Francis King

Dr. Blanchisseur

Adam Gould

By

Telegram 377pp £7.99 order from our bookshop

For the most part, the setting of this novel is the Hôtel de Lamballe. It was once a Paris residence of the ancien régime but by 1892, the date of the action, it is a maison de santé under the direction of the real-life alienist Dr Blanche, father of Jacques-Emile Blanche, the popular and snobbish portrait painter of the XVIth arrondissement. Three characters dominate the narrative. The eponymous Adam Gould is a failed Irish seminarian whose family problems – illegitimacy and a father who, to raise money to meet his mounting debts, abandons his common-law wife, Adam’s mother, in pursuit of a lucrative match, thus precipitating her suicide – have driven him to move to Paris and take up a job in Blanche’s clinic. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Something of an 'eccentric billionaire’s hobby': reviews 'The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and… ,
    • "At the age of fifteen, drunk on stolen Chardonnay or stoned on pot at a swimming party, the thoughts that come imm… ,
    • For the latest Bookends, here's Alan Taylor musing on his stint as an assistant librarian. ,
    • A ‘pretentious ass and impotent arriviste’ who surrounded himself with ‘degenerates, hooligans, childish layabouts,… ,
    • . reviews 'Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life' by ,
    • "As Beevor shows, it was one of the most daring, dangerous and fiercely fought operations of the whole war. It was… ,
    • "The characters are very rich and very male, with astronomical ambitions. The potted biographies in this book sugge… ,