• Tartly funny, emotionally engrossing and headily intelligent

    Sunday Times
  • A formidable feast of a book... A. S. Byatt can use her extraordinary mind to probe passional conflicts more hair-raisingly well than any thriller-writer

    Daily Telegraph
  • In this exuberant and vastly ambitious novel, A. S. Byatt has made both an intellectual chronicle and an intimate history... This book is about the life of art and the art of living, and its prose is charged with powerful images

    Harpers & Queen
  • A remarkable book, of exceptional gravity and serious charm... it balances an acute sense of the values of art and intellect with an imaginative sympathy. Its ambition is almost unique in the English novel


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