- Hardcover: 324 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (T) (November 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0395436354
- ISBN-13: 978-0395436356
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,397,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Imperial Purple Hardcover – November, 1988
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Publishers Weekly
Bradshaw ( Beekeeper's Daughter and Beacon at Alexandria ) creates a compelling fictional character, Demetrias. Wife and mother, well-born slave, she is the premier silk weaver working in fifth century Tyre, where life and commerce revolve around the precious purple dye that symbolizes the power of imperial Rome. When Demetrias is assigned to weave a cloak in the proscribed imperial color, but not of measurements to fit Emperor Theodosius II, she realizes that treachery is afoot, but refusal is not a slave's option. Her survival depends on devising a strategy to save her life and those of her family. The plot twists and turns through a diorama of actual events involving historical figures, notably Demetrias's encounter with the emperor's formidable sister, Pulcheria. Historical novels are stamped by both the writer and the backdrop of an era; Imperial Purple is doubly embossed with strength in a style that will appeal to readers of Robert Graves and Mary Renault. The author's historical afterword further illuminates the turbulent Byzantine era.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
YA Continuing her work on historical motifs, Bradshaw brings readers a third novel set in the Byzantine period. The fascinating theme throughout this tale is the manufacture of purple dye from murex shellfish and the weaving of sumptuous gownsthe purple cloth valued above gold and worn only by emperors. The slave Demetrias, a talented silk weaver, is instructed to weave a cloak of imperial purple. She and her husband, a murex fisherman, are drawn into a treacherous plot which gives drama to the lives of slaves, eunuchs, and rulers. Endpaper maps show Tyre and Constantinople in the 5th Century a.d. In a concluding statement, Bradshaw provides information about actual people and facts used and those invented for the enrichment of the tales. Jenni Elliott, Episcopal High School, Bellaire, Tex.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Trying NOT to give away the plot, I will just say the main characters are a family of State Slaves (ie, belonging to the Emperor and working for the state) but surprisingly well off--almost middle class if that were not a current concept--but still, after all, slaves: a mother, father and child.
The time and place is 4th Century AD Constantinople, at the time when it had taken over the leadership of what was left of the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, though splintered and under attack everywhere by Barbarian tribes (including, at this time, Attila the Hun)there was still great wealth and power at the top, with the majority of the people surviving fairly well at the bottom. The Emperor was a devout Christian, as the royal family had been for several generations, but there were still some pagans, tolerated still, within the Empire.
The plot unwinds believably, and the slave woman, an expert weaver in silk and using the world famous murex purple dye which belonged to and could be used only by the Emperor, is drawn into treachery against her will.
This all happens very quickly in the first chapter or so, and thus I feel it's OK to have mentioned. How things go from there keeps the novel a page turner, or so it was for me.
I will add only that my very favorite book of Bradshaw's is "Island of Ghosts" set in about the 1st Century AD, and in the parts of Britain conquered by the Roman Empire. The story is wonderful and also based on an actual situation which did happen. Island of Ghosts: A Novel of Roman Britain.
Her novel "The BearKeeper's Daughter" is also set during the peak of Constantinople's empire, and is good, but I liked the two prior mentioned books better, myself, though its worth reading for those who love history or historical fiction, that is accurate and well written. The Bearkeeper's Daughter.
Bradshaw, who has a degree in the Classics from a top British university has a real feel for the people of ancient times. Her books cover a wide range of times and places, many of which, like ancient Imperial Constantinople, I had never read much, if anything, about.