On Sale: August 16, 2016
Hardcover / e-Book
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Historical | Humor
A funny, fantastically entertaining debut novel, in the
spirit of Wodehouse and Monty Python, about a famous poet
who inadvertently sells his wife to the devil--then recruits
a band of adventurers to rescue her.
When Lionel Savage, a popular poet in Victorian London,
learns from his butler that they're broke, he marries the
beautiful Vivien Lancaster for her money, only to find that
his muse has abandoned him.
Distraught and contemplating suicide, Savage accidentally
conjures the Devil -- the polite "Gentleman" of the title --
who appears at one of the society parties Savage abhors. The
two hit it off: the Devil talks about his home, where he
employs Dante as a gardener; Savage lends him a volume of
Tennyson. But when the party's over and Vivien has
disappeared, the poet concludes in horror that he must have
inadvertently sold his wife to the dark lord.
Newly in love with Vivian, Savage plans a rescue mission to
Hell that includes Simmons, the butler; Tompkins, the
bookseller; Ashley Lancaster, swashbuckling Buddhist; Will
Kensington, inventor of a flying machine; and Savage's
spirited kid sister, Lizzie, freshly booted from boarding
school for a "dalliance." Throughout, his cousin's quibbling
footnotes to the text push the story into comedy nirvana.
Lionel and his friends encounter trapdoors, duels,
anarchist-fearing bobbies, the social pressure of not
knowing enough about art history, and the poisonous wit of
his poetical archenemy. Fresh, action-packed and very, very
funny, The Gentleman is a giddy farce that recalls
the masterful confections of P.G. Wodehouse and Hergť's
beautifully detailed Tintin adventures.
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