In the summer of 1885, three Frenchmen arrived in London. The first was Duke Edmond de Polignac, a typical French upper-class gold-digger who intended to find himself a wealthy American wife. The second was Count Robert Montesquiou-Fezensac, a mediocre poet and avid collector of curiosities who always argued with someone. And the third was a commoner with an Italian name, Dr. Samuel Pozzi, a society doctor, free-thinker, and scientist. What was the real significance of their stay in the city? The novel is a fresh and colourful portrait of the Belle Époque, when the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, and the beautiful Sarah Bernhardt was at the top of her career. Still, it was also a time of bizarre duels, murders, and court trials, including the infamous Dreyfus affair.
Published by Odeon, 2021
© Marzena Pogorzaly
Julian Barnes (* 1946) is a British experimental novelist and essayist, as well as an author of mystery novels, which he publishes under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh. He started as a journalist, first as a critic for the Times Literary Supplement, then for many years at The Observer. He comes from a family of French teachers whose warm feelings for France he inherited; today, Barnes, in turn, is one of that country’s most popular and respected Anglo-Saxon authors. Much of his work has also been published in Czech.