So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Tale for Midnight

A Tale for Midnight by Frederic Prokosch

This is a great story and the best part is that it is true. It is a novel based on historic fact, and Prokosch did a considerable amount of research to be sure he got the facts right. The story is of a famous murder in Rome that occurred in 1598. Beatrice Cenci, the young daughter of a wealthy Roman count, killed her father with the help of her brother, her stepmother and her lover. A year later they were all found guilty and executed for the crime. The story has been told many times before in history books, fiction, plays, poems, and even music. Probably the most famous version in English is Percy B. Shelley's play, The Cenci, written in 1819. Although a great play, Shelley doesn't always get the facts straight.
This is the first novel that Frederic Prokosch wrote based on historic fact and he did a lot of research to ensure the accuracy of what he wrote. Prokosch was highly regarded in his time but now, a generation later, he has been mostly forgotten. This is sad because he is a great writer with an engaging style. His descriptive prose reveals his background as a poet, yet his dialog is crisp and direct. He writes mostly about the aftermath of the murder and the events leading up to the trial, detailing the tangled web of hearsay, rumor and fact that always follows a crime of national interest.
Highly recommended for lovers of historic fiction.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home