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Death of the Fox: A Novel of Elizabeth and Ralegh Paperback – September 16, 1991

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 744 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (September 16, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156252333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156252331
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,828,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George Palmer Garrett, Jr. ( June 11, 1929 - May 25, 2008) was an American poet and novelist. He was the poet laureate of Virginia from 2002 to 2006. His novels include The Finished Man, Double Vision, and the Elizabethan Trilogy, composed of Death of the Fox, The Succession, and Entered from the Sun. He has worked as a book reviewer and screenwriter, and taught at Hollins University and, for many years, the University of Virginia. He is the subject of critical books by R. H. W. Dillard, Casey Clabough, and Irving Malin.

George Garrett was born in Orlando, Florida on June 11, 1929. He attended the Sewanee Military Academy in Tennessee and The Hill School at Pottstown, Pennsylvania, graduating from the latter in 1947. He earned his BA from Princeton University in 1952, having matriculated in 1947 and having attended Columbia University in 1948-49. He also received his MA (1956) and PhD (1985) from Princeton.

Garrett served in the United States Army Field Artillery (1952-55).

He began his teaching career as an assistant professor at Wesleyan University, Middleton, Connecticut (1957-60). After one year as a visiting lecturer at Rice University, he became associate professor of English at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, where he taught for five years before accepting a post as professor of English at Hollins College, Virginia, in 1967. In 1964-65 he was writer-in-residence at Princeton University. In 1971, he became professor of English and writer-in-residence at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, where he taught until 1973. From 1974 to 1977 he was senior fellow at the Council of the Humanities, Princeton University. He was then one year at Columbia University as adjunct professor (1977-78), one semester as writer-in-residence at Bennington College, Vermont, one semester at the Virginia Military Institute, and several years at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1979-84). In 1984 Garrett was appointed Henry Hoyns Professor of English at the University of Virginia, the position in which he continued until his retirement in December 1999. 

Garrett's service to the arts was substantial. He served a two-year term as president of the Associated Writing Programs (1971-73). A charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, he was the organization's vice-chancellor (1987-93) and chancellor (1993-97). Over the years, he edited several magazines and book series. He was Contemporary Poetry Series editor at the University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1962-68; and Short Story Series editor at the Louisiana State University Press, 1966-69. From 1958 to 1971 he was United States poetry editor for Transatlantic Review and, from 1965 to 1971 co-editor of Hollins Critic. He was a contributing editor for Contempora and assistant editor of The Film Journal. With Brendan Galvin he edited Poultry: A Magaz

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Philbin on July 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Garrett's novel is one of the best works of historical fiction I have ever read--and one of the best works of literary fiction. His knowledge of the historical setting, the detailed narrative and his stately pacing make an already fascinating story completely engrossing. His moving depiction of Raleigh the "Fallen Star" living with memories and facing the inevitable is coupled with an unsentimental look at the intricate machinations of Raleigh the "Fox." With the exception of Thomas Flanagan, I can't think of another author who writes historical fiction with so much intelligence and subtlety.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bomojaz on July 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a totally engrossing, deeply learned historical novel based on the life of Sir Walter Ralegh (Garrett's preferred spelling), with emphasis on his last few days before being executed by order of James I. Garrett "paints" a brilliant picture of Ralegh's life and times, and rather than relating his story in chronological order, he describes and develops, through various voices, the major events that have brought him to the prison cell he now occupies. In one chapter a fellow soldier relates Ralegh's military career, emphasizing the bravery, pride, and honor that guided him in all things: even at the end after failure in Guiana means certain death for him in England, Ralegh out of pride and honor brings his ship home rather than desert his pledge. Most of the chapters are told in the voice of an omnipotent narrator as they focus on events and people associated with Ralegh: Francis Bacon, a schemer always in debt, eventually impeached by Parliament for bribe-taking; Edward Coke, who as Attorney-General tried him in 1603 in a cruel and most unfair way; Queen Elizabeth, who granted Ralegh all sorts of favors and privileges; James I, prejudiced against Ralegh ever since the death of the Earl of Essex, his partisan, the blame for which fell on Ralegh's shoulders; even the Bishop of Salisbury who administers to Ralegh's religious needs the night before his beheading (they have a brilliant conversation about innocence, the King's justice, and fear of death). Garrett's prose is muscular and authoritative: it shows a great deal of research, but his notecards are nowhere to be seen. Anyone interested in Ralegh or in superbly written historical fiction will find much to praise in his book. Highly recommended.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mariner on May 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
The intensity with which this novel focuses on every moment of two days of Sir Walter Ralegh's life (and the era-spanning memories that run through his mind) can make you wake up to the passing of your own life. The book paints a big canvas, dealing with the political intrigues and daily life of the world most moderns know through Shakespeare. It has a sharp eye for historical ironies, at times can be spooky in its showing of puny humans caught in the vast forces of history. But it is also a celebration of man and womankind, and one particularly complex and interesting man.
The research that must have gone into this is amazing, the book is a fund of knowledge. If you know something about English history of this time, you will take pleasure in witty ways the facts are revealed. But if you don't know anything about the period or place, you will find yourself in an alien but strangely familiar world that unfolds with the feeling of current events. A great novel of politics, society and the mind.
Lots of copies are available used -- get it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lapidaryblue on August 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
George Garrett has written many books, and sine friends argue that The Death of the Fox is the best historical novel ever written. I believe it is one of the best. The rest of his trilogy supports this assertion and The Succession and Entered the Sun are worthy as well
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