Ian Barnes explores the grand tapestry of late Victorian Britain to create his most intriguing and engrossing novel yet It s the first time ever that I immediately within seconds after starting the book had to confirm the meaning of a word tourism Yes imagined thatThe author starts this book with this introductory paragraph A child wants to see It always begins like
this and it began like this then A child wanted to see He was able to walk and could and it began like this then A child wanted to see He was able to walk and could p to a door handle He did this with nothing that could be called a purpose merely the instinctive tourism of infancy Striking se of the word right The official definition of the word the commercial organization and operation of holidays and visits to places of interest How would anyone want to close a book beginning like thatUsing the word in the context of the opening paragraph the tone is set for the book the author s approach to history is established the purpose of this novel confirmed The books of Julian Barnes is an acuired taste While the author seeks to tell a story he does it with a slow pen meticulous research and a challenging angle to everything Sir Arthur Conan Doyle probably inherited his love of storytelling from his mother Maryne Foley who loved to entertain her younger children with ghost and other nightmarish stories sinking her voice to a horror stricken whisper His mother s alternative approach challenged her children to estion everything to seek the truth wherever it may be hidden The rebel in this young boy was firmly established His father an artist and alcoholic did not play a significant role in the young man s life At home he learned extra commandments on top of the ten a significant role in the young man s life At home he learned extra commandments on top of the ten knew from church Fearless to the strong humble to the weak was one and Chivalry towards women of high and low degree He felt them to be important since they came directly from the Mam they also demanded practical implementationThe Christian virtues could be practiced by everyone from the humble to the high born But chivalry was the prerogative of the powerful The knight protected his lady the strong aided the weak honour was a living thing for which you should be prepared to die His background and education would later lead to four personas in one intellectually gifted person Arthur the scholar and medical student the humanitarian Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the famous author Dr Conan Doyle who offered his medical expertise during the Anglo Boer War among other things and his most controversial personathe spiritualist or rather strong advocate for spiritualism He was neither agnostic nor atheist But he strongly defended the right of every human being to cut out the middleman between the living and the departed on this earth I mistrust faith which is the biggest metaphor of all I have done with faith I can only work with the clear white light of knowledgeThe whole point of psychical research he explains is to eliminate and expose fraud and deceit To leave only what can be scientifically confirmed If you eliminate the impossible what is left however improbable must be the truth Spiritism is not asking you to take a leap in the dark or cross a bridge you have not yet come to God and the Jesus who are claimed by a Church which for centuries has been corrupt both spiritually and intellectually And which demands of its followers the suspension of rational faculties If you look at what it actually says in the Bible if you ignore the way in which the text has been altered and misinterpreted to suit the will of the established churches it s ite clear that Jesus was a highly trained psychic or medium The inner circle of the Apostles especially Peter James and John were clearly chosen for their spiritist capabilities The miracles of the Bible are merely well not merely wholly examples of Jesus s psychic powers Clergy But it is Le but to their dismay he appears to suspect George of being
The Letters' Author Then Someone letters' author Then someone slashing horses and livestock Again the police seem to suspect the shy aloof Birmingham solicitor He is arrested and on the flimsiest evidence sent to trial found guilty and sentenced to seven years' hard labourArthur Conan Doyle famous as the creator of the world's greatest detective is mourning his first wife having been chastely in love for ten years with the woman who was to become his second when he hears about the Edjali case Incensed at this obvious miscarriage of justice he is galvanised into trying to clear George's nameWith a mixture of detailed research and vivid imagination Julian Barnes brings to life not just this long forgotten case but the inner lives of thes. .
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Revisited for the 2019 Mookse Madness tournamentA book I originally read for my Book Group in 2006 alongside re reading a number of Sherlock Holmes stories I would count myself as a Holmes fan having Read All Of The Original Adventures And all of the original adventures and I give five stars sparingly so I was torn between giving and four and a five here Ultimately though when I considered that I d
put aside all other tasks one weekend to devote to finishing this bookaside all other tasks one weekend to devote to finishing this book decided that this was five star materialThe last book I d read by Barnes England England was a bit of a disappointment it came off it seemed to me like second rate Tom Sharpe But this book was a different matter I especially liked the way it nfolded alternating from one central character to the other shedding light on both in the process I resisted going to the Internet to see if in fact Barnes had created the George character and when after finishing the book I read that George was based on a real person the creation of the character seemed even impressive There s a realism Kings of Paradise (Ash and Sand underpinning the book that speaks to how shall I put this mature audiences Let s just say after fifty or so a measured approach to life emerges and as such speaking personally here there s less patience with relentlesslypbeat or rosily romantic themes Arthur and George resonates on a variety of levels not the least of which is a clear eyed appraisal of the nature of relationships personal romantic and family Finally those interested in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods will be struck by how effortlessly Barnes puts the reader into that milieu What a great premise for a work of historical fiction Take a larger than life figure known to all make him larger still and overlay his story on top of one with little fame but deserving of The acclaimed character was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who turned out to be even intriguing than his detective stories would suggest From early days in Mam s kitchen listening to chivalric tales of adventure to heroics in sports and at war Arthur liked thinking of himself as an honorable knight of the realm Sherlock if anything is downplayed in this account while the events ltimately connecti The eponymous Arthur is Arthur Conan Doyle who is living in Edinburgh George is the son of a Midlands vicar The novel is set in late Victorian Britain and follows the lives of both boys through to adulthood One follows Law the other Medicine One is a victim of a series of bizarre pranks neither s destiny is what it first appears to be For the first half of the book they are naware of each other s existence One experiences outrageous accusation the other The Little Bit Naughty Book of Wild Sex Positions unrivalled success One stands in the dock owing to a miscarriage of justice whilst the other has the success he desired but at a price What is believed to be true may not be true Faith ambition English reserve honour racism self recrimination and guilt all play a part George Edalji has issues about his identity he is a Parsee living in genteel Victorian society How these two lives intertwine is intriguing and cleverly written but there are passages about the mutilation of horses which are relentlessly cruel andpsetting These may well be based on real life events The novel is pseudohistoricalThis novel has a Leaders Eat Last uniue concept that of following the life story of a famous celebrated writer but giving eual weight to another person whose life history has been entirely forgotten THE BLURB As boys George the son of a Midlands vicar and Arthur living in shabby genteel Edinburgh find themselves in a vast and complex world at the heart of the British Empire Years later one struggling with his identity in a world hostile to his ancestry the other creating the world s most famous detective while in love with a woman who is not his wife their fates become inextricably connectedIn Arthur George Jul. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2005Arthur and George growp worlds and miles apart in late nineteenth century Britain Arthur in shabby genteel Edinburgh George in the vicarage of a small Staffordshire village Arthur becomes a doctor and then a writer; George a solicitor in Birmingham Arthur is to become one of the most famous men of his age George remains in hardworking obscurity But as the new century begins they are brought together by a seuence of events which made sensational headlines at the time as The Great Wyrley OutragesGeorge Edjali's father is Indian his mother Scottish When the family begins to receive vicious anonymous letters many about their son they put it down to racial prejudice They appeal to the police to no less than the Chief Constab. Hat historically they have been Middlemen intermediaries Conveyors of the truth at first but increasingly controllers of the truth obfuscators politicians The Cathars were on the right line that of direct access to God ntrammelled by layers of hierarchy Naturally they were wiped out by Rome Arthur George brings the persona alive Not all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Only the part that is necessary to built the background to the internationally reported criminal case in which the famous and beloved creator of Sherlock Holmes took on the Victorian establishment after an innocent man George Ernest Thompson Edalji a Parsi English solicitor and son of a vicar in Great Wyrley a South Staffordshire village served three years hard labour after being convicted on a charge of mutilating a pony George1876 1953 was of mix race with his mom a Scottish woman Charlotte Edaljin e Stoneham and his fatherReverend Shapurji Edalji from IndiaThis widely publicized curious and controversial case was one of the factors which played a role in establishing the Court of Criminal Appeal for England in 1907 It was only in 2013 that the case against George Edalji was declared a farce by Solicitor General Oliver Heald Alternative chapters introduced the backstories of both Arthur and George leading p to this case Part of Arthur s backstory included his murder and resurrection of his famous detective Sherlock Holmes He is The New Competition uite clear about the writer s responsibilities they are firstly to be intelligible secondly to be interesting and thirdly to be clever He knows his own abilities and he also knows that in the end the reader is king That is why Mr Sherlock Holmes was brought back to life allowed to have escaped the Reichenbach Falls thanks to a knowledge of esoteric Japanese wrestling holds and an ability to scramblep sheer rock faces Julian Barnes disciplined himself by selecting only the biographical information needed for this novel and skillfully but cautiously brought the two main characters alive One can sense his deliberate effort to skim off the essentials often losing colorful aspects of both persons s lives story in the process resulting in a somewhat sterile bleached fact based documentary novelHowever the emotions and passion came truly alive in the last third of the book when the drama was splashed all over the media with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as the instigator of the vigorous debate and anger hitting the world Three years after George Edalji was jailed the famous and internationally beloved author threw his weight in behind George The 10 000 letters of objection including hundreds by lawyers could not prevent George from going to jail A June 1907 memo by Home secretary Herbert Gladstone was discovered 80 years later which revealed that one of the lawyers who had represented Edalji had privately told Gladstone of suppressing a letter by Edalji which his brother Horace had brought as a specimen of Edalji s handwriting because it was damaging to the defense s case Source Wikipedia But Sir Arthur Conan Doyle got him pardoned leaving the establishment red faced and embarrassed1907 He Domestic Slavery Considered as a Scriptural Institution by Francis Wayland and Richard Fuller used his Sherlock Holmes skills to get behind the truth He read and reread sorted and re sorted analysed compared annotated Gradually hints turned to suspicions and then to hypotheses More than 115 years later his theories were confirmed Like his visual of anderwater tunnel connecting France to Britain for which he had to endure ridicule this case got him publicly lynched and slaughtered at the time yet history proved him correct In many ways the world was not ready for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle1859 1930 However he was ready for the world and he took them on full throttleSo yes with the mere instinctive tourism
of infancy I ventured into the novel and came out delighted cleverly entertainedinfancy I ventured into the novel and came out delighted cleverly entertained informed. E two very different men The I ventured into the novel and came out delighted cleverly entertained and informed. E two very different men The sees them both with stunning clarity and almost inhabits them as they face the vicissitudes of their lives whether in the dock hearing a verdict of guilty or trying to live an honourable life while desperately in love with another woman This is a novel in which the events of a hundred years ago constantly set off contemporary echoes a novel about low crime and high spirituality guilt and innocence identity nationality and race; about what we think what we believe and what we know Julian Barnes has long been recognised as one of Britain's most remarkable writers While those already familiar with his work will enjoy its elegance its wit its profound wisdom about the human condition Arthur George will surely find him an entirely new audience.