A Novel

Patrick O'Brian (Author)

Overview | Inside the Book

"A welcome reissue of O'Brian's moving and very fine first novel."—Kirkus Reviews

Delmore Schwartz, the most influential critic in postwar America, wrote of Patrick O'Brian's first novel Testimonies: "A triumph...drawn forward by lyric eloquence and the story's fascination, [the reader] discovers in the end that he has encountered in a new way the sphinx and the riddle of existence itself." Schwartz' imagination was fired by this sinister tale of love and death set in Wales, a timeless story with echoes of Thomas Hardy and Mary Webb.

Joseph Pugh, sick of Oxford and of teaching, decides to take some time off to live in a wild and beautiful Welsh farm valley. There he falls physically ill and is nursed back to health by Bronwen Vaughn, the wife of a neighboring farmer. Slowly, unwillingly, Bronwen and Pugh fall in love;' and while that word is never spoken between them, their story is as passionate and as tragic as that of Vronsky and Anna Karenina.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • July 1995
  • ISBN 978-0-393-31316-1
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 224 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide excluding Canada and the British Commonwealth.

Endorsements & Reviews

“O'Brian's greatness is present. Calmly and with wit he shows how things go wrong in little worlds.” — Boston Globe

“Patrick O'Brian has a power of bringing near to the reader...savagery and tenderness, beauty and mystery and boldness and dignity.” — Eudora Welty

“A subtle and fascinating tale.” — Miami Herald

Also by Patrick O'Brian All

  1. Book Cover21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey


    Volume(s): Book 21

  2. Book CoverBlue at the Mizzen


    Volume(s): Book 20

  3. Book CoverA Book of Voyages


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