Description: Gerontius is the story of a real voyage in the life of Sir Edward Elgar, the celebrated composer of the quintessentially English tune ‘Land of Hope and Glory’. The cruise up the Amazon is a holiday for the disillusioned music-maker. In telling the story of his journey, Hamilton-Paterson explores the waning of creative genius, post-war disenchantment and the effects of the changing times on an artist imprisoned in his own immense reputation.
Opening: A train was travelling northwards from London through the grey squalls of a winter’s afternoon. From a corner seat in one of its carriages a man watched his country with the scurried perspective of a railway traveller: crossing fields at a bias, chipping off the corner of a hill, barked at by sudden brick walls and engulfed in tunnels. Desolate suburbias came and went and the tarred telegraph poles kept pace.
This is the right isbn but my beaut-eyeful cover is not an option here. I’ll take a piccie of it.
What an opening – this is going to offer beautiful writing if Hamilton-Paterson can keep up with those tarred poles.
Guardian piece: Beyond the Malverns: Elgar in the Amazon