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The Enchantress of Florence

Salman Rushdie


  • Paperback
    $25.44
PUBLISHED: 24th December 2005
ISBN: 9780099421924
ANNOTATION:
When a young European traveller arrives at Sikri, the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar, the tale he spins brings the whole imperial capital to the brink of obsession. He calls himself 'Mogor dell'Amore', the Mughal of Love, and claims to be the son of a lost princess, whose name and has been erased from the country's history: Qara Koz.
The Enchantress of Florence
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  • Paperback
    $25.44
PUBLISHED: 24th December 2005
ISBN: 9780099421924
ANNOTATION:
When a young European traveller arrives at Sikri, the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar, the tale he spins brings the whole imperial capital to the brink of obsession. He calls himself 'Mogor dell'Amore', the Mughal of Love, and claims to be the son of a lost princess, whose name and has been erased from the country's history: Qara Koz.

Annotation

When a young European traveller arrives at Sikri, the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar, the tale he spins brings the whole imperial capital to the brink of obsession. He calls himself 'Mogor dell'Amore', the Mughal of Love, and claims to be the son of a lost princess, whose name and has been erased from the country's history: Qara Koz.

Publisher Description

A tall, yellow-haired young European traveller calling himself 'Mogor dell'Amore', the Mughal of Love, arrives at the court of the real Grand Mughal, the Emperor Akbar, with a tale to tell that begins to obsess the whole imperial capital. The stranger claims to be the child of a lost Mughal princess, the youngest sister of Akbar's grandfather Babar- Qara K z, 'Lady Black Eyes', a great beauty believed to possess powers of enchantment and sorcery, who is taken captive first by an Uzbek warlord, then by the Shah of Persia, and finally becomes the lover of a certain Argalia, a Florentine soldier of fortune, commander of the armies of the Ottoman Sultan. When Argalia returns home with his Mughal mistress the city is mesmerized by her presence, and much trouble ensues.The Enchantress of Florence is the story of a woman attempting to command her own destiny in a man's world. It brings together two cities that barely know each other - the hedonistic Mughal capital, in which the brilliant emperor wrestles daily with questions of belief, desire and the treachery of sons, and the equally sensual Florentine world of powerful courtesans, humanist philosophy and inhuman torture, where Argalia's boyhood friend "il Machia" - Niccol Machiavelli - is learning, the hard way, about the true brutality of power. These two worlds, so far apart, turn out to be uncannily alike, and the enchantments of women hold sway over them both.But is Mogor's story true? And if so, then what happened to the lost princess? And if he's a liar, must he die?

Author Biography

Sir Salman Rushdie has received many awards for his writing, including the European Union's Aristeion Prize for Literature. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres. In 1993 Midnight's Children was judged to be the 'Booker of Bookers', the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first 25 years. In June 2007 he received a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Review

"A brilliant, fascinating, generous novel...wonderful" -- Ursula le Guin Guardian "A wild and whirling novel" Observer "For Rushdie, as for the artists he writes about, the pen is a magician's wand. There is more magic than realism in this latest novel. But it is, I think, one of his best. If The Enchantress of Florence doesn't win this year's Man Booker I'll curry my proof copy and eat it" Financial Times "My first desire on finishing it was to go back and re-read it. Like all of Rushdie's work, the playfulness, the passion, the erudition and the sensuousness go hand in hand. It's immensely rich...it's one of his best" Scotsman "An exuberant mix of fantasy and history" Daily Mail

Promotional

The magnificent new novel by the winner of the 'Best of the Booker'.

Kirkus US Review

Readers who succumb to the spell of Rushdie's convoluted, cross-continental fable may find it enchanting; those with less patience could consider it interminable.This is a very different sort of novel for Rushdie (Shalimar the Clown, 2005, etc.), partly based in Renaissance Italy and intensely researched (there are pages of entries listed in its bibliography), though themes of East and West, love and betrayal, religion and unbelief, sex and sex, are familiar from previous work. It's plain that the author worked hard on this deliriously ambitious book, and so must the reader. Despite the title, there is more than one enchantress of Florence, and other key characters have multiple names and perhaps identities as well. Some characters might even be imaginary. The plot commences with the arrival of a blonde-haired vagabond who has traveled from his native Florence to deliver a message from the Queen of England to "the emperor Abdul-Fath Jalaluddin Muhammad known since his childhood as Akbar, meaning 'the great,' and latterly, in spite of the tautology of it, as Akbar the Great, the great great one, great in his greatness, doubly great, so great that the repetition in his title was not only appropriate but necessary in order to express the gloriousness of his glory." And so on. The man from the Christian West and the emperor of the Muslim East develop a strong bond, mainly through the stories spun by the former (in which he assumes multiple names and identities) to the latter. Yet at one point, even Akbar issues "[a] curse on all storytellers," telling his visitor "You're taking too long. . .You can't draw this out forever..." Machiavelli and Medicis make their appearances, as the plot shifts to the impossibly beautiful seductress of the title, who also finds her way from Italy to the emperor, and who ultimately gives clues to her identity by explaining, "The Mirror's daughter was the mirror of her mother and of the woman whose mirror the Mirror had been."Rapturously poetic in places, very funny in others, yet the novel ultimately challenges both patience and comprehension. (Kirkus Reviews)

Review Text

"A brilliant, fascinating, generous novel...wonderful"

Promotional "Headline"

The magnificent new novel by the winner of the 'Best of the Booker'.

Product Details

Author
Salman Rushdie
Pages
464
ISBN-10
0099421925
ISBN-13
9780099421924
Format
Paperback
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Media
Book
Short Title
ENCHANTRESS OF FLORENCE
Year
2005
Publication Date
2005-12-24
Residence
US
Series
Vintage Magic
Publisher
Vintage Publishing
Audience
General/Trade