The God of Spring: A Novel

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Simon & Schuster, Mar 6, 2007 - Fiction - 352 pages
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"Leave the fine stallions, converging battle troops, and court commissions to the Vernets and their honored friends. Here was his space. Scorched, implacable skies, clouds raining dust. An ocean so tumultuous and vast it would hurt your eyes to stare at it for long. Men huddled on an improbable tempest-tossed raft. Mere planks lashed by rotting cords.

Perhaps he had chanced on a subject for the king's Salon at last."

Set in Paris in 1818, during the upheavals of the French Revolution, the Empire, and the Restoration, "The God of Spring" tells the story of painter Theodore Gericault.

Having won a gold medal at the prestigious Salon for his painting "Charging Chasseur" at the tender age of twenty-one, Gericault is now, seven years later, searching for the subject of his next masterpiece. But he is lovesick, hopelessly addicted to his benefactor- uncle's young wife, Alexandrine, six years his senior. Every moment without her is an eternity.

At the house of his worldly neighbor he hears the story of the shipwreck of the French frigate "Medusa" off the shores of the West African coast and the abandonment of one hundred fifty souls on an unseaworthy, makeshift raft. The catastrophe has fascinated and horrified the French public, with its tales of betrayal, madness, murder, and cannibalism. "Against all odds," Gericault is told, "Henri Savigny, the frigate's surgeon, evidently returned to Paris alive."

When Gericault finds Savigny and his mate, he has discovered a pair of unlikely muses who hold the key to the rendering of the painter's next great work. If only he can maintain his sanity.

"The God of Spring" is the story of grand passions. In prose that vividly evokes its setting, Arabella Edge has brought to life the creation of an epic painting.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The provenance of a classic painting is artfully fictionalized in this sparkling second novel from the English author (now residing in Australia) of the prizewinning debut, The Company (2001).The ... Read full review

The god of spring

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In 1818, Romantic painter Th├ƒ┬»├‚┬┐├‚┬Żodore G├ƒ┬»├‚┬┐├‚┬Żricault had just returned to France from a trip meant to distract him from an obsessive love affair with his stepaunt. He wanted to paint but ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Arabella Edge read English literature at the University of Bristol in the UK and moved to Australia in 1992. With her husband, Nick Gaze, she now divides her time between Sydney and Bicheno, on Tasmania's east coast. Her first novel, The Company, won the Best First Book in the 2001 Commonwealth Writers' Prize in the South East Asia and South Pacific Region and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.

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