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Available as an eBook only


ISBN:
9780857907356
Categories
Classic Fiction, eBook Only, Fiction, Fiction
Imprint
Birlinn eBooks
Publication Date
20 April 2015
Format
Available as an eBook only
Status
Available for Sale
Publisher
Birlinn Ltd
Extent
158

My Last Duchess

by Iain Crichton Smith - Find out more about the author

   

eBook also available from the iBookstore

Iain Crichton Smith’s third novel is as different from his second, The Last Summer, as that was from his first, Consider the Lillies. Crichton Smith is at the height of his powers as poet and prose writer. This new work of fiction follows hard upon his Selected Poems and his volume of short stories, Survival Without Fear.

Mark Simmons, aged 42, is a teacher at a training college. His wife has just walked out on him because she has found him so much less interesting than she expected the man she married to be. This event, which he has by no means expected, has jolted him into a major reassessment of himself, of his place in the universe. He realises that he has become bitter, cynical and disillusioned: he is a failure intellectually – he wanted to be a writer, but for years he has striven at one book, which he privately knows to be not very good. He is a failure as a teacher – he wasn’t competent enough to obtain a post at a university. He is a failure as a husband, because his wife was daily moving away from him. He is a failure as a father, because he and his wife had had no children. Above all, he is a failure as a human being, because he despises everybody, not least himself. Mark Simmons hates himself for being more concerned with argument than happiness.

My Last Duchess is a novel of great resourcefulness and energy.

Iain Crichton Smith was one of the best-loved and most prolific Scottish authors of the twentieth century. He was born in Glasgow, brought up in Lewis, and attended university in Aberdeen. After starting work as a teacher in Clydebank and Dumbarton, he taught at the High School in Oban until he took early retirement in 1977. He was the recipient of many literary awards and received an OBE in 1980. His widow, Donalda, still lives in Taynuilt, where the couple moved after their marriage in 1977.






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