Fritz von Hardenburg, the young philosopher and poet who later took
the name Novalis, has finished his university studies and is
preparing to follow his father's profession of salt-mine inspector
when he meets his 'true philosophy', his 'heart's heart', a
12-year-old girl of unsuitable (middle-class) family and little
perceivable intelligence. His friends and family are thrown into
confusion; how could this genius have settled for such a simple,
juvenile and unattractive creature? Fitzgerald's re-creation of
events is, as usual, masterly. We are immersed headlong in the
ethics and atmosphere of late-18th-century Germany by her
dexterous, adroit ability to impart information as if by osmosis.
Her intellect is astounding, but the reader is never left behind.
This book is comic, enlightening and a pleasure to read. (Kirkus
From the Booker Prize-winning author of `Offshore' comes this
unusual romance between the poet Novalis and his fiancee Sophie,
newly introduced by Candia McWilliam. The year is 1794 and Fritz,
passionate, idealistic and brilliant, is seeking his father's
permission to announce his engagement to his heart's desire:
twelve-year-old Sophie. His astounded family and friends are amused
and disturbed by his betrothal. What can he be thinking? Tracing
the dramatic early years of the young German who was to become the
great romantic poet and philosopher Novalis, `The Blue Flower' is a
masterpiece of invention, evoking the past with a reality that we
can almost feel.
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