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Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer

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352 pages


The night before brilliant but erratic composer Charles Jessold's opera - about a betrayed husband who murders his wife and her lover - is due to open, Jessold is found dead, having apparently murdered his wife and her lover. Leslie Shepherd, music critic and Jessold's collaborator on the opera, reflects on the scandalous affair in a dazzling, passionate and witty novel about the dangerous relationship between artist and critic.



CHARLES JESSOLD, CONSIDERED AS A MURDERER brings centre stage ideas of fidelity and the complexities of love in all of its forms. Set amid growing anti-German sentiment, as English composers turned to folk song to create a truly national music, the novel also explores the relationship between critic and artist, in particular the distorting effects of the biographical approach to criticism. Wesley Stace conducts this symphony with a wit reminiscent of Wodehouse. The result is a dazzling, passionate novel that masterfully pairs rich, complex characters with feather-light dialogue in sparkling counterpoint to the seriousness of the book's themes.



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Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer