- Audio CD
- Publisher: Recorded Books; unabridged edition (2007)
- ISBN-10: 1428132333
- ISBN-13: 978-1428132320
- ASIN: 1428132325
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 6.1 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,541,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Burning Bright (Unabridged) Audio CD – Unabridged, 2007
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"By Gaslight" by Steven Price
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Top Customer Reviews
Thus we have the metaphor for Blake's great work SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE. The French Revolution was underway and King George was terrified that his subjects would rebel against him. Mobs circulated collecting signatures on loyalty oaths. This excessive and intimidating barrage of bogus patriotism is eerily reminiscent of some of the things we saw in this country after 9/11. Do you remember all the cars with flags?
It's a lovely story and she tells it well. Is it GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING? No. Should it be? No. An author should not have to wear her most successful book like a millstone around her neck.
Enjoy it for itself.
Burning Bright provides hours of intelligent, pleasurable, and at times, thought provoking reading.
Maisie Kellaway, daughter of a woodworker, has just moved with her older brother Jem and her parents from a North Country village to an upscale London row house owned by her father's new employer, Phillip Astley, of the famous Astley Circus. Her father, a skilled chair maker, seeks a better life for his family by working as a carpenter for the circus. Maisie is befriended by street-wise Maggie Butterfield, the daughter of a con artist and rogue who lives in a rough nearby neighborhood. Maggie is a few years older than Maisie and has her eye on Jem.
The Kellaways live next door to William Blake and his wife, who are shunned yet regarded with fearful respect by their neighbors. The story is set against the far-off rumblings of the French Revolution, a cause in which Blake seems to sympathize. As a poet and an engraver, Blake's obscure prolific publications perplex even the most erudite Englishmen, but they seem to impart the sense of lust for freedom and equality roiling on the continent that the fervid Royalists of the age see as seditious.
Maisie, Jem and Maggie begin to spend time in the Blake garden, as their landlady won't allow renters in her formal backyard. Blake does not outwardly try to influence the young people, but he and his wife encourage them to learn to read, and his poetry is all they have at hand aside from the Bible.
Blake's role in the book, while pivotal, is not as central to the story as was VerMeer's in GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING.Read more ›
As others have indicated, this is NOT "The Girl With A Pearl Earring" in which Vermeer was a central character. Those purchasing the book with the belief that it will tell the story of poet, artist and printer William Blake will be sadly disappointed. His appearance in the novel can best be compared to standing on a railway platform as a train goes by and looking at the people on the platform across the way. You only catch a fleeting glimpse between the passing cars. So also with Blake.... he is a mere "footnote" in this book as he makes appearances here and there and acts as mentor of sorts to the Kellaway and Butterfield children, who are in truth the central characters of the story. The children do, however, act as a sort of catalyst in inspiring the poet to create one of his most famous poems, "Songs of Innocence and of Experience".
In reality, this is part coming of age tale, part story of young love, with a side trip to examine the anguish of being an independent thinker in an era when dissidents were looked upon with great suspicion.
Not the best book on tape you will ever listen to, but good enough to keep you from falling asleep at the wheel. Two and a half stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I always enjoy books by Chevalier who has mastered the perfect mix of history and a good story.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Burning Bright is the story of the Kellaway family, newcomers to London from their village in Dorset in the wake of a family tragedy. Read morePublished 10 months ago by J. Houston
I was hooked from the first page of Burning Bright, and it kept my attention to the last page. I found all the personages—and they represent a wide range of character and... Read morePublished 11 months ago by R. james Tobin
It is a great story giving us a wonderful view of London in the 1700's. Cleverly incorporating William Blake into the story was an added pleasure. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Margaret Fling
Charming tale of late l8th-century life for poor people who happen to encounter Romantic poet William Blake (hence the title)Published 16 months ago by Mary De Jong
I've read most of TC's novels; she really is one of my favorite authors and her character depth is never disappointing. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Treyandliz
I am a huge Tracy Chevalier fan, but she missed the mark on this one. I finished it, but it was incredibly boring and didn't teach me anything like her other books did. Read morePublished 21 months ago by BeenToBaliToo