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by Frances Sherwood

eBook The Book of Splendor: A Novel download ISBN: 0393324583
Author: Frances Sherwood
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (July 17, 2003)
Language: English
Pages: 368
ePub: 1941 kb
Fb2: 1168 kb
Rating: 4.7
Other formats: txt mobi mbr rtf
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Genre Fiction

The Book of Splendor is a pretty book, as pretty as the references within to Albrecht Durer’s Garland of Roses or Tintoretto’s Susanna Bathing. He figures prominently in Frances Sherwood's novel, "The Book of Splendor"

The Book of Splendor is a pretty book, as pretty as the references within to Albrecht Durer’s Garland of Roses or Tintoretto’s Susanna Bathing. p. 354) For me, it is not a splendid book, though it is named after the Zohar, the Book of Splendor, tied to the Kabbalah He figures prominently in Frances Sherwood's novel, "The Book of Splendor". As recounted in this book, Rabbi Lowe had difficulty, with all his efforts, in capturing something of a transcendental experience.

Frances Sherwood (born June 4, 1940) is an American writer, novelist, and educator. Sherwood has published four novels and one book of short stories. Her 1992 novel, Vindication, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Born June 4, 1940, in Washington, DC, and raised in Monterey, California, Sherwood is the daughter of William and Barbara Sherwood. She is married to photographer Fred Slaski.

Frances Sherwood brings to life the experience of the Jewish community during a period of oppression and rebirth

Frances Sherwood brings to life the experience of the Jewish community during a period of oppression and rebirth. Set in seventeenth-century Prague, The Book of Splendor is an adventure-filled romance stocked with court intrigue and political tension, including the machinations of the rival Ottoman Empire, the religious controversies of Protestantism, and the constant threat of violence to the Jewish community

A historical novel about the most unlikely of lovers, interwoven with the mysticism of the Jewish occult

A historical novel about the most unlikely of lovers, interwoven with the mysticism of the Jewish occult. Frances Sherwood brings to life the experience of the Jewish community during a period of oppression and rebirth.

Combining historical and fictional characters, Frances Sherwood's new novel is the story of a spectacular clash of traditions, imbued with her . Her works of fiction include Vindication, Night of Sorrows, and The Book of Splendor.

Combining historical and fictional characters, Frances Sherwood's new novel is the story of a spectacular clash of traditions, imbued with her characteristic humor and bringing to life the colors, smells, and sounds of Mexico. Reading group guide included.

Frances Sherwood is a teacher in South Bend, Indiana, where she lives with her husband. Her works of fiction include Vindication, Night of Sorrows, and The Book of Splendor

Frances Sherwood is a teacher in South Bend, Indiana, where she lives with her husband. See all 5 brand new listings. The Book of Splendor: A Novel by Frances Sherwood (Paperback, 2003). Brand new: lowest price. Set in seventeenth-century Prague, The Book of Splendor is an adventure-filled romance stocked with court intrigue and political tension, including the machinations of the rival Ottoman Empire, the religious controversies of Protestantism, and the constant threat of violence to the Jewish community

The book of splendor. by. Frances Sherwood.

The book of splendor. urn:acs6::pdf:8b7-57a855d2da9b urn:acs6::epub:91c-c2ae42ab2db6 urn:oclc:record:1028868639. Columbia University Libraries.

Sherwood brews her own magical elixir in The Book of Splendor

Sherwood brews her own magical elixir in The Book of Splendor. The title comes from a translation of the word "Zohar," a book of the Kabbalah. In doing this, she mixes actual and fictional characters and blends several versions of the folk legend. She calls the novel a "historical fantasy," surrounding Rudolph, an eccentric figure who did covet a potion for eternal life, with other real individuals: the Danish court astronomer Tycho Brahe and his better-remembered assistant, Johannes Kepler, and the intriguing English alchemists John Dee and Edward Kelley.

A historical novel about the most unlikely of lovers, interwoven with the mysticism of the Jewish occult.

Frances Sherwood brings to life the experience of the Jewish community during a period of oppression and rebirth. Set in seventeenth-century Prague, The Book of Splendor is an adventure-filled romance stocked with court intrigue and political tension, including the machinations of the rival Ottoman Empire, the religious controversies of Protestantism, and the constant threat of violence to the Jewish community. At the heart of the novel is Rochel, a bastard seamstress who escapes poverty through an arranged marriage to the tailor Zev, but falls in love with Yossel, the Golem created by Rabbi Loew to protect the Jewish community. Meanwhile, Emperor Rudolph II puts the safety of all Prague at risk in his mad bid for an elixir of immortality. The Book of Splendor is an epic tale reminiscent of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent, and a love story as unlikely as Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring. Reading group guide included.
Comments: (7)
Barinirm
This is a strikingly gorgeous piece of writing. It's not the kind of beautiful writing that's hard to read. It's pure luscious pleasure. I can't believe how well Prague and the Jewish ghetto are portrayed; or how extraordinarily colorfully and with such a sense of wicked fun the Emperor Rudolph is imagined. The precarious situation of the Jews is so compassionately comprehended and Jewish customs and superstitions beautifully presented. Having read it, I feel like I've had the experience of living in Hapsburg Prague. I feel like I've had an arranged marriage, and have fallen in love with a Golem. Sherwood makes these things that comprehensible. The whole world of the story comes truly alive--it's redolent--magical realism but not cold and incredible--it's earthy and fragrant and poignant and sweet. Some of the highlights for me were description of the Vltava River, the emperor who is outrageously quirky and surprising, and most of all the death scene of an astronomer where we actually share the experience of death. It is so charged and startling--the writing takes flight and takes you along. So I guess now that I've read The Book of Splendor I feel I maybe even know what it's like to die. Sherwood took this reader that far. This is imagination at its purposeful and compassionate best. I highly recommend this book.
Frosha
I'm sure you've had this experience.... You are reading a book and you keep turning back to look at the picture of the author because the book is so well written that you can't believe someone could have written it. Amazingly creative and brilliantly written book about the mysteries of life placed in a medieval Jewish community. It provided me with a touchstone about the place of Jews today based on how they lived and were viewed then.
Kipabi
The plot and diverse characters
Ricep
In 1601, Rabbi Judah Loew fashioned a golem from river mud and breathed life into the giant figure to save his Prague community from the Jew-hating townspeople and the whims of a half-mad emperor. From this legend Sherwood builds a magical, earthy tale of passion, the loneliness of difference and the timeless, fruitless search for earthly immortality.

The novel opens with the wedding of the orphan seamstress Rochel to the older shoemaker Zev. Though grateful, she finds him physically repugnant. Then one day she meets the eyes of a handsome giant. Beyond the physical attraction, they recognize a kinship of otherness - the golem without a tongue and the daughter of a Cossack rape - and a passion for the details of life, like the play of light on a leaf, the song of a bird, a rainbow in a mud puddle.

Meanwhile, the petulant Emperor Rudolph II, wallowing in luxury and self-importance, surrounded by scientists like Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler, botches a suicide attempt and decides he must live forever. To this end he summons alchemists and magicians and the rabbi who created life from mud. Knowing they will die when their impossible task is complete, the alchemists put on a splendid, desperate show. Rabbi Loew, facing the massacre of his community, approaches his task more somberly, but with equal ingenuity.

As tensions build between Christians and Jews, Catholics and reformers, the emperor sinks deeper into madness, and Rochel and the golem struggle against their passion. With the plot driven by petty, grasping minds, ugly rages and great passions - as well as a few serious ideas, good souls and quick thinkers - the novel mingles comedy and pathos, set in a muddy, stinking, pestilential city brightened by the beauty of art, nature and human joy.

Sherwood's ("Green," "Vindication," a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award) irreverent, muscular prose is up to the task; witness the emperor's birth:

"His mother refused myrrh and valerian root, Turkish poppy, did not even take a drink of water, but bore her pain, which she thought her Christian obligation, although no woman was ever sainted for giving birth, save Mary."
Bele
If you aren't overly concerned with historical detail, then this book might be good, light reading material. It moves along at a good pace. The descriptions of Prague in the 1600s is captivating.
The only character who seemed to have any depth was the emporer, who I don't think the author wanted to be the main character. The Jewess, Rochel, is simply not a very developed character, making it difficult for the reader to identify with her or care very much about what happens to her. While her plight was interesting at a certain level for me, I didn't really "get into her skin".
There is more comedy in this book than I had imagined, and that was appreciated. I don't think the author took this book extremely seriously, and the brevity helped me get through the book.
I also was bothered somwhat by the lack of historical accuracy. More modern terms, such as "hold your horses", and other slang phrases seemed out of place and more distracting to the story. Truly, the author should have left them out completely.
This book is not deep, nor is it overwhelming. It is a nice companion to take along to the beach or those long train/plane rides. Enjoyable.