Burning Bright (Anglais) Broché – 4 février 2008
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Descriptions du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
Tracy Chevalier, author of the international bestseller Girl With a Pearl Earring and the forthcoming At the Edge of the Orchard, another brilliantly rendered historical tale set in the waning days of eighteenth-century London. Poet, artist, and printer William Blake works in obscurity as England is rocked by the shock waves of the French Revolution. Next door, the Kellaway family has just moved in, and country boy Jem Kellaway strikes up a tentative friendship with street?savvy Maggie Butterfield. As their stories intertwine with Blake?s, the two children navigate the confusing and exhilarating path to adolescence, and inspire the poet to create the work that enshrined his genius. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
Biographie de l'auteur
"As a kid I’d often said I wanted to be a writer because I loved books and wanted to be associated with them. I wrote the odd story in high school, but it was only in my twenties that I started writing ‘real’ stories, at night and on weekends. Sometimes I wrote a story in a couple evenings; other times it took me a whole year to complete one.
"Once I took a night class in creative writing, and a story I’d written for it was published in a London-based magazine called Fiction. I was thrilled, even though the magazine folded 4 months later.
"I worked as a reference book editor for several years until 1993 when I left my job and did a year-long MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia in Norwich (England). My tutors were the English novelists Malcolm Bradbury and Rose Tremain. For the first time in my life I was expected to write every day, and I found I liked it. I also finally had an idea I considered ‘big’ enough to fill a novel. I began The Virgin Blue during that year, and continued it once the course was over, juggling writing with freelance editing.
"An agent is essential to getting published. I found my agent Jonny Geller through dumb luck and good timing. A friend from the MA course had just signed on with him and I sent my manuscript of The Virgin Blue mentioning my friend’s name. Jonny was just starting as an agent and needed me as much as I needed him. Since then he’s become a highly respected agent in the UK and I’ve gone along for the ride."
Tracy Chevalier is the New York Times bestselling author of six previous novels, including Girl with a Pearl Earring, which has been translated into thirty-nine languages and made into an Oscar-nominated film. Her latest novel is The Last Runaway. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., she lives in London with her husband and son.
--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
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Encore un chef d'oeuvre de Tracy Chevalier.
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Thus we have the metaphor for Blake's great work SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE. The French Revolution was underway and King George was terrified that his subjects would rebel against him. Mobs circulated collecting signatures on loyalty oaths. This excessive and intimidating barrage of bogus patriotism is eerily reminiscent of some of the things we saw in this country after 9/11. Do you remember all the cars with flags?
It's a lovely story and she tells it well. Is it GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING? No. Should it be? No. An author should not have to wear her most successful book like a millstone around her neck.
Enjoy it for itself.
Burning Bright provides hours of intelligent, pleasurable, and at times, thought provoking reading.
Maisie Kellaway, daughter of a woodworker, has just moved with her older brother Jem and her parents from a North Country village to an upscale London row house owned by her father's new employer, Phillip Astley, of the famous Astley Circus. Her father, a skilled chair maker, seeks a better life for his family by working as a carpenter for the circus. Maisie is befriended by street-wise Maggie Butterfield, the daughter of a con artist and rogue who lives in a rough nearby neighborhood. Maggie is a few years older than Maisie and has her eye on Jem.
The Kellaways live next door to William Blake and his wife, who are shunned yet regarded with fearful respect by their neighbors. The story is set against the far-off rumblings of the French Revolution, a cause in which Blake seems to sympathize. As a poet and an engraver, Blake's obscure prolific publications perplex even the most erudite Englishmen, but they seem to impart the sense of lust for freedom and equality roiling on the continent that the fervid Royalists of the age see as seditious.
Maisie, Jem and Maggie begin to spend time in the Blake garden, as their landlady won't allow renters in her formal backyard. Blake does not outwardly try to influence the young people, but he and his wife encourage them to learn to read, and his poetry is all they have at hand aside from the Bible.
Blake's role in the book, while pivotal, is not as central to the story as was VerMeer's in GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING. Servitude and class distinctions are not as strictly drawn in the late 18th century as they were in the 1600s. As the 1700s draw to a close, a new awareness of the power of the masses is on the horizon. As the French Revolution grows, so does its threat of spreading to England. When Maggie's Royalist boss at the vinegar factory intimidates his employees into signing a petition in support of King George, she manages to slip away without doing so. She heads for the local pub where her mother, father and brother hang out.
The boss shows up at the pub and declares that dissenters to signing the petition are traitors to the crown and may suffer the same consequences as the French Revolutionaries if they don't support the king. When a few in the pub, including Maisie's father, stand up to the man, they are threatened with a visit to their homes. Maggie is shocked when her own father so easily bends to the will of the petitioner. She follows Maisie and her father to their home. Soon, a torch-bearing throng marches down the street where the Kellaways and Blake live. They confront Blake at his doorway, and when Blake staunchly refuses to sign, a riot breaks out. What follows seals the fate of our young heroes.
Chevalier is adept at evoking a powerful sense of time and place. In GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING, one could almost see the muted hues of the city of Delft, which so influenced VerMeer's paintings. In BURNING BRIGHT, Chevalier conjures the sights and sounds of 1792 London, shrouded in fog and coal smoke, and bustling with street vendors, charlatans, prostitutes and thieves. She captures ordinary people at the dawn of the radical changes in social, moral and political opinion that will shape the centuries to come.
--- Reviewed by Roz Shea