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This is a big novel about a big continent, the one that exists just beyond the boundaries of everything you know. In the late seventeenth century, Europeans thought of it as terra incognita, a vast, floating island adrift in the southern hemisphere, filled with strange creatures, plants and trees. It was a potentially inexhaustible place where you could attach your name to things, material and people, load them on a boat and turn them into something you did know - money. If, that is, you could find your way home again.


The Island in the Mind is a triptych of novels about Enlightenment-age individuals verging too perilously into wide colonial spaces. First, and most memorably, there is the aspiring petty official who forsakes courtly politics for a secret alliance with the musician-in-residence, Orlande Scarron, whose vast operatic tribute to Louis XIV seeks to encapsulate everything the French empire does not - the undiscovered, the unquantifiable, the different.

The Island in the Mind

SKU: 4367
  • Rodney Hall
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