Mortal Love

Mortal Love

Book - 2004
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Lush, thrilling, and erotically charged, a triumph of suspense and dazzling imagination, Elizabeth Hand's Mortal Love is an extraordinary work that spans more than a century, uniting genius past and present with strange, tensile strands of inspiration, obsession, and lust.

A tragedy that occurs in a hospital for the insane in Frankfurt, Germany, will have repercussions across decades and eras. Several weeks after the death of a female patient in a terrible fire, the poet Algernon Swinburne follows a mysterious woman through the shadows toward a remarkable event at once enthralling, stimulating, and terrifying beneath the streets of London. Years later, at the start of a new century, a struggling young artist, Radborne Comstock, is introduced to a ravishing beauty who immediately becomes his muse, his desire, and his greatest torment. It is a legacy of pleasure and madness that will be passed down to his grandson, the dilettante actor Valentine Comstock, who is plagued by disturbing and increasingly erotic visions. And in the present day a journalist named Daniel Rowlands is seduced by the bewitching and mercurial Larkin Meade, who holds the key to lost artistic masterpieces, and to secrets too devastating to imagine.

What connects these men -- and others whose grand destinies are to imagine and create -- is one woman. Eternal, unknowable, the very ideal of beauty and desirability, she exists somewhere beyond the boundaries of time, a sensuous dream of flesh and fantasy to inspire or destroy, an immortal lover ... or an angel of death.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, [2004]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2004
ISBN: 9780061051708
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: xv, 364 pages ; 24 cm


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Nov 22, 2013

A wonderfully engaging book that vividly brings to life certain aspects of English folklore via several characters and time periods. This book focuses heavily on art and poetry and embraces the idea of how insanity begets creativity... and how that insanity is caused by a certain muse. I couldn't put it down - I devoured it whole.

Nov 10, 2006

This woman is a genius writer, IMHO! Of course, in the case of this novel, I know I'm biased, because she wrote it just for me. Well,at least it feels that way... what she's done so brilliantly is weave in the myth of the Muse, the creative genius that can drive men mad, or, wait, is that woman the Faery Queen? Both, neither? Woven in are the spooky tropes of a
gothic thriller,and many of the stars of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, my college Art History heroes. She re-creates the laudenum laden late Vitorian era in such a bold and flawless way she literally transported me there. Beautiful bold writing and a show stopping cameo by non other than Esperanza Wilde herself make this book, to me, amazing.


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