Author(s): Michael Cox
A cold October night, 1854. In a dark passageway, an innocent man is stabbed to death. So begins the extraordinary story of Edward Glyver, book lover, scholar and murderer. As a young boy, Glyver always believed he was destined for greatness. This seems the stuff of dreams, until a chance discovery convinces Glyver that he was right: greatness does await him, along with immense wealth and influence. And he will stop at nothing to win back a prize that he now knows is rightfully his. Glyver's path leads him from the depths of Victorian London, with its foggy streets, brothels and opium dens, to Evenwood, one of England's most enchanting country houses. His is a story of betrayal and treachery, of death and delusion, of ruthless obsession and ambition. And at every turn, driving Glyver irresistibly onwards, is his deadly rival: the poet-criminal Phoebus Rainsford Daunt. Thirty years in the writing, THE MEANING OF NIGHT is a stunning achievement. Full of drama and passion, it is an enthralling novel that will captivate readers right up to its final thrilling revelation.
Shortlisted for British Book Awards: Newcomer of the Year 2007.
'A novel of fate and free will, forensic detection and blind love, crime and its justifications. The Atmosphere crackles, but beneath al;l is a sly sense of humour. The plotting is second to non -- a finely tuned yet extravagantly complex piece of clockwork' -- Evening Standard 'An unadulterated pleasure! In prose as flamboyant as a bespoke smoking jacket, Cox's metropolis comes to life, teeming with hearty whores and weasily clerks! Cox skilfully brings a modern sensibility to his 19th-century opus!Cox's epic is as thrilling as a Hansom cab chase and as guilty a pleasure as a nocturnal turn at a gentleman's "introducing house"' -- Independent on Sunday 'Impressively fluent first novel' -- Sunday Telegraph 'Like Charles Palliser, Michel Faber and Sarah Waters, Cox is making the Victorian era a switchback ride for the reader's mind! a rich and complicated tale ! a journey into darkness' -- Independent 'Unusual and remarkable! Key to the convincing nature of this confession is Cox's grasp of the minutiae of the times and the language of the period, so that the reader at times forgets this isn't a contemporary of Dickens' -- South China Sunday Morning Post 'A brooding, sinister work. Bedecked in all the literary adornments of the period, it seeps with questions about the nature of good and evil, fate, inheritance, love and, above all, faith' -- Fiona Atherton, Scotsman
Michael Cox has been planning and drafting 'The Meaning of Night' for thirty years. He is a former editor at Oxford University Press and biographer of the ghost story writer M. R. James. His lifelong passion for Victorian literature led him to edit a number of collections of short fiction from the period, including 'The Oxford Book of Victorian Detective Stories'. He lives in rural Northamptonshire -- where 'The Meaning of Night' is partly set -- with his wife. This is his first novel.