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Lawrence Norfolk

(b. 1963)


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(1963– ),

novelist. He achieved instant success with his lengthy historical novel, Lemprière's Dictionary (1991), a bizarre and erudite work full of pageantry set largely in 18th‐cent. Jersey, London, and Paris, which traces the fortunes of a Jersey family, using the figure of dictionary compiler John Lemprière as protagonist. It is a storehouse of esoteric information about the East India Company, navigation, the siege of La Rochelle, Jacobin revolt, classical mythology, and much else; the complicated plot has elements of the sensation novel and of detective fiction. The Pope's Rhinoceros (1996) is in a similar genre, describing with poetry, scholarship, and relish the violence of Europe during the Renaissance, and a quest for the fabulous beast in Africa. In the Shape of a Boar (2000) interweaves Greek myth with modern World War II experiences.

Subjects: Literature.


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