Burning Bright

Burning Bright - Tracy Chevalier This is the second Tracy Chevalier I've read, and it had a number of similar qualities - a strangely cool affect (perhaps she doesn't use emotion words very often), but very interesting historical detail and a sympathetic treatment of the viewpoint of children and other powerless people. This one takes place in late eighteenth century London and the William Blake is the "observed" historical character. The author enlivens the tale with a bit of circus mayhem and, of course, the sexual and political mores of the day; Blake's house is attacked by a bit of an anti-Revolutionary mob (he being seen as pro-Revolution and anti-patriotic.) Certainly this theme resonates for post 9/11 Westerners slightly appalled at the patriotic rhetoric that took over the US for a decade.

There's a town-country theme going on with the young protagonists (Jem - country boy; Maggie - town girl), and, of course, Blake being the source of most of the themes, there's much reference to "opposites" and "innocence and experience."

I'll read more Chevalier.