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Words can bleed. In 1865 Boston, the literary geniuses of the Dante Club---poets and Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, along with publisher J. T. Fields---are finishing America's first translation of The Divine Comedy and preparing to unveil Dante's remarkable visions to the New World. The powerful Boston Brahmins at Harvard College are fighting to keep Dante in obscurity, believing that the infiltration of foreign superstitions into American minds will prove as corrupting as the immigrants arriving at Boston Harbor. The members of the Dante Club fight to keep a sacred literary cause alive, but their plans fall apart when a series of murders erupts through Boston and Cambridge. Only this small group of scholars realizes that the gruesome killings are modeled on the descriptions of Hell's punishments from Dante's Inferno. With the lives of the Boston elite and Dante's literary future in America at stake, the Dante Club members must find the killer before the authorities discover their secret. Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and an outcast police officer named Nicholas Rey, the first black member of the Boston police department, must place their careers on the line to end the terror. Together, they discover that the source of the murders lies closer to home than they ever could have imagined. The Dante Club is a magnificent blend of fact and fiction, a brilliantly realized paean to Dante's continued grip on our imagination, and a captivating thriller that will surprise readers from beginning to end.
Boston, 1870. News of the untimely death of Charles Dickens reaches his American publisher. James R. Osgood, a junior partner there, had been expecting the arrival of the latest installment of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, now Dickens' last work, to arrive shortly. Suspicious of unscrupulous New York publishers and their ruthless agents intent on stealing Dickens' novel, Osgood sends his trusted young clerk, Daniel Sands, to await its arrival. When Daniel's body is found by the docks, the true cause of his death unknown and the manuscript nowhere to be found, Osgood must embark on a transatlantic quest to unearth the rest of Dickens' final mystery and solve another of his own. Danger and intrigue abound on his seaward journey, especially once he discovers that Rebecca Sands, Daniel's sister and bookkeeper for Fields & Osgood, has stowed away in order to help clear her brother's name. Arriving in Britain, Osgood and Rebecca go to Dickens' home, where his possessions are about to be auctioned off; they plunge into the world of London theatres, the seedy, dangerous streets of the East End. Very soon they find themselves pursued by assailants and entangled in a sinister game in which the plot of Dicken's final mystery and real life seem destined to collide. And overshadowing everything is the violent, lucrative international opium-smuggling trade. In The Last Dickens Matthew Pearl once again delivers an intricate, fast-paced and stylish literary thriller.
Edited and with an Introduction by Matthew Pearl Includes "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt," and "The Purloined Letter" Between 1841 and 1844, Edgar Allan Poe invented the genre of detective fiction with three mesmerizing stories of a young French eccentric named C. Auguste Dupin. Introducing to literature the concept of applying reason to solving crime, these tales brought Poe fame and fortune. Years later, Dorothy Sayers would describe "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" as "almost a complete manual of detective theory and practice." Indeed, Poe's short mysteries inspired the creation of countless literary sleuths, among them Sherlock Holmes. Today, the unique Dupin stories still stand out as utterly engrossing page-turners. Includes a Modern Library Reading Group GuideFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
It's often said that a good book takes us somewhere we've never been before, and here's the proof: a book-lover's Baedeker to more than 500 literary locales across the United States and Europe. Novel Destinations invites readers to follow in the footsteps of much-loved authors, discover the scenes that sparked their imaginations, glimpse the lives they led, and share a bit of the experiences they transformed so eloquently into print. If you're looking to indulge in literary adventure, you'll find all the inspiration and information you need here, along with behind-the-scenes stories such as these:After Ernest Hemingway survived two near-fatal plane crashes during an African safari, he perused his obituaries and sipped champagne on a canal-side terrace in Venice.Washington Irving's wisteria-draped cottage in the Hudson Valley was once occupied by members of the Van Tassel family, immortalized in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.A mysterious incident at a stone tower near Dublin made such a vivid impression on James Joyce that he drew on it for the opening scene of Ulysses.Sir Arthur Conan Doyle consulted on the mystery of Agatha Christie's 1926 disappearance before she resurfaced under an assumed name in northern England.Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables was inspired by a seaside manse in Salem, Massachusetts, infamous witch trials in which his ancestor played a role.
Baltimore, 1849. The body of Edgar Allan Poe has been buried in an unmarked grave. The public, the press, even Poe's family and friends accept the conclusion that Poe was a second-rate writer who died a drunkard. But none of this deters a young Baltimore lawyer named Quentin Clark, an ardent admirer who risks his own career and reputation in a passionate crusade to salvage Poe's. Clark discovers that Poe's last days are riddled with vital unanswered questions. The police, it seems, may be concealing things. But just when Poe's death seems destined to remain a mystery Quentin realises he must find the one person who can solve this strange case: the real-life model for Poe's brilliant fictional detective character, C. Auguste Dupin, the hero of ingenious tales of crime and detection. Clark successfully recruits the man he believes to have inspired Poe's Dupin only to be confronted by another claiming to be the true model and a dangerous race between the two master detectives begins, each seeking to prove he is the real 'Dupin' by solving the mystery of Poe's death. In short order, Clark finds himself enmeshed in sinister machinations involving international political agents, a female assassin, the corrupt Baltimore slave trade and the lost secrets of Poe's final hours. With his own future hanging in the balance, he must turn master investigator himself to unchain his now imperiled fate from that of Poe. THE POE SHADOW is a beautifully detailed, ingeniously plotted tale of suspense which opens a thrilling new window on the truth behind Poe's demise, literary history's most persistent enigma.
Matthew Pearl's upcoming novel, The Technologists, is a stunning historical thriller based on the early days of America's great institution of learning, MIT--and a depraved killer teaching Boston to fear its own shadow. In this original eBook short story, Pearl delves further into the turbulent world of nineteenth-century academia to re-create a shocking, real-life, and all-but-forgotten crime. William Barton Rogers will one day become MIT's founder and president. But in 1840 he is still a science professor at the University of Virginia. A tall and commanding intellectual, he epitomizes the strong and liberal ways of "Mr. Jefferson's University," a controversial experiment in progressive thought and laissez-faire governance. Then a startling event rocks the school to its foundation. Riots led by masked "volunteers" have begun roiling the campus, exploiting its attitude toward discipline. When one of his colleagues is brutally slain during the unrest, Rogers must become a man of both words and deeds to capture the killer--and keep an essential institution from collapsing around him. Includes a preview of Matthew Pearl's forthcoming novel, The Technologists, which Joseph Finder calls "the best yet from a true master of the historical thriller."
The first class at M.I.T. The last hope for a city in peril. The acclaimed author of The Dante Club reinvigorates the historical thriller. Matthew Pearl's spellbinding new novel transports readers to tumultuous nineteenth-century Boston, where the word "technology" represents a bold and frightening new concept. The fight for the future will hinge on . . . THE TECHNOLOGISTS Boston, 1868. The Civil War may be over but a new war has begun, one between the past and the present, tradition and technology. On a former marshy wasteland, the daring Massachusetts Institute of Technology is rising, its mission to harness science for the benefit of all and to open the doors of opportunity to everyone of merit. But in Boston Harbor a fiery cataclysm throws commerce into chaos, as ships' instruments spin inexplicably out of control. Soon after, another mysterious catastrophe devastates the heart of the city. Is it sabotage by scientific means or Nature revolting against man's attempt to control it? The shocking disasters cast a pall over M.I.T. and provoke assaults from all sides--rival Harvard, labor unions, and a sensationalistic press. With their first graduation and the very survival of their groundbreaking college now in doubt, a band of the Institute's best and brightest students secretly come together to save innocent lives and track down the truth, armed with ingenuity and their unique scientific training. Led by "charity scholar" Marcus Mansfield, a quiet Civil War veteran and one-time machinist struggling to find his footing in rarefied Boston society, the group is rounded out by irrepressible Robert Richards, the bluest of Beacon Hill bluebloods; Edwin Hoyt, class genius; and brilliant freshman Ellen Swallow, the Institute's lone, ostracized female student. Working against their small secret society, from within and without, are the arrayed forces of a stratified culture determined to resist change at all costs and a dark mastermind bent on the utter destruction of the city. Studded with suspense and soaked in the rich historical atmosphere for which its author is renowned, The Technologists is a dazzling journey into a dangerous world not so very far from our own, as the America we know today begins to shimmer into being.From the Hardcover edition.
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