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The Resource Valiant gentlemen, Sabina Murray

Valiant gentlemen, Sabina Murray

Label
Valiant gentlemen
Title
Valiant gentlemen
Statement of responsibility
Sabina Murray
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Following her New York Times Editor's Choice collection of short stories Tales of the New World, historical fiction master Sabina Murray returns with an epic and bold novel of friendship and betrayal set across four continents and a 40-year time span In prose that is darkly humorous and alive with detail, Valiant Gentlemen reimagines the lives and intimate friendships of humanitarian and Irish patriot Roger Casement; his closest friend, Herbert Ward; and Ward's extraordinary wife, the Argentinian-American heiress Sarita Sanford. Valiant Gentlemen takes the reader on an intimate journey, from Ward and Casement's misadventurous youth in the Congo-where, among other things, they bore witness to an Irish whiskey heir's taste for cannibalism-to Ward's marriage to Sarita and their flourishing family life in France, to Casement's covert homosexuality and enduring nomadic lifestyle floating between his work across the African continent and involvement in Irish politics. When World War I breaks out, Casement and Ward's longstanding political differences finally come to a head and when Ward and his teenage sons leave to fight on the frontlines for England, Casement begins to work alongside the Germans to help free Ireland from British rule. What results is tragic and riveting, as both men are forced to confront notions of love and betrayal in the face of the vastly different tracks their lives have taken. Reminiscent of the work of Peter Carey and Michael Ondaatje, Valiant Gentlemen is a uniquely human account of some of early 20th century's larger historical figures from a "ravishing" (O Magazine) and "brilliant" (The Boston Globe) voice in fiction today"--
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
New York Times Notable Book, 2016
Review
  • Murray (Forgery, 2007) returns to historical fiction with this account of the 40-year friendship of writer and sculptor Herbert Ward and Irish patriot Roger Casement. The two meet in 1886 as young men working and gallivanting in the Congo. Ward uses this experience as inspiration for his artistic pursuits, but Casement, haunted by the treatment of the tribal people, turns to a life of humanitarianism, while also fighting for Irish independence. They go their separate ways, Ward marrying Argentinian-American heiress Sarita Sanford, who proves to be a scene-stealer, and Casement gets further involved in politics heading into WWI. They remain friends until political differences lead to betrayal and tragedy. Murray has clearly done her homework and aptly shows not only the larger-than-life personalities of her protagonists but also their quieter, interior lives. Historical-fiction fans will be captivated by this highly readable account of British colonialism and political intrigue couched in the very personal story of the friendship of two remarkable men. -- Sexton, Kathy (Reviewed 9/1/2016) (Booklist, vol 113, number 1, p61)
  • /* Starred Review */ Brimming with exquisite detail and clever humor, PEN/Faulkner winner Murray’s wondrously written historical novel ferries a vivid cast of characters across continents and decades, from the sweltering jungles of 19th-century Africa to cosmopolitan Paris in the wake of World War I. Here the close-knit avatars of history are Roger Casement, an Irish revolutionary, and Herbert Ward, a former circus performer turned devoted husband and father. Early chapters follow the two friends into cannibalistic villages and Manhattan’s earliest gay bars, along the Continental Railroad and speaking tours of the West Coast, eventually to Ward’s marriage to Sarita Sanford, a headstrong Argentinian-American heiress. The cracks in the central friendship fissure at the advent of the Great War, with Ward fighting alongside his son for England, Casement lending his talents to the Germans, who promise to free Ireland from British control. As in Tales of the New World and The Caprices, the author maintains an impressive balance of historical accuracy and dramatic momentum, crafting a stellar fiction that shows how the grand course of history can be shaped by the smallest disagreements between friends. Agent: Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency. (Nov.) --Staff (Reviewed 08/22/2016) (Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 34, p)
  • Just as the centenary of the Easter Rising swings Ireland freshly into view, here is a retelling of the lives and friendships of Irish patriot Roger Casement, close friend Herbert Ward, and Ward's wife, the Argentine American heiress Sarita Sanford. The book opens with the two men enjoying youthful misadventures in the Congo, then moves to Ward's marriage to Sarita, Casement's undercover homosexuality, and, as World War I explodes, the battle to free Ireland from British rule, with Casement and Ward forced to acknowledge their very different politics. From PEN/Faulkner Award winner Murray; with a five-city tour. --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed 06/01/2016) (Library Journal, vol 141, issue 10, p66)
  • A long yarn recounting the life of Irish revolutionary Roger Casement and real-life best friend Herbert Ward, the British writer and artist.It wont be a spoiler to note that Casement was executed for treason by the British government, having traveled to Germany during World War I to solicit help for the cause of Irish independence. Did personal motivations underlie his devotion to that cause, perhaps connected to his guarded but evident homosexuality? (Someone was saying at dinner that youre like Wolf Tone, one interlocutor says. Maybe he liked boys?) Certainly, Murray (Tales of the New World, 2011, etc.) recounts, Casement's friendship with Ward was unusually deep; in a closing moment, Ward finds a photograph that Casement has folded in half to exclude two other figures, so that it appeared that they had been photographed as a couple. But there is another love at play once Ward and Casement emerge from their career-defining adventures in the wilds of Africa: Sarita Sanford, a fetching heiress savvy enough to know that taking up with Ward is a fiscal risk that will pay off in a loss of innocenceto which she appends the dismissive thought, How romantic. Though the novel is populated with other characters, the essence of the story is the triangle formed by Sanford, Ward, and Casement; of the three, Sanford is the most interesting. Murray casts inevitable tragedy (She feels a gripa chilland wonders why of all things shes feeling this: the pull of grief), but while she has a good eye for character, some of the energy of the story melts away in pointless chatter. The storyline could stand some tightening, too, though it resolves nicely. Not at all bad, but given that Mario Vargas Llosa covered much of the same ground in his superior 2010 novel, The Dream of the Celt, Murrays version of the Casement story seems superfluous.(Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 1900)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10539796
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Murray, Sabina
Dewey number
813/.54
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3563.U787
LC item number
V35 2016
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Casement, Roger
  • Ward, Herbert
  • Ward, Sarita
  • Patriotism
  • Husband and wife
  • World War, 1914-1918
Target audience
adult
Label
Valiant gentlemen, Sabina Murray
Instantiates
Publication
Note
Illustrations on lining papers
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
489 pages
Isbn
9780802125453
Lccn
2016016624
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, maps
System control number
  • 939426685
  • (OCoLC)939426685
Label
Valiant gentlemen, Sabina Murray
Publication
Note
Illustrations on lining papers
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
489 pages
Isbn
9780802125453
Lccn
2016016624
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, maps
System control number
  • 939426685
  • (OCoLC)939426685

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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