(From the publisher):
Although melancholia and the gout have jaded the middle-aged Dr. Samuel Johnsonís palate for society, the eminent, if increasingly irascible lexicographer nonetheless accepts an introduction to the excellent table of the wealthy Southwark brewer Henry Thrale. So it is that an evening in 1764, instead of meeting Johnsonís very low expectations, takes him into the social orbit of the charming, vivacious Mrs. Thrale Ė and marks the beginning of an extraordinary relationship that will span the final two decades of his life.
As Johnson settles more and more comfortably into his niche among the Thrales, the familyís already hectic domain is thrown further into lively chaos by the literary giantís retinue of sycophants, admirers, scholars, and friends like the illustrious actor David Garrick, poet Oliver Goldsmith, novelist Fanny Burney, and painter Joshua Reynolds. Ambiguities have meanwhile begun to complicate the bond between Johnson and Mrs. Thrale. Possessiveness vies with rejection, and sexual tensions stir beneath the decorous surfaces of everyday life.
At once of and beyond the social and emotional entanglements in the Thralesí colorful household stands Queeney. The neglected but spirited and prodigiously clever oldest daughter of the Thrales, Queeney offers an ironic perspective and witting commentary on the convolutions of Johnsonís alliance with her fascinating mother Ė all of which further illuminate an intimate corner of the great manís life that his devoted biographer, James Boswell, never knew.
Original title: According to Queeney
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ European→ British Isles→ England
Fiction→ Historical→ Fictional Biography