Lawrence Durrell's classic novel Monsieur is set in a dilapidated chateau near Avignon and focuses on a group of characters who have decided to remove themselves from the world. Egypt, France and Venice provide a background for the action, which offers an original interpretation of the so-called sins of the Templars as Durrell depicts his characters caught up in the sinister and mysterious doings of a gnostic suicide club. 'Monsieur contains some of the finest descriptive set-pieces even Durrell has ever written. I would not wish to have missed these evocations of Avignon: of a winter horse-ride through the Provencal countryside; of Christmas in a chateau crumbling into magnificent decay; of a slow dreamlike journey through the Nile.' Susan Hill, The Times
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Lawrence Durrell was born in 1912 in India. He attended the Jesuit College at Darjeeling and St Edmund's School, Canterbury. His first literary work, The Black Book, appeared in Paris in 1938. His first collection of poems, A Private Country, was published in 1943, followed by the three Island books: Prospero's Cell, Reflections on a Marine Venus, about Rhodes, and Bitter Lemons, his account of life in Cyprus. Durrell's wartime sojourn in Egypt led to his masterpiece, The Alexandria Quartet, which he completed in southern France where he settled permanently in 1957. Between the Quartet and The Avignon Quintet he wrote the two-decker Tunc and Nunquam. His oeuvre includes plays, a book of criticism, translations, travel writing, and humorous stories about the diplomatic corps. Caesar's Vast Ghost, his reflections on the history and culture of Provence, including a late flowering of poems, appeared a few days before his death in Sommieres in 1990.
Monsieur by Lawrence Durrell
Used - Very Good
Faber & Faber
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