The Dream of Scipio, Iain Pears' first mainstream novel since An Instance of the Fingerpost, is a work of ambition that appeals equally to the head and the heart. It is set in Provence at three different critical moments of Western Civilisation - the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, the Black Death in the 14th, and the Second World War in the 20th - and follows the fortunes of three men, Manlius Hippomenes, a Gallic aristocrat obsessed with the preservation of Roman civilisation, Guillaume Noyen, a poet, and Julien Barneuve, an intellectual who joins the Vichy government.
The story of each man is woven through the narrative, linked by each man's love for an extraordinary woman. Dense, dark and erudite, The Dream of Scipio confirms Pears as one of Britain's most imaginative novelists.
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