The Newton Letter

John Banville

06 August 2010
112 pages


'A nearly perfectly fashioned work of art' – Irish Times

The third in his thematically-connected Revolutions Trilogy, The Newton Letter is an exceptional work of literature from John Banville, Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea.

A historian, on the brink of completing a book on Isaac Newton, rents a cottage in southern Ireland for the summer. As the summer wears on and he dissects Newton’s mental collapse of 1693 he becomes distracted by the mysterious occupants of Fern House and finds himself constructing their imagined histories to powerful effect. His elaborate attempts to decipher the complex web of relationships are, however, far from accurate . . .

How is one to convey half-adequately that Banville’s The Newton Letter is something out of the ordinary?
Banville’s prose has a dazzling amplitude and resource . . . a novelist of international calibre.
Very precise and evocative . . . full of teasing alignments and variations.