To the Hermitage tells two stories. The first is of the narrator, a novelist, on a trip to Stockholm and Russia for an academic seminar called the Diderot Project. The second takes place two hundred years earlier and recreates the journey the French philosopher Denis Diderot made to Russia at the invitation of Catherine the Great, a woman whose influence could change the path of history . . .
Malcolm Bradbury’s last novel is rich with his satirical wit, but it is also deeply personal and weaves a wonderfully wry self-portrait.