Synopses & Reviews
From the author of the beloved New York Times bestselling novel The Little Book, comes a novel about a love that is capable of bridging unfathomable distances.
Recently returned from the experience of a lifetime in fin de siècle Vienna, where she met and tragically lost the first great love of her life, Eleanor Burden has no choice but to settle into her expected place in society, marry the man she is supposed to marry, and wait for life to come to her. As the twentieth century approaches, hers is a story not unlike that of the other young women she grew up with in 1890s Boston—a privileged upbringing punctuated by a period of youthful adventure and followed by the inevitable acknowledgment of real life—except for one small difference: Eleanor possesses an unshakable belief that she has advance knowledge of every major historical event to come during her lifetime.
But soon the script of events she has written in her mind—a script described by no less than Sigmund Freud as the invented delusions of a hysteric—begins to unravel. Eleanor Burden, at once fragile and powerful, must find the courage of her deepest convictions, discover the difference between predetermination and free will, secure her belief in her own sanity, and decide whether she will allow history to unfold come what may—or use her extraordinary gifts to bend history to her will and deliver for her the life she knows she is meant to have.
Thirty years in the writing, Selden Edwards' dazzling first novel is an irresistible triumph of the imagination. Wheeler Burden-banking heir, philosopher, student of history, legend's son, rock idol, writer, lover, recluse, half-Jew, and Harvard baseball hero-one day finds himself wandering not in his hometown of San Francisco in 1988 but in a city and time he knows mysteriously well: Vienna, 1897. Before long, Wheeler acquires a mentor in Sigmund Freud, a bitter rival, a powerful crush on a luminous young woman, and encounters everyone from an eight-year-old Adolf Hitler to Mark Twain as well as the young members of his own family. Solving the riddle of Wheeler's dislocation in time will ultimately reveal nothing short of one eccentric family's unrivaled impact upon the course of human history.
Edwards, author of The Lost Prince, brilliantly weaves romance, art, history, and culture in this unforgettable and dazzling debut novel.
“The Lost Prince
can stand independently of The Little Book
… but why deprive yourself of the pleasures of reading both?” —Booklist
Recently returned from fin de siècle Vienna, where she tragically lost the first great love of her life, Eleanor Burden settles into her expected place in Boston society, marries a suitable husband, and waits for life to come to her. Eleanor’s story is not unlike that of the other young women she grew up with in 1890’s Boston, except for one difference: Eleanor believes herself to have advance knowledge of every major historical event to come in her lifetime. But soon Eleanor’s script of events begins to unravel, and she must find the courage of her deepest convictions, discover the difference between predetermination and free will, find faith in her own sanity, and decide whether she will allow history to unfold come what may — or use her extraordinary gifts to bend history and deliver the life she is meant to have.
About the Author
Selden Edwards began writing The Little Book as a young English teacher in 1974, and continued to layer and refine the manuscript until its completion in 2007. He most recently authored The Lost Prince. He spent his career as headmaster at several independent schools across the country, and for over forty years has been secretary of his class at Princeton, where he also played basketball. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.