Author Talk with Guinevere Glasfurd talking about Privilege
1st June 2022, 6pm
Bookings after 31st May (i.e on the day of the event) need to be made via the bookshop and not through the website
Guinevere Glasfurd, the critically acclaimed author of The Words in My Hand, has a new novel publishing on the 12thMay, Privilege – historical fiction novel.
Privilege is a picaresque story, filled with adventure and mishap. The novel takes you to the heart of book publishing and censorship in pre-revolutionary France, when a book required royal privilege before it could be published. This privilege required the sanction of the King, enforced by the Chief Censor and a network of spies. Books that fell foul of this system were censored or banned; others were published outside of France and smuggled back at great risk.
When we think of the Enlightenment, we think mostly of works by men. Privilege takes that story and turns it on its head, to reveal a very different book culture that was struggling into existence at the time. The novel carries you headlong into a world both familiar and strange: of fountains and gilded porcelain, literary salons and spies. It tells the story of Delphine Vimond, cast out from her family home after her father is disgraced. Into her life tumbles Chancery Smith, apprentice printer from London, sent to discover the mysterious author of a bundle of papers marked only D. In a battle of wits with the French censor, Henri Gilbert, Delphine and Chancery set off in a frantic search for D’s author. But will they catch up with D before Gilbert catches up with them?
The novel explores the difficulty and enormous risks associated with bringing work into the public domain at the time. The novel is therefore not only a story of the eighteenth century, but is also a story of now, and a defence of writing at a time of rising populism and the assault on reason. Above all, it is a call for tolerance, understanding, empathy; for us to find unity in a world that fast seems to be splintering apart.
Author event includes hardback copy of the book and a glass of wine