Author(s): Helen Humphreys
When Charles Saint-Beuve, a French literary journalist met Victor Hugo, an ambitious young writer who intended to become famous, he was swept into a world of grand emotions, a world where words can become swords. But it is not Victor he is really attracted to - it is his wife Adele. Soon the two lovers are on the edge of a great scandal and a wounded Victor must exact his price for betrayal, a price that will change the lives of so many, including his own children. As Saint-Beuve - a man like no other man - struggles to hold on to what is left of his great love, he finds that only words can rekindle the flame. Set during the tumultuous reign of Napoleon III, this mesmerising novel draws a rich portrait of the old Paris, where duels are fought and cholera-ridden bodies float in the Seine. Towering over all is the genius of Victor Hugo, already the voice of France, eventually banished to the island of Guernsey for his opposition to the regime...
Helen Humphreys is a Canadian poet and novelist. She was born in London, England, and now lives in Kingston, Ontario. When she was younger she was kicked out of high school and had to attend an alternative school to finish her education. Humphreys' first novel, Leaving Earth, was a New York Times Notable Book in 1998 and won the City of Toronto Book Award.