensian cast of characters with the dark foreboding of Poe. In a story ostensibly about a madwoman whose husband, Henry Ireland, dies in questionable circumstances, finding the killer is ancillary to a journey into the human psyche. Mr. Dixey, a  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Mystery fiction
Fiction
History
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: D J Taylor
ISBN: 0061146080 9780061146084
OCLC Number: 74354149
Notes: "Originally published in a different form in Great Britain in 2006 by Chatto & Windus"--T.p. verso.
Description: 463 p. ; 24 cm.
Responsibility: D.J. Taylor.

Abstract:

A talented and versatile writer, author of The Comedy Man (2001) and a biography of George Orwell (2003), Taylor presents a literary Victorian mystery that combines a Dickensian cast of characters with the dark foreboding of Poe. In a story ostensibly about a madwoman whose husband, Henry Ireland, dies in questionable circumstances, finding the killer is ancillary to a journey into the human psyche. Mr. Dixey, a naturalist whose country manse contains rare specimens of stuffed and live wildlife, also houses Henry's distraught widow: her precarious sanity is secure in protective isolation. Dixey's shady proclivities lead him to a con man whose opportunism makes financial captives of people of all classes. The novel's deliciously drawn-out pacing mirrors Victorian literature, as does the wonderfully descriptive language ("skeins of birds," "mournful in the gloaming") and sophisticated vocabulary ("encomia pronounced over his catafalque"). A refreshing lack of unbelievable coincidences reflects a more modern style: each person's story realistically demonstrates the author's conclusions about the things we collect and the people we cannot. Book groups will enjoy this one.

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