|Author: Kathryn Harrison|
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|A princess-and-pauper story replete with passion, lust, dreams and ambition follows the intertwining lives of two seventeenth-century young women, one the poor daughter of a Spanish silk grower, the other the niece of Louis XIV. Reprint. *Author: Harrison, Kathryn *Publication Date: 1996/09/01 *Number of Pages: 317 *Binding Type: Paperback *Language: English *Depth: 1.00 *Width: 5.50 *Height: 8.25|
From the Publisher:
Set during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, this hypnotic, luminous, and original novel by the critically acclaimed author of Exposure tells the story of two young women--a silk grower's daughter and a queen--struggling to survive in an atmosphere poisonous to passion, creativity and love.
Francisca de Luarac, the daughter of a poor Spanish silk grower, is a dreamer of fabulous dreams. Marie Louise de Bourbon, the niece of Louis XIV, dances in slippers of fine Spanish silk in the French Court of the Sun King and imagines her own enchanted future. Born on the same day--in an age when superstition, repression, and the Inquisition reign--the lives of these two young women unfold in tandem, barely touching. Each hoards the memory of her adored lost mother like an amulet. Francica's obsession with her lover, a Catholick priest, will shaper her fate. Marie Loouise is yoked by political expediency to the mad, imptoent Carlos II of Spain. But even as their twin destinies spiral inexorably toward disaster, both Queen and commoner cultivate a dangerous, secret life dedicated to resistance, transcendence, and love. Written in gorgeous prose that has the sheen of silk, Kathryn Harrison's POISON vividlyreminds us of the persistence of desire, the passion that exists between mothers and daughters, and the sorcery of dreams.
Harrison's novel tells the tale of two women during the Inquisition--a silk harvester's daughter and a queen. When the daughter of a Castilian silk harvester begins a passionate love affair with a Catholic priest, she is accused of being a witch and ends up detained in an underground prison. Meanwhile, Maria Luisa, the French princess married to the King of Spain, comes under attack when the royal couple fails to conceive a child. Harrison interweaves the lives of two seemingly opposite women.
"POISON is a hothouse of a novel, overwrought and heavily scented; it will not be to everybody's taste. It is also serious and thoughtful, its vivid colors partly concealing issues about the way we subjectify biography in order to make meaning of our own lives." - Janet Burroway 5/14/95 Los Angeles Times Book Review
"POISON is a fascinating, feminist princess-and-pauper story, gorgeously written and hauntingly told. It is a tale of passion, hopelessness, and thwarted ambitions in a harsh and hate-filled century that was, as in all fine historical fiction, quite different than and disturbingly like our own." - Ron Hansen 06/18/1995 Chicago Tribune
"Love, always a bright surprise to lovers, can be as interesting to read as a retreaded tire to readers. So Harrison's take is all the more remarkable--crystalline prose perfumed (but not too much; she knows just when to stop) with musky eroticism, bigger enough than life to carry you away." - Judith Dunford 06/04/1995 Times Literary Supplement
"In her first venture into historical fiction, the New York writer Kathryn Harrison has avoided the traps of costume romance and dryasdust factual accuracy; revivifying her history with audacious feats of imagination, she triumphantly justifies her ambitious narrative project." - Nicola Humble 06/23/1995