The Skull and the Nightingale (52 page)

BOOK: The Skull and the Nightingale
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I have read your letter narrowly. It seems that I must be wary. So, believe me, must you. To an extent you have put yourself in my hands. The past few months have hardened me. You will be at risk equally with myself.

In making my choice, I feel I am under compulsion from within: I am obliged to be the man it seems that I have become, even at the price of loneliness. In this perhaps I am at one with the times. Despite some ignominious misadventures Gulliver accepted that he was inescapably condemned to “an active and restless life.” After twenty-six years on his lonely island, Crusoe rested at home but briefly before once more setting out to sea.

Acknowledgments

I
owe too much to too many secondary sources to be able to offer a bibliography, but I would like to express my particular indebtedness to Jenny Uglow for
Hogarth: A Life and a World;
to Liza Picard for
Dr. Johnson’s London;
to G.E. Mingay for
Georgian London;
and to Jeremy Barlow for his recorded reconstruction of the complete
Beggar’s Opera.

About the Author

MICHAEL IRWIN is an emeritus professor of English literature at the University of Kent in Canterbury, where he specialized in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature. His published work includes a full-length study of Fielding and essays on Defoe, Richardson, Sterne, Smollett, Johnson, and Pope. He lives in Kent, England.

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Credits

Cover photographs: nightingale © by Genevieve Vallee/Alamy; woman © by Derek Hart/Millennium Images, UK

Map of West London © by The British Library Board (Maps. Crace. IV).

Copyright

This book is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

THE SKULL AND THE NIGHTINGALE. Copyright © 2013 by Michael Irwin. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse-engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.

FIRST EDITION

ISBN 978-0-06-220235-2

EPUB Edition August 2013 ISBN 9780062202376

13 14 15 16 17 OV/RRD 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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BOOK: The Skull and the Nightingale
11.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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