Product Description 'Wickedly funny' The Times Famed beauty Venetia Stanley is so extravagantly dazzling she has inspired Ben Jonson to poetry and Van Dyck to painting, provoking adoration and emulation from the masses. Stampedes follow her arrival in town.However, as she approaches middle age, the attention turns to scrutiny. Her adoring husband Sir Kenelm Digby - philosopher, alchemist and time-traveller - wishes she would age naturally, but Venetia discovers a potent and addictive elixir of youth, Viper Wine. Set on the eve of the English Civil War, and based on a true story, this brilliant novel asks a very contemporary question: what is the cost of beauty? 'Dazzling' Observer 'Intoxicating' Independent on Sunday Review Exuberantly inventive and intelligent... Sumptuous, strange and startlingly original. ?Mail on SundayAn intoxicating fantasy in which real-life characters are haunted by the future. -- Marcus Field ?Independent on SundayUsing an alchemy all of her own, Eyre's postmodern take on the 17th century renders it dazzlingly fresh and contemporary. -- Lucy Scholes ?ObserverPlayful, witty and expansive... An exceptionally clever and exhilarating excursion through Caroline high society. -- Nick Rennison ?Sunday TimesA genre-defying debut novel... Vivid and vivacious - hats off to Eyre. -- Sebastian Shakespeare ?TatlerBold and wildly original,Viper Wine is an exuberantly witty play on the vanity and ghoulishness of the beauty industry, and a celebration of the unfading beauty of language... Hermione Eyre has injected new youth into the historical novel. -- Frances Wilson ?Evening StandardHermione Eyre?s bold and satisfying debut...offers up a potent mixture of baroque intricacy and gothic horror. Like Laurent Binet?sHHhH?Viper Wine tries to tease out the tensions that exist when telling history as fiction. Eyre?s novel is stylistically a world away from Binet?s, but shows some of the same playfulness in its reworking of historical sources? The stylistic brio and technical invention on show here is truly impressive? -- John Gallagher ?Sunday TelegraphA wickedly funny parable of today's beauty industry... Descriptive brilliance and breathtaking cleverness. -- Melissa Katsoulis ?The TimesNo account of [Van Dyck] has perhaps been so convincing as that in Viper Wine? As art history it?s deeply unorthodox - but as a postmodern portrait of a trend-setting painter in the midst of a comeback, it seems both thrillingly and entertainingly right. -- Marcus Field ?Independent on SundayAlmost 400 years after Venetia Stanley's death, little has changed. As an allegory of our ageing-obsessed generation, [Viper Wine] is hard to argue with. -- Sam Baker ?Harper's BazaarEyre has written a sumptuous, sensual tale of beauty and vanity; it's crying out for a TV adaptation. ?BooksellerMagical realism meets a seventeenth-centuryPortrait of a Marriage. To say it is dazzling would be a puritan understatement. -- Tom Holland, author of 'Rubicon' and 'Persian Fire'Persistently bizarre, fecund, technically inventive, funny - and oddly touching. -- Jonathan MeadesViper Wine richly evokes Elizabethan and Jacobean language and is alert to the plight of Catholics under Elizabeth I and King James, while at the same time putting a post-modernist spin on the tight and enthralling plot. I used to be dubious about alchemy and antiquarianism, but the wit and excitement of this first novel breathes new life into them. -- Tom Paulin[A] cornucopia of a novel. -- Kathy Stevenson ?Daily MailAs funny as it is surreal. -- India Ross ?Financial TimesThis funny and exciting novel takes a fresh look at life during the excitement and danger of the 17th century. ?Catholic HeraldThe language is beautiful, creating fantastic images with her descriptions. -- Claire Snook ?BookmunchEyre?s prose is sensuous and rich? Her recreation of the period is persuasive and alluring. -- Andrew Tong ?Independen
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