* A wonderful, immaculately researched novel that brings Dr Johnson, his friends and his times to life.
Beryl Bainbridge's latest novel is a masterly evocation of the last years of Dr Johnson, arguably Britain's greatest Man of Letters. The time is the 1770s and 1780s and Johnson, having completed his life's major work (he compiled the first ever Dictionary of the English Language) is running an increasingly chaotic life. Torn between his strict morality and his undeclared passion for Mrs Thrale, the wife of an old friend, ACCORDING TO QUEENEY reveals one of Britain's most wonderful characters in all his wit and glory. Above all, though, this is a story of love and friendship and brilliantly narrated by Queeney, Mrs Thrale's daughter, looking back over her life.A few of Johnson quotes:*Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures*No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money *When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life
A stellar literary event ... written with panache and an enviable economy ... the biggest risk of her literary life - Margaret Atwood
This is a small, wise book of small prose miracles ... It is a larger miracle in this way: it makes us feel we see Johnson and his friends in unexpected and unfamiliar ways which are nevertheless convincing and authentic. I did not think anyone could do t - Andrew Marr, DAILY TELEGRAPH
It is hard to think of anyone now writing who understands the human heart as Beryl Bainbridge does, or exposes its workings with more tenderness - THE TIMES
This is a triumph, subtle, rich and heartrending...Anything worth reading is of course worth reading twice, and this is worth reading many times. - INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
Beryl Bainbridge was one of the greatest living novelists. Author of seventeen novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television, she was shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, and won many literary awards including the Whitbread Prize and the Author of the Year Award at the British Book Awards. She died in July 2010.