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Birdcage Walk
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Published:
Grove Atlantic 2017
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Description
Revolutionary turmoil in France threatens to cross the English border—and tear apart an increasingly tense marriage—in this "brilliant" gothic thriller (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
It is 1792, and Europe is seized by political unrest. In England, Lizzie Fawkes has grown up among Radicals who've followed the French Revolution with eager optimism. But Lizzie has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a developer who is heavily invested in Bristol's housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war. As the strain of financial setbacks and the secrets of his past converge upon him, his grip on what he considers his rightful property—including Lizzie—only grows tighter...From an Orange Prize winner and Whitbread Award finalist, this is a novel with a "charged radiance" (The New York Times) that explores romanticism and disillusionment, terror and love, and the dangerous lines between them.
"Dunmore knows how to let a narrative move like an arrow in flight...A man rows from Bristol to a glade where he has left his dead wife overnight. He must bury her fast, where no one will find her. From the start, Birdcage Walk has the command of a thriller as we keep company with John Diner Tredevant, an 18th-century property developer building a magnificent terrace in Clifton, high above the Avon Gorge. Lizzie, his second wife, does not know the details of what happened to his first. Nor do we know as much as we might suppose...The novel's cast is marvelous and vivid."—The Guardian
"Explores the impact of the French Revolution on 1790s England within the context of a gothic romance set in Bristol...[a] magnificently complex villain."—Kirkus Reviews
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/01/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780802189226
ASIN:
B074HH4HZB
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Helen Dunmore. (2017). Birdcage Walk. Grove Atlantic.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Helen Dunmore. 2017. Birdcage Walk. Grove Atlantic.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Helen Dunmore, Birdcage Walk. Grove Atlantic, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Helen Dunmore. Birdcage Walk. Grove Atlantic, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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ce5dcc44-ee8b-059a-6e6d-bf29896056ac
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Needs Update?:
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:58:44
Date Updated:
Aug 06, 2020 17:16:51
Last Metadata Check:
Aug 14, 2022 07:20:05
Last Metadata Change:
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Last Availability Change:
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shortDescription
Revolutionary turmoil in France threatens to cross the English border—and tear apart an increasingly tense marriage—in this "brilliant" gothic thriller (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
It is 1792, and Europe is seized by political unrest. In England, Lizzie Fawkes has grown up among Radicals who've followed the French Revolution with eager optimism. But Lizzie has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a developer who is heavily invested in Bristol's housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war. As the strain of financial setbacks and the secrets of his past converge upon him, his grip on what he considers his rightful property—including Lizzie—only grows tighter...From an Orange Prize winner and Whitbread Award finalist, this is a novel with a "charged radiance" (The New York Times) that explores romanticism and disillusionment, terror and love, and the dangerous lines between...
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Revolutionary turmoil in France threatens to cross the English border—and tear apart an increasingly tense marriage—in this "brilliant" gothic thriller (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
It is 1792, and Europe is seized by political unrest. In England, Lizzie Fawkes has grown up among Radicals who've followed the French Revolution with eager optimism. But Lizzie has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a developer who is heavily invested in Bristol's housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war. As the strain of financial setbacks and the secrets of his past converge upon him, his grip on what he considers his rightful property—including Lizzie—only grows tighter...From an Orange Prize winner and Whitbread Award finalist, this is a novel with a "charged radiance" (The New York Times) that explores romanticism and disillusionment, terror and love, and the dangerous lines between them.
"Dunmore knows how to let a narrative move like an arrow in flight...A man rows from Bristol to a glade where he has left his dead wife overnight. He must bury her fast, where no one will find her. From the start, Birdcage Walk has the command of a thriller as we keep company with John Diner Tredevant, an 18th-century property developer building a magnificent terrace in Clifton, high above the Avon Gorge. Lizzie, his second wife, does not know the details of what happened to his first. Nor do we know as much as we might suppose...The novel's cast is marvelous and vivid."—The Guardian
"Explores the impact of the French Revolution on 1790s England within the context of a gothic romance set in Bristol...[a] magnificently complex villain."—Kirkus Reviews
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      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from August 1, 2017

        Although she does not subscribe to her mother's radical politics, Lizzie Fawkes Tredevant, daughter of a feminist pamphleteer and accustomed to changing lodgings in a hurry, is a free and independent spirit raised in a closely knit all-female household in 1792 England. Her passion for Diner Tredevant, the brilliant Bristol developer and builder, leads to a marriage that has her comparing his practical skills with the revolutionary rhetoric of her mother's circle, a rhetoric that has dangerous and unforeseen consequences as the Reign of Terror emerges from the populist rebellion of the French Revolution, and the fight for the civil rights of all turns into a brutal bloodbath. As Paris descends into madness, Lizzie discovers the darker side of her husband's obsessive love in a chilling tale of murder and politics. VERDICT After Exposure, Orange Prize winner Dunmore's final novel (the author died in June) is a gripping psychological mystery set in a compellingly portrayed period of exhilaration and unrest. [See Prepub Alert, 5/15/17.]--Cynthia Johnson, formerly with Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, MA

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 1, 2017

        Although she does not subscribe to her mother's radical politics, Lizzie Fawkes Tredevant, daughter of a feminist pamphleteer and accustomed to changing lodgings in a hurry, is a free and independent spirit raised in a closely knit all-female household in 1792 England. Her passion for Diner Tredevant, the brilliant Bristol developer and builder, leads to a marriage that has her comparing his practical skills with the revolutionary rhetoric of her mother's circle, a rhetoric that has dangerous and unforeseen consequences as the Reign of Terror emerges from the populist rebellion of the French Revolution, and the fight for the civil rights of all turns into a brutal bloodbath. As Paris descends into madness, Lizzie discovers the darker side of her husband's obsessive love in a chilling tale of murder and politics. VERDICT After Exposure, Orange Prize winner Dunmore's final novel (the author died in June) is a gripping psychological mystery set in a compellingly portrayed period of exhilaration and unrest. [See Prepub Alert, 5/15/17.]--Cynthia Johnson, formerly with Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, MA

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        July 15, 2017
        Published posthumously, the final novel from prolific and genre-hopping Dunmore (Exposure, 2016, etc.) explores the impact of the French Revolution on 1790s England within the context of a gothic romance set in Bristol, where the author herself lived and wrote.Newly married 22-year-old Lizzie narrates the evolution of her marriage to builder John Diner Tredevant, a relationship both passionate and troubled. While Diner is a businessman, Lizzie was raised by her widowed Mammie, who writes radical political treatises promoting human rights and whose second husband counts Tom Paine as a friend. Lizzie married in defiance of Mammie, who voiced reservations about Lizzie's marriage to 36-year-old Diner because he was a widower as well as a businessman. As the novel opens, Lizzie, deeply in love, fears she is living in the shadow of Diner's first wife, Lucy, who died while visiting her native France--echoes of Daphne du Maurier and Charlotte Bronte--but soon enough Diner's jealous possessiveness becomes a bigger concern, as do the Tredevants' finances. Diner is heavily invested in developing a terrace of grand houses overlooking the River Avon. While Bristol has been in a building boom, Diner's business ambitions falter in England's newly uncertain political climate when Louis XVI is dethroned, threatening the concept of monarchy but also introducing the specter of mob rule and the possibility of war between France and England. (Needless to say, Diner's and Mammie's views differ on the development.) When 39-year-old Mammie dies unexpectedly, Lizzie cajoles a reluctant Diner to let her care for her infant half brother, Thomas, in their home. Since Diner wants all Lizzie's attention for himself, tensions increase. Then there are her new suspicions about his cloudy past and her growing if unspoken attraction to a young poet. Yet Lizzie remains emotionally entwined with the magnificently complex villain Diner. Middling Dunmore, but middling Dunmore is still damn fine. Her death at 64 is a real loss.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from September 11, 2017
        This brilliant novel from the late Dunmore addresses the very issues with which all authors must grapple: What does one leave behind as a writer? What is the mark writers leave upon time? The layered story begins with a man coming across the 18th-century headstone of Julia Elizabeth Fawkes, inscribed, “Her Words Remain Our Inheritance.” But no record of her writing survives. Dunmore then leads the reader back 200 years to the cover-up of a murder, and then to Lizzy Fawkes Tredevant—daughter of the aforementioned Julia, raised among radicals in the English city of Bristol during the tumultuous period of the French Revolution. The willful Lizzy has married John Diner Tredevant, an ambitious builder with a dark past, who is hostile to the new political ideas making their way to England from Paris, ideas he believes may destroy his business prospects. He also resents Lizzy’s susceptibility to the influence of her mother and Julia’s entourage of English radicals. Lizzy and her mother are very close; when tragedy visits Julia’s household, Lizzy is left with an enormous responsibility. As the revolution in France comes to its frenzied zenith, Tredevant’s creditors balk, and his project for a terrace of houses in Bristol collapses. As her husband’s debts overwhelm them, Lizzy’s very life is threatened and John unravels into desperation. Dunmore has left readers with memorable, fascinating characters, both historical and fictional, “whose struggles and passions have been hidden from history.... But even so, did they not shape the future?” Agent: Caradoc King, United Agents.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2017
        Historical atmosphere and characterization are top-notch in Dunmore's (Exposure, 2016) newest work of literary historical fiction. Although there's little action, considerable tension develops as Lizzie Fawkes awakens to the truth about the man she married and his first wife's fatedetails that readers know from the start. The setting is 1790s Bristol, England. Revolution is erupting in Europe, and Lizzie's mother, Julia Fawkes, a writer who attacked the majesty of kings, belongs to a group of radicals eagerly watching their beliefs take form in nearby France. Lizzie's husband, building-developer Diner Tredevant, knows that war will crush his ambitions to build a terrace high above the Avon Gorge. Diner has always resented Lizzie's family and their free-thinking ways, and as money grows tight, Diner's controlling behavior and paranoia become evident. The graveyard scene from the novel's modern-day prelude isn't picked up again but pays homage to the many women's lives lost to history. Knowledge of Dunmore's 2017 passing, added to her theme of the legacies people leave, lends a sad poignancy to the reading experience.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

popularity
275
publisher
Grove Atlantic
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