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10 thoughts on “Restoration

  1. says:

    Steeped in the voices and eccentricities of the age of Charles the second Restoration A Novel of Seventeenth Century England is wonderful I felt like I had been transported back in time to all the disagreeable muck and smells and ribaldry of the 1660s At first I thought this was going to be a comic slice of life rendition of a young man's Robert Merivel rise as a sycophant of the king There is humour in this yes but also much sadness In part one it depicts the newly made physician Merivel's lucky break in being asked to treat the king's spaniel who is sick Merivel knows the only way to get ahead in England of this time is to please the king Inadvertently through no help from the doctor the dog does survive Merivel becomes the king's veterinarian While at court Merivel indulges himself with food drink and revelry and soon becomes a sort of court jester Merivel exults in the king's fondness for his fool and thinks he's been even pampered when the king gives him a house an income and a bride but soon the unraveling begins

  2. says:

    I have the same problem and pleasures with this historical novel set during the reign of Charles II as I do with the author's Music and SilenceAt once pleasingly rich but with annoying inaccuracies like the uaker studying at an English university Anglicans only back then These grated on me at one time A less irritable reader however might be moved to accept that this is less a historical novel and a fantastical novel with a dreamlike atmosphere in placesThe hero lives in a world of illusion and delusion at the apex of which is his love for Charles II I note how in German this novel is called The King's Fool which is appropriate The hero is sent down through the world and has to remake himself A process that involves seeing and experiencing the insanity of existence from a variety of points of view departing a fantasy existence in a Norfolk manor house as fake husband to one of Charles II's mistressesview spoiler a twist perhaps on 'normal for Norfolk' hide spoiler

  3. says:

    A really enjoyable Restoration farce with a great deal of heart Robert Merivel is a would be physician and son of a glove maker to the king He lives for pleasure and is something of a rake and does not take his medical studies too seriously He comes to the attention of the king and for a while he is part of the court and plays the fool The king decides to marry him to one of his mistresses This involves going to live on an estate in the country and much partying and debauchery ensuedMerivel eventually falls and loses everything He ends up working in a uaker madhouse as a physician in the Fens He also moves back to London and experiences the plague of 1665 and the fire of 1666 Lots of gaps there to avoid spoilersIt is very funny beautifully written and most of all there is real character development; not just for Merivel but also for the excellent supporting cast Although there is a touch of Tom Jones about it; the descriptions of madness are moving and perceptiveThis could have been awful but it is rather good and there are some very funny passages; watch out for the Indian Nightingale and Merivel's attempts at painting inventing impressionism in the 1660s only to be ridiculed All in all a good historical comic novel

  4. says:

    Utterly charming poignant and beautifully written After the brilliance of 'The Gustav Sonata' 2016 'Sacred Country' 1992 which has rocketed into the list of my all time favourite books 'The Darkness Of Wallis Simpson' 2005 which is a collection of her short stories 'Restoration' 1989 was next up on my Rose Tremain a thon It's another winner utterly charming There are few writers versatile than Rose Tremain This enjoyable Restoration farce is as always brilliantly written Robert Merivel son of a glove maker and a trainee physician who does not take his studies seriously comes to the attention of the King Charles II Merivel lives for pleasure and is something of a rake and after curing the King's Spaniel becomes a favoured courtier The King decides to marry him to one of his mistresses which gives him a Norfolk estate Alas Merivel transgresses the one law that he is forbidden to break and is brutally cast out from his newfound paradise Thus begins Merivel’s journey to self knowledge which will take him down into the lowest depths of seventeenth century societyThis is funny credible clever perceptive and beautifully written par for the course for Rose Tremain Can Rose Tremain repeat the trick with the seuel 'Merivel A Man of His Time'? I cannot wait to find out and will be reading it straight away55

  5. says:

    I found this book uite intriguing The character of Robert Merivel is sympathetic and does a believable character arc changing from a shallow person into a thoughtful physician Tremain does a great job with her historical research creating a nuanced seventeenh century world My favorite parts are Merivel’s medical challenges and discoveries One of my pet peeves in historical fiction is that the heroheroine is far medically advanced than they should be like for instance knowing all about penicillin bread mold way before its discovery That doesn’t happen in this book Tremain sticks with the time period and brings to life what it would be like to be a physician during this period In fact that's what I loved the most about this book and if Restoration had mostly been about Merivel’s growth as a doctor I would have given it five starsUnfortunately it’s not The middle of the book drags when Merivel is sent into exile and he spends his time decorating his house in putrid colors making ridiculous fur coats and chasing a woman who loathes him My belief is Tremain was inspired by The Diary of Samuel Pepys They are much alike in many ways The problem with this though is that while Pepys diary is a valuable historical document it doesn’t really have a proper end because Pepys just uit writing There’s no real climax no real plot or cohesive tale and Restoration kind of has that feel to it as well The real arc of the story is Merivel’s character change but I’m not uite sure that’s a strong plot I suppose Merivel goes full circle and comes away with an enlightened point of view but it doesn’t have the true feeling of a full storyConseuently I’ve given it four stars

  6. says:

    You may be familiar with the Restoration and Charles II Or maybe not Regardless Rose Tremain gives this historical period double meaning in her novel “Restoration” “Restoration” is a novel which can’t be ignored as it is simply “alive” with sounds emotions and colors immediately jumping from Tremain’s pages the second the reader opens the book Saying that “Restoration” has a heartbeat is putting it mildly This lively novel is supplemented by the main character of Robert Merivel who has disgusting flaws and yet is so relatable that he is an extremely likable character Tremain successfully turns a character which would be hated in any other novel into a lovable one “Restoration” is not a typical novel but is of a character study following Merivel At times the reader may think that there is no real plot and yet “Restoration” continues to be a page turner as it feels like one is actually living the story while reading it Further Merivel’s character arc is perfect not too fast not too slow and yet subtle enough to be realistic Tremain’s prose and literary language in “Restoration” is also top notch “Restoration” features all of the star ualities of classic literature along with historical accuracy and character dialogue which feels of the times The reader will have to be reminded that Tremain was not actually alive during Charles II’s reignAll of the characters in “Restoration” have such magnetic chemistry with each other that the story becomes riveting and yet the ratio of coverage each character portrays in relation to others is never overdone “Restoration” also features uniue storytelling where Merivel speaks almost directly to the reader Although this can be perceived as “cheesy”; it works in “Restoration” as everything seems to Tremain doesn’t focus too much attention on describing the setting of the scenes and yet each creates a vivid picture Simply put “Restoration” has a uniue draw while being written exceptionally well Also noteworthy are the multi layered events Instead of merely being a part of the plot line; each occurrence in the story signifies a deeper lessonmeaning adding substance to the novel and thought provoking philosophical ideas Additionally moving and compelling is Merivel being a protagonist and his own antagonist There is nothing relatable than being your own worst enemyThe second half of “Restoration” is much different from the first with Tremain focusing on the story than of the deeper character study of the first half Although this doesn’t significantly decrease the merit of “Restoration”; it does somewhat change the impact of the writingAlthough subjective I found the descriptions of Merivel’s dreamsnightmares to be tedious and not necessary to the plot Not only do these not add depth but Tremain over utilizes the tactic Part two brings about a slackening of pace within the novel and a less inviting plot although Merivel is still likable However the views and angles of historical events such as the Plague and the Great Fire of London are notably different than other historical fiction novels in a good way The conclusion is weaker than expected but “Restoration” does come full circle and Tremain answers open ended uestions “Restoration” is uniue well written and incorporates a compelling story with a terrific literary character Tremain’s work is suggested for those readers interested in historical fiction or specifically of seventeenth century England

  7. says:

    First paragraph Look at me Without my periwig I am an affront to neatness My hair what is left of it is the colour of sand and wiry as hogs' bristles; my ears are of uneven size; my forehead is splattered with freckles; my nose which of course my wig can't conceal however low I wear it is unceremoniously flat as if I had been hit at birthAnd I knew I was going to like thisThe prose tends to be uite formal Tremain has written this in such a way to help the reader feel with the times the 17th Century She is not as obscure as often Shakespeare was and her spelling is 100% better This is Merrie Olde England with its bawdiness and drunkenness and perhaps a serving wench or two At least one review says it is close to historically accurate though with an occasional error I am not at all familiar with the time period so I could just go with what was on the page Another review considers this erotic but don't you believe itThis is just my type of book being largely a character study I don't know about you but I am not uite the same person I was 10 years ago As I learn as life happens I grow and change with that growth So too does Robert Merivel grow and change over the course of this novel I enjoyed the beginning with its humor as much as later that was seriousI will definitely be reading of Rose Tremain The strong beginning and superb ending have me sliding this into my list of 5 star reads though the middle sections might just be a good uality 4 stars

  8. says:

    This is a story about Robert Merivel At the beginning of the story he is an aspiring physician The setting is Restoration England this being when the English Scottish and Irish monarchies were restored under the Stuart King Charles II in 1660 Merivel comes to be married to the king's mistress but the hitch is that he may not bed her He is certainly not to fall in love with her That’s the deal made between the king and Merivel the fool Merivel gets an attractive young wife albeit just for show and the freedom to take as many other mistresses that may please him to his bed He and his “wife” are given the means to live in style and a splendid estate in Norfolk to decorate as they may so wish Norfolk is distant from the king’s residence in London For the king this is simply a way to have access to than one woman without them getting in each other's hair The king has power and money but he cannot control hearts You think maybe I have given too much away? I haven’tWanton lascivious and a jovial fool Merivel is a man of his times Yet he has appeal to a reader because he is funny and without pretensions even if the humor is rather crude I was utterly amazed at the author´s ability to pull this off I never thought I could like such a character but I did Right from the start his free spirit is contagious and then he grows on you Soon he has you laughing and then you begin to like the guy and and Merivel changes and it is Merivel that this book is about What we are given is a bit like a fable with a lesson to be learned What does Merivel’s life say?The setting being England in the 1660s alongside the characters’ story we see also the plague and the fire of London We observe not only the antics of the king but also the life of the poor and the insane The tale draws you in The atmosphere of the times is captured in the guise of an engaging story The book is not chock full of historical facts about the Restoration If you are looking for that look elsewhere Most is believable except for the end and a few other details for example a man view spoilerwith a visible heart that can be touched hide spoiler

  9. says:

    Tremain’s book is written in first person which doesn’t usually work for me but I really enjoyed this The book follows the misadventures of Robert Merivel who is really immature and even a little thick at times despite being a rather gifted physician In his pursuit of pleasures finery and a courtier lifestyle at Whitehall he loses sight if indeed he ever had it of the important things in life Merivel is at the beginning of the story and indeed in several episodes throughout a very weak fellow Some reviewers stated that Merivel doesn’t change and I would have to disagree – the reduced circumstances he lives through do impact him although he perhaps isn’t able to see it for himself He loves people he shouldn’t and doesn’t love those he should – a problem that faces many people I think SCL rating 45

  10. says:

    This is such an enjoyable historical fiction book set in the 17th Century during the reign of King Charles II The protagonist Merivel is likable and relatable despite making some bad decisions and I really enjoyed following the complex relationship between him and the King and the difficult situations Merivel finds himself in due to his affiliation with royalty The book covers a number of interesting themes such as marriage friendship definitions of insanity and moral duty I am very keen to read the seuel to this Merivel A Man of his Time which was published over 20 years after this book

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Restoration When a twist of fate delivers an ambitious young medical student to the court of King Charles II he is suddenly thrust into a vibrant world of luxury and opulence Blessed with a uick wit and sparkling charm Robert Merivel rises uickly soon finding favour with the King and privileged with a position as ‘paper groom’ to the youngest of the King’s mistresses But by falling in love with her Merivel transgresses the one rule that will cast him out from his new found paradiseShortlisted for the Booker Prize