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An astonishing, richly absorbing first novel, set in 18th Century Derbyshire, about greed, money and love.

Famously, Jane Austen created a fictional universe from 'three or four families in a country village'. In this remarkable first novel James Fleming achieves something very similar: out of the relationships of two men and one woman in Derbyshire in 1788 he has created a fiction that bears comparison with the great novelists of the nineteenth century.
Superficially, the plot is simple. Anthony Apreece covets the land of his young neighbour, Edward Horne. Edward covets Daisy, Anthony's wife. On such simple foundations, James Fleming builds a novel of extraordinary richness, at once a whollly convincing representation of an eighteenth-century world and an utterly modern dissection of two of mankind's most powerful passions: greed and love


Heart-stoppingly good. One detects the hand of a master

Sunday Telegraph

A feast of a novel

Mail on Sunday

Startingly good

Daily Telegraph

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Formats & editions

  • EBook


    August 1, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    320 pages

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  • The Temple of Optimism
    James Fleming, Robert Fleming



    August 3, 2001


    320 pages

    RRP $19.99

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