Lawrence Durrell's classic novel Monsieur is set in a dilapidated chateau near Avignon and focuses on a group of characters who have decided to remove themselves from the world. Egypt, France and Venice provide a background for the action, which offers an original interpretation of the so-called sins of the Templars as Durrell depicts his characters caught up in the sinister and mysterious doings of a gnostic suicide club.
' Monsieur contains some of the finest descriptive set-pieces even Durrell has ever written. I would not wish to have missed these evocations of Avignon: of a winter horse-ride through the Provençal countryside; of Christmas in a chateau crumbling into magnificent decay; of a slow dreamlike journey through the Nile.' Susan Hill, The Times
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