Set in Provence at three different critical moments of Western Civilisation - the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, the Black Death in the fourteenth, and the Second World War in the twentieth - The Dream of Scipio follows the fortunes of three men: Manlius Hippomanes, a Gallic aristocrat obsessed with the preservation of Roman ...
Set in Provence at three different critical moments of Western Civilisation - the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, the Black Death in the fourteenth, and the Second World War in the twentieth - The Dream of Scipio follows the fortunes of three men: Manlius Hippomanes, a Gallic aristocrat obsessed with the preservation of Roman civilisation, Olivier de Noyen, a poet, and Julien Barneuve, an intellectual who joins the Vichy government. The story of each man is woven through the narrative, linked by the classical text that gives the book its title, and by each man's love for an extraordinary woman. Dense, dark, erudite and yet, like An Instance of the Fingerpost, utterly compelling, The Dream of Scipio confirms Iain Pears as one of Britain's most imaginative novelists.
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Dream of Scipio takes place in Avignon, France in three different and important eras. First, right after the fall of Rome and the start of the "dark ages," where the only learning took place in the monasteries. 2nd era, the middle ages where the Church and the Kings rivaled for power; 3rd era: France in World War Il when the Nazis invaded the country. The protagonist (each one different according to the times), finds himself making vital decisions that affect not only his own life but those with powerful influence who could change events.The book does not proceed in l-2-3 order but devotes segments to each period and switches around so that the reader is kept in suspense as to the plot resolution for each dramatic era. The reader will learn many new facts of these time periods, and will be entertained by all the characters portrayed.
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