The Book of Splendor: A Novel

The Book of Splendor: A Novel

by Frances Sherwood


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393324587
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 07/17/2003
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 587,942
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

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.

What People are Saying About This

Scott Turow

There is no end to the superlatives to apply to this mesmerizing novel....A truly remarkable achievement.

John Barth

A many-splendored book indeed: Frances Sherwood's historical savvy and narrative chutzpah bring to life the Prague of 1600, from its Golems and Wonder-Rabbis to the last of the Holy Roman Emperors and his court—all woven into a love story as altogether convincing and affecting as it is improbable.

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