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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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Ghostwalk: A Novel

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Ghostwalk: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780385521062
ISBN10: 0385521065
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A Cambridge historian, Elizabeth Vogelsang, is found drowned, clutching a glass prism in her hand. The book she was writing about Isaac Newton's involvement with alchemy — the culmination of her lifelong obsession with the seventeenth century — remains unfinished. When her son, Cameron, asks his former lover, Lydia Brooke, to ghostwrite the missing final chapters of his mother's book, Lydia agrees and moves into Elizabeth's house — a studio in an orchard where the light moves restlessly across the walls. Soon Lydia discovers that the shadow of violence that has fallen across present-day Cambridge, which escalates to a series of murders, may have its origins in the troubling evidence that Elizabeth's research has unearthed. As Lydia becomes ensnared in a dangerous conspiracy that reawakens ghosts of the past, the seventeenth century slowly seeps into the twenty-first, with the city of Cambridge the bridge between them.

Filled with evocative descriptions of Cambridge, past and present, of seventeenth-century glassmaking, alchemy, the Great Plague, and Newton's scientific innovations, Ghostwalk centers around a real historical mystery that Rebecca Stott has uncovered involving Newton's alchemy. In it, time and relationships are entangled — the present with the seventeenth century, and figures from the past with the love-torn twenty-first century woman who is trying to discover their secrets. A stunningly original display of scholarship and imagination, and a gripping story of desire and obsession, Ghostwalk is a rare debut that will change the way most of us think about scientific innovation, the force of history, and time itself.

Review:

"To concoct this cerebral thriller about 17th-century alchemy, Rebecca Stott grinds two parts of historical research into a fine powder, folds in some human blood, adds a pinch of the occult, and heats the mixture over an open flame. By the time 'Ghostwalk' begins to boil, it's a hypnotic brew of speculation, intrigue and murder.

Stott teaches English at Cambridge University, where 'Ghostwalk'... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Stott's compelling style acts as a counterpoint to the scientific and historical components of this haunting literary mystery/thriller. Stott skillfully binds fact with fiction in an insightful story that surprises and intrigues." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"A beautifully written book, mixing a compelling contemporary love story and a fascinating historical investigation, with Isaac Newton and alchemy playing a crucial role. The mystery at the novel's center is audacious, convincing, and will make readers think anew about what history is." Iain Pears, author of An Instance of the Fingerpost

Review:

"Stott moves between past and present with the page-turning dexterity of a literary alchemist — a novel of intrigue as cleverly imagined as it is entertaining." Joseph Kanon, author of The Good German, The Prodigal Spy, and Los Alamos

Review:

"A dangerous love story and mystery, where after a time neither the reader nor the heroine can tell what is true. You slip through the shimmering prose and fall into the alchemy of Newton and certain unsolved crimes of his time until you begin to wonder if what happened then can affect what might happen now. Blending contemporary quantum physics with the winding streets of ancient Cambridge, Ghostwalk is a highly intelligent and original novel." Stephanie Cowell, author of Nicholas Cooke and The Physician of London

Review:

"An amazing work — a highly intelligent thriller that combines the supernatural with modern quantum theory, the current war on terror with Isaac Newton's work on light and gravity, and his delving into alchemy in the seventeenth century. At once mind-boggling and mind-expanding." Nicholas Mosley, author of Hopeful Monsters and Time at War

Review:

"Ghostwalk works beautifully...leaving a lingering impression of a world richer, and more precarious, than we imagine." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[Rebecca Stott] manages to invoke both the non-causal entanglements of quantum physics and the paranoid conspiracies of Pynchon and DeLillo." New York Times

Synopsis:

A stunningly original display of scholarship and imagination, and a gripping story of desire and obsession, Stott's novel is a rare debut that will change the way many readers think about scientific innovation, the force of history, and time itself.

About the Author

Rebecca Stott is a professor at Anglia Ruskin University and is affiliated with the Cambridge Department of the History and Philosophy of Science. She is the author of several books, including a biography, Darwin and the Barnacle, and is a regular contributor to BBC radio. She lives in Cambridge, England. This is her first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Marie Angell, August 13, 2007 (view all comments by Marie Angell)
In Stott's deft hands, Isaac Newton's dabblings in alchemy inspire compelling present-day intrigue.

"Ghostwalk" combines elements of mystery, complex human interaction and the moody atmosphere of Cambridge into a tense, compelling plot.

The book has literary weight without being stuffy and conveys scientific and historical fact without lecturing.

Highly recommended.

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(6 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
Izabelle, July 5, 2007 (view all comments by Izabelle)
Fantastic book combining mystery, science, history and romance. Stott has an hypnotic style of writing that casts a spell over the reader.
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(5 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
reeca, June 5, 2007 (view all comments by reeca)
This was a really interesting look into the life of Sir Isaac Newton and his study in alchemy. It had just enough mystery in it to keep you turning the pages.
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(6 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385521062
Author:
Stott, Rebecca
Publisher:
Spiegel & Grau
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
College teachers
Subject:
Alchemy
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
U.S. ed.
Publication Date:
May 8, 2007
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
ENDPAPER MAP, B and W ILLUS.
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.38x6.62x1.11 in. 1.23 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

Ghostwalk: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Spiegel & Grau - English 9780385521062 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Stott's compelling style acts as a counterpoint to the scientific and historical components of this haunting literary mystery/thriller. Stott skillfully binds fact with fiction in an insightful story that surprises and intrigues."
"Review" by , "A beautifully written book, mixing a compelling contemporary love story and a fascinating historical investigation, with Isaac Newton and alchemy playing a crucial role. The mystery at the novel's center is audacious, convincing, and will make readers think anew about what history is."
"Review" by , "Stott moves between past and present with the page-turning dexterity of a literary alchemist — a novel of intrigue as cleverly imagined as it is entertaining."
"Review" by , "A dangerous love story and mystery, where after a time neither the reader nor the heroine can tell what is true. You slip through the shimmering prose and fall into the alchemy of Newton and certain unsolved crimes of his time until you begin to wonder if what happened then can affect what might happen now. Blending contemporary quantum physics with the winding streets of ancient Cambridge, Ghostwalk is a highly intelligent and original novel."
"Review" by , "An amazing work — a highly intelligent thriller that combines the supernatural with modern quantum theory, the current war on terror with Isaac Newton's work on light and gravity, and his delving into alchemy in the seventeenth century. At once mind-boggling and mind-expanding."
"Review" by , "Ghostwalk works beautifully...leaving a lingering impression of a world richer, and more precarious, than we imagine."
"Review" by , "[Rebecca Stott] manages to invoke both the non-causal entanglements of quantum physics and the paranoid conspiracies of Pynchon and DeLillo."
"Synopsis" by , A stunningly original display of scholarship and imagination, and a gripping story of desire and obsession, Stott's novel is a rare debut that will change the way many readers think about scientific innovation, the force of history, and time itself.
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