The Blue Flower

Penelope Fitzgerald
Illustrated by James Albon
Introduced by Neel Mukherjee

Critically acclaimed historical fiction from the Booker Prize-winning novelist and biographer.

The Blue Flower tells of the early life of Fritz von Hardenberg, the young man who would become the great romantic poet and philosopher Novalis. Brilliant and idealistic, his heart is captured by the young Sophie von Kuhn, an artless child he nonetheless describes as his ‘true Philosophy’. His family, alternately bemused and charmed, do their best to both hinder and aid this ultimately tragic betrothal. Penelope Fitzgerald’s novel is a modern masterpiece, a feat of immersion and sleight of hand; it is effortlessly light, reducing the great distance of history to little more than the turn of a page, whilst containing unexpected depths of poetry at its heart.

In his introduction to this edition, Neel Mukherjee describes Fitzgerald’s books as ‘slim, fleet-footed, at once weightless, like air, and immense with the worlds they contain’. Reading The Blue Flower is an ethereal and addictive experience, sure to be just the beginning of a literary journey with an underrated yet exceptional writer. Award-winning illustrator James Albon, working with reductive lino cuts, provides images that reflect the shifting nature of Fritz himself: energetic and melancholy, light and dark.

Quarter-bound in buckram with Modigliani paper sides

Set in Caslon

224 pages

Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations

Plain slipcase

9˝ x 5¾˝

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