Merivel: Rose Tremain

★★★½

A Man of His Time

The last time we saw Sir Robert Merivel, in the closing pages of Rose Tremain’s Restoration, he had achieved everything he had once desired: a comfortable home of his own; his infant daughter Margaret in his arms; and an assurance of King Charles II’s favour. Twenty five years after the publication of that novel, Tremain invites us to once again join forces with her neurotic, gifted but all-too-easily-distracted physician (for whom only sixteen years have passed) and to take a glimpse at what his life has become in the year 1683.

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Restoration: Rose Tremain

★★★★

I’ve wanted to get my hands on this ever since reading Music and Silence several years ago and it has definitely been worth the wait. Tremain has just published a sequel to Restoration, titled Merivel: A Man of His Time, so I thought I’d better catch up before everyone starts telling me how wonderful it is. I don’t know her work that well – Music and Silence and Restoration are her only novels that I’ve read to date – but in both cases I’ve been struck by her shrewdness, her poise and her sheer skill as a writer.

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