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Book Title: The Sensualist: An Illustrated Novel|
The author of the book: Barbara Hodgson
Edition: Chronicle Books
The size of the: 876 KB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: April 1st 2001
ISBN 13: 9780811832083
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 2467 times
Reader ratings: 3.5
Read full description of the books:
Never judge a book by its cover is a cliche that invites caution and warns about being duped by design. In the case of the Sensualist, because the book itself is so gorgeous, I was braced for disappointment in the writing.
In fact, I had to be wooed a bit, because the opening is grotesque and it took a while for me to warm up to Helen Martin, scholar of antique anatomical illustration, in which I have not the slightest interest. Yet in spite of Barbara Hodgsons lack of an attempt to present her as even remotely likable, quite soon I was enamoured of Helen. Although she is presented as someone who is probably quite mad, as the story unfolds she reveals an unflappable wit and an unexpected wealth of compassion and warmth, steadfastedness and courage.
She has come to Europe on a wild goose chase, and on the way as we follow her progress to and from Vienna, a mystery unfolds that corresponds to her own position. For she has been dead to her marriage and consequently stalled in her own life, dead to the life of her senses. There are two
conclusions to her awakening. one a neat solution to the mystery, and one a maddening tangle of threads.
Parralleling the fantastic element of the story and enclosed in it is the immpecably researched history of the 16th century anatomist Andreas Vesalius.The ingenious use of a box and the plentiful rare illustrations gave a fascinating account.
I cannot say much more without spoiling the plot and the delight of each of her encounters.
Helen is a no nonsense kind of woman, and the aplomb which she exhibits as each of her senses comes alive, provides some hilarious juxtapositions. The writing is gorgeous in its simple complexity and carries one along late into the night. Definately a magnificent book to come back to.
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Read information about the authorBarbara Hodgson is a book designer with a degree in archeology and a diploma in graphic design. She began her career in book design by working for Douglas & McIntyre, moving from freelance designer to art director prior to taking on freelance work for other publishers and ultimately forming the book-packaging company Byzantium Books with Nick Bantock in 1993.
Designing books led to writing books: Hodgson is the author of No Place for a Lady, Dreaming of East, and Italy Out of Hand, all published by Greystone Books, and several other highly praised non-fiction books. She is also the author of four acclaimed illustrated novels Lives of Shadows, Hippolyte’s Island, The Sensualist, and The Tattooed Map.
Hodgson’s books are unique in that they combine her writing with a multitude of illustrations of various types drawn from a wide range of sources, including engravings, lithographs, photographs, stereo-cards, postcards, movie stills, and pulp magazine and novel covers. These days, the flea market is the consummate collector’s primary source of research and inspiration.
Barbara Hodgson lives in Vancouver.
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