scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 562
Lost in FranceThe Dream of ScipioIain PearsJonathan Cape 1799 pp392Golden age crime writers like bigamists enjoyed the freedom granted by a double identity Oxford don JIM Stewart published racy thrillers as Michael Innes poet C Day Lewis masqueraded as Nicholas Blake and Edmund Crispin was in fact the composer Bruce MontgomeryIain Pears like Stewart is a respected academic the author of a monograph on eighteenth-century collectors but hes not too proud to publish crime novels under his own name His Italian art-world romps have titles like The Bernini Bust and The Raphael Affair theyre light and ingenious and they sell well and their success has encouraged him to move ever further into the mainstreamThe bestselling An Instance of the Fingerpost 1997 marked a new departure for Pears far more structurally and stylistically ambitious than the Italian series it suggested that he was developing his voice as a serious novelist as did his move from HarperCollins to Cape But on the evidence of the new novel it looks as if An Instance of the Fingerpost may have been a one-offThe action - what there is of it - in The Dream of Scipio moves between 5th- 14th- and 20th-century Avignon Our scholar-hero is Julien Barneuve a 1930s French intellectual whose failure to intervene decisively in public life leads him into the service of the Vichy regimeBefore the war he had unearthed an obscure Provenal poet of the fourteenth century Olivier de Noyen and a philosophical manuscript The Dream of Scipio written by a fifth-century Roman aristocrat Manlius Hippomanes This mysterious text links the three men as does their love for a woman - Sophia Rebecca Julia - a kind of Universal Muse who wafts inspiringly through timeNo single story provides the frame for the others and we jump between historical moments every other paragraph Theres a lot of movement but very little progression The breathless thrills of An Instance of the Fingerpost have been exchanged
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA