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The Quality of Mercy
 
 
Author
Barry Unsworth.
Publisher Nan A. Talese/BOMC  
Format hardcover, BOMC
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.75 x 1.1 inches
ISBN 9780385534772
Pages/Publication Date 319/2011
Daedalus Item Code 33336
This item is not available.
Description
(Shortlisted for the 2012 Walter Scott Prize) Returning to the thread of his Booker Prize–winning Sacred Hunger, this sequel—the late Barry Unsworth's final novel—is set in the spring of 1767. To avenge the death of his bankrupted father, Erasmus Kemp has had the rebellious sailors of his father's ship, including an Irish fiddler named Sullivan, brought back to London to stand trial on charges of mutiny and piracy. But a blithe Sullivan has escaped and is making his way on foot to the north of England, stealing as he goes and sleeping where he can. He is on his way to the coal town where his dead shipmate Billy Blair once lived, and where Billy's brother-in-law and his three nephews work their days underground in the pits. Kemp, too, is drawn to the Durham coalfields, but as a would-be captain of industry.

"Unsworth [was] one of the best historical novelists on either side of the Atlantic, and in both Sacred Hunger and The Quality of Mercy his vast knowledge of 18th-century social and material conditions creates a rich and strange rendering of daily life that's utterly persuasive."—NYTBR

"This is what [Unsworth] does best: He entices us back into a past gloriously appointed with archival detail and moral complexity.... [The Quality of Mercy] is another engaging demonstration of the talent that's made Unsworth one of the very few writers to appear on the Booker shortlist three times. His sentences recall the sharp detail, moral sensitivity and ready wit of Charles Dickens. But his sense of the lumbering, uneven gait of social progress is more sophisticated, more tempered, one might say, by history."—Washington Post

 
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