DEAD CERTAINTIES (Unwarranted Speculations)

Author: Schama (Simon)
Year: 1991
Publisher: Granta Books/Penguin
Edition Details: 1st Edn.
Book Condition: NrF/Vg+
ISBN: 9780140142303
Price: 7.00
Hardback. The author has written a history of only two certainties. The rest might simply be unwarranted speculations. On September 3, 1759, General James Wolfe, having led the British troops up the St Lawrence to fight the battle of Quebec, completed the most famous act of his life: he died alongside a sorry little bush, discovered by a foot-soldier, the General's face already stiff and green. Eleven years later, the General died again, this time spectacularly - his last great act depicted by the painter Benjamin West - surrounded by a noble savage, the fleeing French, a makeshift court of soldiers and attendants. He died again in Westminster Abbey and he died many times thereafter. But no death was more curious than the death a full century later when the beak-nosed General - febrile, racked with pain, craving domestic comfort - came to life only to die again through the pen of the great historian Francis Parkman. The author's second certainty is also a death. It concerns the great historian's uncle, George Parkman - doctor of medicine, austere tenement landlord, a perfect Yankee - who, late on a November afternoon in 1849, disappeared and was never seen again. He disappeared even though he was, at the same time, said to be in Court Street, in Milk Street, in the Harvard Medical College, in a greengrocer's buying a lettuce. And it was also said that he was the one found in a tea-chest - cold and repellent, a headless trunk, a great mat of hair clinging to its back - murdered by a Harvard professor of chemistry. Are these stories historical novellas? Is the death of George Parkman simply a murder story - the historian's equivalent of a thriller? The author sets out to tell history, but a history he cannot classify - an anarchic and unpredictable history, a history of stories. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. With pictorial eps. Nr. F. in Vg+ dw.


Browse Catalogue


Login/My Account




About Us

Contact Us