Length: 256 Pages
'A hugely entertaining book about the grand scope of friendship and love, it is also, movingly – at times, astonishingly – a story of transience, loss and true loyalty' Guardian
1878: The Lyceum Theatre, London. Three extraordinary people begin their life together, a life that will be full of drama, transformation, passionate and painful devotion to art and to one another. Henry Irving, the Chief, is the volcanic leading man and impresario; Ellen Terry is the most lauded and desired actress of her generation, outspoken and generous of heart; and ever following along behind them in the shadows is the unremarkable theatre manager, Bram Stoker.
Fresh from life in Dublin as a clerk, Bram may seem the least colourful of the trio but he is wrestling with dark demons in a new city, in a new marriage, and with his own literary aspirations. As he walks the London streets at night, streets haunted by the Ripper and the gossip which swirls around his friend Oscar Wilde, he finds new inspiration. But the Chief is determined that nothing will get in the way of his manager’s devotion to the Lyceum and to himself. And both men are enchanted by the beauty and boldness of the elusive Ellen.
This exceptional novel explores the complexities of love that stands dangerously outside social convention, the restlessness of creativity, and the experiences that led to Dracula, the most iconic supernatural tale of all time.
Length: 256 Pages
"Dazzling...the panache and subtlety of his prose perfectly match that gusto and creative finesse of the High Victorian world his novel wonderfully evokes"
"An ingenious novel… O’Connor’s work is hugely impressive and utterly haunting"
"Joseph O’Connor is a very great artist and storyteller. The quotient of enjoyment in his extraordinary new novel is stupendous"
"A hugely entertaining book about the grand scope of friendship and love, it is also, movingly – at times, astonishingly – a story of transience, loss and true loyalty"
"A work of Gothic splendour...O'Connor's writing is always intensely atmospheric. As a romp through Ripper-ravaged London, Shadowplay is mightily entertaining. But as a meditation on hidden sexuality, it is powerful and poignant"