The Alphabet of Heart's Desire

The Alphabet of Heart's DesireA Visitor Calls With A Gift And A Message From The Past In This Literary, Historical Novel In 1802 Thomas De Quincey, A Young Man From A Comfortable Middle Class Background Who Would Go On To Become One Of The Most Celebrated Writers Of His Day, Collapsed On Oxford Street And Was Discovered By A Teenage Prostitute Who Brought Him Back To Her Room And Nursed Him To Health It Was The Beginning Of A Relationship That Would Introduce Thomas To A World Just Below The Surface Of London S Polite Society, Where Pleasure Was A Tradeable Commodity And Opium Could Seem The Only Relief From Poverty Yet It Is Also A World Where Love Might Blossom, And Goodness Survive The Lives Of A Street Girl, An Aspiring Writer, And A Freed Slave Cross And Re Cross The Slums Of London In This Novel About The Birth Of Passion, The Burden Of Addiction, And The Consolations Of Literature. Thomas de Quincy is living a comfortable, middle class existence when we meet him in the early 1800 s, and eventually he will go on to become a writer of some renown However, much will take place on his life s journey before he s lauded as one of the best writers of his day.After a disagreement with his family, Thomas finds himself destitute on the streets of London He s discovered by Anne, a young prostitute malnourished and close to collapse Anne takes pity on him and takes him back to her lodgings where she feeds and tends to him until he slowly begins to regain his strength Though these two are from very different backgrounds, they find the love and affection that so far has evaded them.Tuah is a victim of the slave trade, taken from his island by Dutch traders, he is bought by the Captain of an English ship The Captain treats him fairly and begins the slow process of educating Tuah, and after some years sailing the seas, they eventually return to the Captain s London home.How the lives of a future writer from a middle class background, a prostitute, and a freed slave come together, it would be difficult to imagine, but the author has managed to do this beautifully, seamlessly weaving the threads of their lives together in a most pleasing way From the drawing rooms of the weal
My seven year old great nephew got it right about this book No , he didn t read it, but he described perfectly to me why he and I like to read He was pretty animated, using his hands, had great facial expressions when he said , Aunt Angela , do you know why I like to read Because when I read I feel like I m in the book, you know like watching a movie I replied, Me , too , Nicholas What he described is exactly what I felt when reading this book that I was transported to London in the early 1800 s through wonderful descriptions of the streets, the society, and the people through the three characters who make up the alternating narratives of this story The images were so clear like watching a movie When I read the description of this novel, the name Thomas de Quincey sounded only vaguely familiar, so I really went into it blindly not knowing much about him As it turned out, at least from my perspective, this is not just a fictionalized account of de Quincey, who I later found out was a writer known for his essays, and most famous for Confessions of an English Opium Eater It s the story of a young girl, Anne, whose misfortunate life forces her to find salvation from st
This is beautifully written historical fiction with three captivating protagonists and some engaging minor characters The book is very descriptive and there is a real sense of the period and atmosphere It is loosely based on the early life of the British author Thomas De Quincey and the story is told in alternating chapters by Thomas, Anne his first love and Tuah who was invented by the author for this book The three characters are about the same age and the author follows them from their childhoods The characters are linked by opium, literature and the fact that each has been cast adrift My only problem with this book is the title, which makes sense in context but unfortunately sounds vaguely like a cheesy romance novel There is love in this book but it is not a romance novel Thomas was an aspiring poet from a wealthy family but, after being sent to a series of dreary households, he wound up on his own and destitute in London Thomas De Quincey was singularly unprepared for the teeming, villainous, bustling, cunning barbarity that was the nation of London Anne and her widow
There is a reason I love historical fiction so much In this genre one often learns things never known before The time is 1802 and a young man Thomas de Quincy is coming into adulthood He had led a comfortable life in a severe family that tolerated little deviations on what they thought Thomas life should be Thomas is desirous of attending Oxford but his mother and uncle feel differently and set Thomas up with a teacher of low caliber Thomas revolts and through an error in judgement is banished from his life of comfort, literally living on the streets with one pound a month given to him by her generous family One day, from lack of food, Thomas collapses on the street He is found by a young doxy and she takes it upon herself to nurse Thomas back to health Anne, the young prostitute who helps Thomas, later falls in love with him and he with her Of course this is London in the seventeenth century and that relationship can or should never be We also meet Tuah, a former slave saved and bought by a captain of a ship returning to London and is taken into the captain and later his brother s home and freed All three of
Thomas de Quincey s Confessions of an English Opium Eater Other Writings 1822 is one of the first literary works written from the point of view of an addict and, an English addict at that Samuel Taylor Coleridge also began using opium in 1791, after suffering from both jaundice and rheumatic fever and eventually consumed 80 100 drops of laudanum, opium prepared in an alcoholic solution, daily His famed poem, Kubla Khan, is about the opium experience I found online the following recipe for laudanum Laudanum Best Turkey opium, 1 oz slice, and pour upon it boiling water, 1 gill 1 4 pint , and work it in a bowl or mortar until it is dissolved then pour it into the bottle, and with alcohol of 76 per cent proof, 1 2 pt., rinse the dish, adding the alcohol to the preparation, shaking well, and in 24 hours it will be ready for use Dose Form 10 to 30 drops for adults, according to the strength of the patient, or severity of the pain.By the middle of the 19th century, morphine was invented purposefully to offset reduce addiction to opium In 1874 chemists created heroin, wi
I received this from in exchange for a review The book rotates chapter by chapter around three characters Thomas, a middle class person who is reduced to living on the streets of London Anne, a prostitute who finds Thomas nearly dead on the streets and nurses him back to health Tuan, a capture
I found this to be a well written and researched story It is the story of three different people coming of age and settling into adult life in different ways in London The three main characters are Tuah, a freed slave, Anne, a doxy and Thomas, an opium addict The book tells their stories from their childhood to young adulthood and how they came to be who they were The three people in the story come to know each other, but not at the same times The story was based on the true story of Thomas de Quincy, a minor friend of Wordsworth and Coleridge, most known for his autobiography The diary of an Opium eater The ending stays true to the real life story and I am glad the author didn t choose a fictional option.Thomas in my opinion was the least likeable of the
I ve been trying to make my way through this book for something like two months now and obviously I m having the hardest time.I ve made it halfway through it and this book isn t what the synopsis says it is, it takes nearly half the book for the story promised in the synopsis to start, which is kind of disappointing.Usually I love reading a book with multiple point of views, but here it wasn t done that well I don t know how to explain it but it made
I received this on NetGalley in exchange for my review This book presents a fictionalization of the life of Thomas De Quincey, who wrote the first book about drug addiction Based on his travels to London and time spent with the young prostitute Anne, the book imagines the time before they meet, their meeting and drug use, and their eventual separation There is a third voi
Visit the locations in the novelWhat a read A historical fiction feast this one Three interweaving stories but with the strong central character of the real life Thomas de Quincy who was known for taking opium So much so, he even wrote a book on it in real life Novels which interweave fact and fiction are really fascinating and this was no exemption A strong story, strong characters and an insight into a very troubled man London, comes through in all its stinking glory with the opium fog killing you if the stench and the dirt on the ground doesn t get you first

[Reading] ➶ The Alphabet of Heart's Desire ➽ Brian Keaney –
  • Paperback
  • 392 pages
  • The Alphabet of Heart's Desire
  • Brian Keaney
  • English
  • 18 November 2018
  • 9781910688373