In part inspired by a desire to redress how Nero “has suffered badly at the hands of popular culture,” as the author notes in the novel’s afterword, this epic, expansive tome about Nero’s transformation from little boy to ruthless ruler is a seamless weave of exceptional research and eloquent storytelling.
Nero is but a child when the novel opens and he recalls his earliest memories; wistful recollections of his life with elegant Aunt Butterfly (Lepida) who told him tales of his ancestors, back when he dreamed of driving a chariot, as his father and grandfather had done before him. But Nero’s youthful innocence and inquisitiveness are cut short when Agrippina, the mother he knew nothing of, comes for him. In her charge, young Nero’s life is immediately transformed, and at risk, with cruelty and treachery slithering at every turn, from his uncle Caligula’s attempt to drown him, to his mother’s ruthless desire for power.
Enthrallingly told in the young leader’s voice, this novel epitomises the illuminating scope of historical fiction. While fans of this genre, and readers interested in Roman and Greek history, will undoubtedly adore it, I’d also recommend it more widely. It serves up a rich feast of universally resonant themes - power, struggle, survival – and George’s style is as appealingly lucid as it is lyrical. ~ Joanne Owen
In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman - or child. As a boy, Nero's royal heritage becomes a threat to his very life, first when the mad emperor Caligula tries to drown him, then when his great aunt attempts to secure her own son's inheritance. Faced with shocking acts of treachery, young Nero is dealt a harsh lesson: it is better to be cruel than dead. While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his very survival rests on his ability to navigate the sea of vipers that is Rome. Most lethal of all is his own mother, Agrippina, whose only goal is to control the empire. But as her machinations earn her son a title he is both tempted and terrified to assume, Nero's determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become - a legendary Emperor. Impeccably researched and written in captivating prose, The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George is the story of a boy's ruthless ascension to the throne. From innocent youth to infamous ruler, his is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival.
Praise for Margaret George:
'This is one of the best historical novels I have read in ages, a stunning tour de force. It conveys a vivid and authentic sense of Elizabeth Tudor and her world. Extensively researched with the highest integrity, and deeply engaging, it sets a new benchmark for the genre. I cannot recommend it highly enough' -- Alison Weir, on Elizabeth I
'Readers looking to be transported to another place and time will find their magic carpet here' -- Publishers Weekly, on The Memoirs of Cleopatra
'Colorful and involving ... [George] is a powerful writer' -- Washington Post, on Mary, Called Magdalene
'An impressive feat of research and historical imagination' -- Diana Gabaldon, on Helen of Troy
'Margaret George thoughtfully excavates one of Rome's most infamous emperors, uncovering the man behind the legend. Carefully researched, vivid, and passionately told, this is the story of a fascinating new Nero: a sympathetic, artistic and conflicted soul struggling to navigate the vicious waters of Roman politics.' -- Madeline Miller, author of The Song of Achilles
'A page-turning masterpiece, steeping us in the decadent delights of Imperial Rome and tantalizing every sense! Margaret George skillfully scrapes away the verdigris of two millennia of political propaganda, placing us deep within Nero's psyche: the reader palpably feels his stage fright, his regrets, and his ecstasy.' -- Juliet Grey, author of Becoming Marie Antoinette
'Margaret George has an incredible talent in that she can stand in the shoes of her protagonist and speak in his or her voice. Once again, she has amazed me. I felt as if I was listening to the boy himself. It is a marvelous read, taking us from his childhood to his early 20s. And what a tale he has to tell! This is a gripping read. And as usual, the research about ancient Rome and Nero is impeccable. I can't wait for volume two, which will continue the story of a legend.' -- Barbara Taylor Bradford, author of The Cavendon Luck and A Woman Of Substance
'Wow! Margaret George - the reigning queen of historical fiction - is back with this epic saga that vividly re-imagines the life of young Nero in all its operatic, dramatic glory. A twisted mother-son obsession, a struggle for survival, and dastardly deeds play out on a tapestry of luxury and bloodshed. In trademark style, this superb novel of imperial intrigue has it all but still leaves you longing for the sequel!' -- Stephanie Dray, New York Times Bestselling Author of Lily of the Nile
Publication date: 09/03/2017
Publisher: Macmillan an imprint of Pan Macmillan
|Publication date:||9th March 2017|
|Publisher:||Macmillan an imprint of Pan Macmillan|
|Genres:||Action Adventure / Spy, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Historical Fiction,|
Margaret George is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Autobiography of Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles, Mary, Called Magdalene and Elizabeth I. She travels widely to research her novels and lives with her husband in Madison, Wisconsin. Author photo © Alison KaufmanMore About Margaret George