Product detail

The Signature of All Things

The Signature of All Things

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
$23.99(AUD)  inc GST
Description
A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love; Committed, and Big Magic. Look out for Elizabeth Gilbert's newest book, City of Girls.

In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker--a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry's brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father's money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma's research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction--into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist--but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe--from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who--born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution--bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert's wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers.
Promotion info

The New York Times bestseller Elizabeth Gilbert's first novel in twelve years. An extraordinary story of botany, exploration and desire, spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

Awards

LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WELLCOME BOOK PRIZE 

Reviews

'Unlike anything else she has ever written ... Its prose has the elegant sheen of a 19th-century epic, but its concerns - the intersection of science and faith, the feminine struggle for fulfilment - are especially modern.' -- Steve Almond International Herald Tribune

'The story of Alma Whittaker's journey of discovery has irresistible momentum.' -- Helen Dunmore The Times

'Ms Gilbert has established herself as a straight-up storyteller who dares us into adventures of worldly discovery, and this novel stands as a winning next act ... A bracing homage to the many natures of genius and the inevitable progress of ideas, in a world that reveals its best truths to the uncommonly patient minds.' -- Barbara Kingsolver International Herald Tribune

'Charming and compelling ... A big novel in all senses - extensively researched, compellingly readable and with a powerful charm that will surely propel it towards the bestseller lists.' -- Jane Shilling Daily Telegraph

'Gilbert has written the novel of a lifetime.' --O, The Oprah Magazine

'Sumptuous ... Gilbert's prose is by turns flinty, funny, and incandescent.' --New Yorker

'Quite simply one of the best novels I have read in years ... a bejewelled, dazzling novel.' -- Elizabeth Day Observer

'Readers prepared to enter Gilbert Time will be rewarded: she is an unflaggingly curious writer, prone to delightful touches ... Gilbert's period interests seem boundless - she explores everything from self-sacrifice, to homosexuality, Darwinism and Victorian pornography ... This is a novel to be chewed over, slowly.' -- Lucy Atkins Sunday Times

'A botanical odyssey through the nineteenth century, global in ambition, revelling in the period's insatiable curiosity about the world ... a tall tale, told with verve and wit.' --Guardian

'Filled with dazzling storytelling.' -- Susie Boyt Financial Times

'Gilbert writes superbly well.' -- Wendy Holden Daily Mail

'An intricate, beautifully written historical novel ... A passionate paean to the 19th-century women of science who strove for achievement against the odds.' -- Anita Sethi Metro

'Gilbert's observations, of both characters and locations, make this an unexpected joy and in Alma she has created a truly unforgettable heroine.' -- Anita Chaudhuri Irish Examiner

'Astute and funny ... comes with generous helpings of optimism and romance. Cynics need not apply. --Irish Sunday Mirror

'Ambitious, boldly imagined and packed with authenticating detail, it engages very boldly with the interaction of art and science.' --Andrew Motion, Guardian

'Gilbert reminds readers she can do, and undo, narratives through impeccably observed and original stories Independent Gilbert shows herself to be a writer at the height of her powers.' -- O Magazine

'Magnificent ... I was just a few pages into the book when I felt myself relax, aware that I was in the safe hands of a master story-teller.' -- Anna Carey The Irish Times

'My own 500-pager of choice? Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things ... just read it ... Hugely enjoyable -- Viv Groskop Observer Books of the Year

Author description

Elizabeth Gilbert is the acclaimed author of five books of fiction and non-fiction. She is most well known for her 2006 bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, which has sold over ten million copies worldwide and was made into a film starring Julia Roberts. Her short story collection Pilgrims was nominated for the PEN/Hemingway Award, her novel Stern Men was a New York Times Notable Book and The Last American Man was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent work, Committed, was a Number One New York Times bestseller. Elizabeth Gilbert lives in New Jersey. www.elizabethgilbert.com Find Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @GilbertLiz

Stock Information

General Fields

  • : 9781408841921
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Paperbacks
  • : July 2014
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : illustrations (black and white, and colour)
  • : Elizabeth Gilbert
  • : Paperback
  • : 714
  • : English
  • : 512