Monday, September 03, 2007

Holiday read: Imposture - post V

Despite the mounting risk of being unmasked as a pretender Polidori cannot avoid the temptation to pretend to be Byron not just to Eliza but also her father. You just know that this is going to end with one of those scenes where the words “betrayed trust” is used at least more than once.

There is a bit where the last days of Polidori's employment with Byron are covered and it's hard not to side with the poet and agree that this over sensitive rather self obsessed failed doctor has served his purpose. This book is more about the off stage characters and those in the shadows of the famous and while that is great you do rather long for some more Byron.

Highlights from chapters eleven to fifteen

* Polidori goes out to meet Eliza and her father and pretends to be Byron for the afternoon chatting away to the romantic novelist and impressing his daughter who rewards him at the end with a kiss

* He then heads for home where his sister has arrived back from Milan with her son William, a dead ringer for Byron, and although the details are not made cleared enough is sketched out to imply that she was seduced by the poet and produced his child damaging her marriage beyond repair

* Upset and angry about the way his family has been damaged by Byron, who he continued to be in awe of even after he had been sacked, he heads for the publisher’s with the idea of telling the story of how a brother’s and sister’s relationship was destroyed

* At the publisher’s club he starts to sound out the idea of the book but then gets involved with gambling and before he knows it he is in the grip of the game and borrowing money from Colburn to play and loses everything

* Meanwhile following his meeting with 'Byron' Eliza's father can't resist telling his other daughter who recognises that this is an impostor and tries to get her sister away from her but that only makes Eliza more determined

More tomorrow…

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