Synopses & Reviews
Marguerite Yourcenar instantly assumes command of our imagination in her novel The Abyss
. Almost before we know it the author establishes a scene and time, and engages us in the fate of two cousins.
"Marguerite Yourcenar instantly assumes command of our imagination in her novel The Abyss
. Almost before we know it, the author establishes a scene (a road in northern France) and time (the second quarter of the sixteenth century), and engages us in the fate of two cousins. The younger, sixteen-year-old Henry Maximilian, has set out to become a soldier and poet; the elder, twenty-two-year-old Zeno, has left a seminary to make himself an alchemist-philosopher. The book reads as if an old map--decorated with walled cities, boats on rivers, castles, people, and animals--had come alive . . . As rich as a tapestry."--Naomi Bliven, The New Yorker
"A brilliant tapestry of Western Europe in the Middle Ages, as sharply detailed as a Brueghel."--Michael Kernan, The Washington Post
About the Author
(1903-87) wrote stories, plays, poems, and novels, notably Memoirs of Hadrian
. She was the first woman to be elected to the Academie Francaise.