Library Ed. ISIS Audio Books 2004
CS ISBN $104.95 Sixteen cassettes
Out of modesty, one supposes, the impossibly virtuous (and fictional) Henry Esmond narrates his adventures in the third person. Raised to believe himself a nobleman's love-child, he eventually discovers he is a legitimate heir. This knowledge he suppresses in favor of his near relations and benefactors, especially the Jacobite Lady Castlewood and her daughter, both of whom he loves devotedly, and one of whom he eventually marries. In the meantime, neither he nor his kin can escape the political, martial, and religious turmoil of Queen Anne's England. Published in 1852, this novel helped establish Thackeray as Charles Dickens's rival in popularity. Narrator Gordon Griffin, who has previously tackled both, here displays an enthusiastic sincerity that contributes much charm to his deep understanding of the tone and milieu of this novel. Though seeming to downplay the melancholy that seeps into the prose, he manages to convey it without letting it overwhelm the vigor of the writing. Y.R. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/ NOV 04]
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