Synopses & Reviews
Delmore Schwartz, the most influential critic in postwar America, wrote of Patrick O'Brian's first novel Testimonies
: "A triumph...drawn forward by lyric eloquence and the story's fascination, [the reader] discovers in the end that he has encountered in a new way the sphinx and the riddle of existence itself." Schwartz' imagination was fired by this sinister tale of love and death set in Wales, a timeless story with echoes of Thomas Hardy
and Mary Webb
Joseph Pugh, sick of Oxford and of teaching, decides to take some time off to live in a wild and beautiful Welsh farm valley. There he falls physically ill and is nursed back to health by Bronwen Vaughn, the wife of a neighboring farmer. Slowly, unwillingly, Bronwen and Pugh fall in love, and while that word is never spoken between them, their story is as passionate and as tragic as that of Vronsky and Anna Karenina.
"Patrick O'Brian has a power of bringing near to the reader...savagery and tenderness, beauty and mystery and boldness and dignity." Eudora Welty
"A subtle and fascinating tale." Miami Herald
"O'Brian's greatness is present. Calmly and with wit he shows how things go wrong in little worlds." Boston Globe
"A welcome reissue of O'Brian's moving and very fine first novel."--
About the Author
In addition to twenty volumes in the highly respected Aubrey/Maturin series, Patrick O'Brian's many books include Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore. O'Brian also wrote acclaimed biographies of Pablo Picasso and Sir Joseph Banks and translated many works from the French, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Lacouture's biographies of Charles de Gaulle. He passed away in January 2000 at the age of 85.