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With his elegant prose and perceptive imagination, the bestselling author of The Crimson Petal and the White creates a unique, self-contained world, where the perennial human drama plays out in all its passion and ambiguity. In these acclaimed novellas, Michel Faber takes on the interior world of inventively crafted characters. "The Courage Consort" tells of an a capella vocal ensemble sequestered in a Belgian chateau to rehearse a monstrously complicated new piece. But competing artistic temperaments and sexual needs create as much discordance as the avant-garde music. In "The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps," a lonely woman joins an archaeological dig at Whitby Abbey and unearths a mystery involving a long-hidden murder. In "The Fahrenheit Twins," strange children, identical in all but gender and left alone at the icy zenith of the world by their anthropologist parents, create their own ritual civilization.
Sian, tired of nightmares in which she meets a grisly end, decides she needs to get out more, so she joins an archaeological dig at Whitby Abbey. What she finds is a mystery involving a long-hidden murder, a man with big hands, a fragile manuscript in a bottle, and a rather attractive dog called Hadrian. Faber's dazzling novella takes us up the 199 steps in Whitby that link the 21st century with the ruins of the past. Equal and indissoluble parts thriller, romance, historical/ghost story and meditation on the nature of sincerity, this is an ingenious literary page-turner. Atmospheric photographs complement the text beautifully. This book, like Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, deploys a masterful sense of ambiguity, outstanding narrative power, works on many levels and, as always with Faber's writing, is elegant, thought-provoking, distinctive and compelling.
A new edition of Michel Faber's debut novel, shortlisted for the Whitbread Award
Deft and lyrical, this paperback edition of Michel Faber's collection of stories is his first since his auspicious debut, Some Rain Must Fall. It has sealed his reputation as one of Britain's most daring and original authors. Acclaimed for his pitch-perfect prose and brilliant characterisation, Faber is also celebrated for his mastery of contrasting styles. From achingly sad lost lives, through moments of exquisitely distilled happiness, to biblical innocence and savagery, Faber's characters are redeemed, abandoned, beloved and laid bare. From the achingly sad lost lives of 'The Safehouse' through moments of exquisitely distilled happiness in 'Vanilla-Bright Like Eminem' to the biblical innocence and savagery of 'The Fahrenheit Twins', we are redeemed, abandoned, beloved and laid bare but we are always recognisable.
Enjoy more Sugar . . . Join Clara at the rat pit . . . Relax with Mr Bodley as he is lulled to sleep by Mrs Tremain and her girls . . . Find out what became of Sophie.
A lawyer by profession, Theodore Martin (1816-1909) gained literary distinction as both a humorous essayist and versatile translator. He found his greatest success, however, in the role of biographer to Prince Albert (1819-61). Commissioned by Queen Victoria to memorialise her late husband, this five-volume work was first published between 1875 and 1880. Intended as a continuation of the biography begun by Charles Grey (also reissued in this series), it has been described as 'less adulatory in tone than might be expected'. A treasury of letters and memoranda, it presents a detailed portrait of the character, words and deeds of a man whose life was necessarily immersed in the great events of his time. Volume 1 covers Albert's youth, his marriage to Victoria and the early years as her husband, up until the birth of their sixth child, Princess Louise, in 1848.

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