Welcome to Festivals’ Book Club, in association with Vintage Books. Each month, we’ll be reading a different title and would love you to join us: either at our live book group in Cheltenham, or by sharing your thoughts online.
- We’ll announce the title on cheltenhamfestivals.com and in that month’s e-newsletter
- You have four weeks to read it
- Cheltenham Festivals Member? Apply to take part in our LIVE Cheltenham group and receive a free copy of the book
- Like to purchase your own copy? Save 5% at Cheltenham Waterstones as a Cheltenham Festivals Member
- Four weeks later, read what our Book Group thought and add your own opinions and comments online
July Book Club:
Merivel Rose Tremain
Robert Merivel is one of the great imaginative creations in English literature of the past 50 years
Shortlisted for The Walter Scott Prize 2013
The gaudy years of the Restoration are long gone. Robert Merivel, physician and courtier to Charles II, loved for his ability to turn sorrow into laughter, now faces the agitations and anxieties of middle age. Questions crowd his mind: has he been a good father? Is he a fair master? Is he the King’s friend or the King’s slave?
In search of answers, Merivel sets off for the French court. But Versailles – all glitter in front and squalor behind – leaves Merivel in despair, until a chance encounter with Madame de Flamanville, a seductive Swiss botanist, allows him to dream of an honourable future.
But will that future ever be his? Back home at Bidnold Manor, his loyalty and medical skill are tested to their limits, while the captive bear he has brought back from France begins to cause unlooked-for havoc in his heart and on his estate.
With a cascade of lace at his neck and a laugh that can burst out of him in the midst of torment, Merivel is a uniquely brilliant creation, soulful, funny, outrageous and achingly sad. He is Everyman. His unmistakable, self-mocking voice speaks directly to us down the centuries.
Thursday July 11, The Daily Bean @ COOK, Bath Road, Cheltenham
Cheltenham Festivals Member? Apply for your free book and chance to attend.
Can’t attend? Save 5% on this title at Waterstones Cheltenham with Cheltenham Festivals Membership.
An unadulterated delight
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR:
MERIVEL is that rare thing – a novel which combines the ‘literary’ and the ‘popular’. It tells a good story and at the same time is wonderfully assured in its writing, imagery and use of metaphor.