Mortal Love by Elizabeth Hand. In the Victorian Age, a mysterious and irresistible woman becomes entwined in the lives of several artists, both as a muse and as the object of all-consuming obsession. Radborne Comstock, one of the early twentieth century's most brilliant young painters, is helpless under her dangerous spell. In modern-day London, journalist Daniel Rowlands meets a beguiling woman who hold In the Victorian Age, a mysterious and irresistible woman becomes entwined in the lives of several artists, both as a muse and as the object of all-consuming obsession.
In modern-day London, journalist Daniel Rowlands meets a beguiling woman who holds the secret to invaluable -- and lost -- Pre-Raphaelite paintings, while wealthy dilettante-actor Valentine Comstock is consumed by enigmatic visions. Swirling between eras and continents, Mortal Love is the intense tale of unforgettable characters caught in a whirlwind of art, love, and intrigue that will take your breath away. Get A Copy.
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Award Nominee for Longlist Other Editions 7. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Mortal Love , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. But she keeps not-quite-getting-there, for me. I did really like this book, however - it may be her best yet. And, can't beat the cover art! The plot is complex and twisting, encompassing times frames from the Victorian to today, all dealing with the intersection of Faerie and our world, all featuring a woman of Faerie, powerful, beautiful and compelling, artists' muse, lover, femme fatale, who inspires the men she touches to artistic genius, but leaves them mentally broken, obsessed, literally 'burned.
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I've also posted this review at my website preraphaelitesisterhood. And I know I will not hesitate to devour it again, its hold over me is that strong. It is a story with many layers and a narrative that switches between time periods. I enjoyed it, realizing early on that the story was told in an artistic, disjointed way that appealed to me. It is unique and yet, like Pre-Raphaelite art, it is not for everyone. I think Mortal Love can best be described as a fairy tale for I've also posted this review at my website preraphaelitesisterhood.
I think Mortal Love can best be described as a fairy tale for adult readers. It is a modern myth that explores the relationship between the muse and the artist. This book is indeed a tapestry, weaving together not only different time periods, but also offering cameo appearances of artists, authors, music, and folklore from days gone by.
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I do have to say that my knowledge of the Pre-Raphaelites and their circle added to my understanding and enjoyment of this book. I do wonder whether a new reader who has never heard of Burne-Jones or Algernon Charles Swinburne would appreciate the book with the same depth, but on the whole the story still stands alone and if anything, I hope that this beautifully told tale would inspire those readers to seek out information about the artists and authors mentioned. She created a visual atmosphere for the reader, immersing me in a world of crisp hues and the scent of green apples.
Have you ever had that experience where even though you are asleep, sounds from the awake world are heard and mesh seamlessly with your dream? Like a telephone ringing or a dog barking? That is the only way I can think of to describe my feelings while reading this book. I was sort of in between worlds, yet part of both. My children surround me, playing. My husband working in the near vicinity. Noises are everywhere. Amidst our normal daily chaos, I was somewhere else. A dream world of chestnut-colored hair, acorns, absinthe, art, and a woman who could truly be described as la belle dame sans merci.
I want to share with you a synopsis of the book, but it just struck me that the task may be beyond me. Instead of attempting it, I hope you will forgive me for taking the easy way out and give you the description from the back of the book: "In the Victorian Age, a mysterious and irresistible woman becomes entwined in the lives of several artists, both as a muse and as the object of all-consuming obsession.
In modern-day London, journalist Daniel Rowlands meets a beguiling woman who holds a secret to invaluable- and lost- Pre-Raphaelite paintings, while wealthy dilettante -actor Valentine Comstock is consumed by enigmatic visions. Jan 04, Christine rated it really liked it Shelves: women-writers , fantasy-historical. I'm giving this four stars instead of three because I believe that all the hype I heard about the book led me to except too much from the book. Hand does have a wonderful writing style, and the book does weave three separate stories together very well.
The ending, however, seemed a little sudden though I like how everything was entirely and fully explained if you know your myths and legends, you'll figure it out. Hand did a good job of making Larkin as mysterious for the reader as she was for I'm giving this four stars instead of three because I believe that all the hype I heard about the book led me to except too much from the book.
Hand did a good job of making Larkin as mysterious for the reader as she was for the men in the book. I would say that some of the narrative voice needs to be stronger. Part of the book is told in first person, but doesn't read any different from the third person point of view. Aug 06, Audrey rated it liked it. I think, based on reviews I read before actually reading this novel, that I came to expect way too much from it. I love how Hand wove the different threads of the story together, but the foray into Fairy at the end seemed too abruptly handled -- it lacked the finesse and grace that seemed present throughout so much of the novel.
However, I do see myself coming back to this one for a reread, so it's possible I may change my mind the second time around. Not as good as Possession, but then again, f I think, based on reviews I read before actually reading this novel, that I came to expect way too much from it. Not as good as Possession, but then again, few novels are.
Jul 08, Grace rated it really liked it. This is a highly atmospheric book involving 3 generations of men, all artistically inclined. The theme of the book is a female succubi-like character who acts as muse to all of them. Though not all of the mysteries of the book are ever completely wrapped up, and the author expects you to know things about Pre-Raphaelite art and Celtic Mythology, it's so easy to get swept up into the writing Mar 14, John Armstrong added it.
An absolutely superb book. Crafted like a lace doily made of razor blades, it explores the inherent danger in both faeries and art. Both can be fatal. Readers will be entranced, writers will be jealous and perhaps discouraged, because this is a rare thing a work of art and an intricate piece of craftsmanship. I can't say enough good about it - get a copy.
I enjoyed it even more the second time. View 1 comment. Very interesting. The only thing is there are not any likable characters in this book! Jun 01, Gea rated it really liked it. A luscious mythic story about muses and creativity.
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Jul 21, Paul rated it really liked it. It's a captivating, complex, multi-faceted read, and a terrific achievement. Jun 05, Ella rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy , unpleasant-main-character , all-time-favorites , wow , cue-the-fangirling , wilde-things , arthuriana. If you like 19th century art, creepy, creepy gothic fantasy, Dark Muse mythology, or Tristan and Iseult, this is the book for you.
Apr 16, Kimberly rated it it was amazing. What a beautiful novel. Gorgeous incandescent writing spiralling through three storylines spanning two decades and two generations. Two connecting storylines involve mad painters haunted by elusive fey women but are they the same woman? Within this four part novel, you enter into the world of Victorian England just as American born painter Radborne Comstock meets Evienne Upstone a woman who has modeled most recently for some of the painters in the much talked about Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
He What a beautiful novel. Her reputation includes driving fellow painter Jacobus Candell into a state of madness by which there is no return. When we meet Radborne's grandson, Valentine Comstock, a half century later, the reader soon discovers the connecting thread between the lives of grandfather and grandson and this theme of erotic dreams of a woman who may or may not exist if only in their mind. It seems grandfather Radborne painted some very erotic paintings of Evienne that grandson Valentine keeps in his possession much like another young man we meet in another storyline taking place in the current day.
For instance, in contemporary London an American writer, Daniel Rowlands is researching the legend of Tristan and Isolde resulting in his meeting Larkin Meade but is she real and does she exist anywhere besides inside his erotic dreams? The reader will have to wait until the end for answers to these artistic questions. Author, Elizabeth Hand, deftly incorporates the struggles of artists haunted by the desire to capture the elements of beauty and art within their muses. They become so obsessed that their muses, fey women, lovers, drive them to madness because capturing their essence on canvas is never enough to bring them true peace within themselves.
What makes Mortal Love original in context and nature is how Elizabeth Hand weaves fairy tale elements of myth and Celtic lore juxtaposed against an almost science fiction novel. The Victorian England storyline contains real life Pre-Raphaelite poet, Algernon Swinburne whose reputation definitely preceeded him. He was elfin, drunken funny man who comes off likable when he could have easily been a character whom the reader dislikes and feels sorry for. Aug 30, Stef rated it it was ok Shelves: disillusion , fantasy , fiction , love-story , beautiful-language , mistaken-identities , historical-fiction.
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I have to say this up front: this book is really weird. As the book spirals towards the ending these various perspectives all being to feed into one another to present a complete picture that has only appeared as fragments before. Yet you are still left with a lot of holes in the story that without a background in Medieval and I have to say this up front: this book is really weird. Yet you are still left with a lot of holes in the story that without a background in Medieval and Romantic literature, some of the dropped hints would make no sense. Never used!. Seller Inventory P Book Description Condition: New.
Seller Inventory M First Edition - may be Reissue. Ships with Tracking Number! Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory n. Items related to Mortal Love. Mortal Love. Elizabeth Hand. This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. Photo from. You're now in slide show mode. Forgot password? Keep me signed in.
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