Music & Silence
By Rose Tremain
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374199890, 480pp.)
Publication Date: April 1, 2000
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A bold new novel from the author of Restoration and The Way I Found Her
In the year 1629, a young English lutenist named Peter Claire arrives at the Danish court to join King Christian IV's royal orchestra. From the moment when he realizes that the musicians have to perform in a freezing cellar underneath the royal apartments, he understands that he's come to a place where the opposing states of light and dark, good and evil, are waging war to the death. Designated the king's "Angel" because of his good looks, he finds himself falling in love with the young woman who is the companion of the king's adulterous and estranged wife, Kirsten. With his loyalties fatally divided, how will Peter Claire find the path that will realize his hopes and save his soul?
With a sure, alchemical touch and the narrative finesse that always turns her histories into a kind of magic, Rose Tremain has fashioned a rich, provocative historical romance as pungent as Denmark's salty air. This is a tale of opposites: light and darkness, tenderness and violence, music and silence.
Music & Silence is Rose Tremain's eighth novel. Her previous work has been short-listed for the Booker Prize and has won the Prix Femina Etranger and the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award.