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A Quiet Adjustment

Benjamin Markovits

A heart-rending novel of the infamous literary ménage à trois between Byron, his wife – and his sister.

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Nineteen-year -old Annabella Milbanke, visiting London for the swirl of parties and engagements of the season, is introduced to Byron at a waltz. He has just published Childe Harold, and is surrounded by a crowd of admirers, one of whom is his half-sister Augusta Leigh. Annabella and Byron fall in love, but Augusta’s unwelcome presence in their relationship becomes increasingly unbearable. Caught up in a potentially scandalous love triangle, Annabella must decide whether following her heart is the most dangerous thing she has ever done . . .

Critic Reviews

'Markovits dazzles with his storytelling and elegant psychoanalytic salvos.'

Critic Reviews

'What marks this novel out as superlative is not just the quality of the writing, where Markovits seems effortlessly to capture a 19th-century English voice, but the portrait of the inner workings of a marriage ... this is Byron as we should really see him - a tortured and also tortured genius - and the threat he poses to Arabella is brilliantly realised.'

The Herald
Critic Reviews

'Eloquent ... Arabella stands at the centre of the narrative, portrayed with moral clarity as well as complexity.'

Critic Reviews

'Absorbing ... [a] steadily escalating narrative.'

Financial Times
Critic Reviews

Magnificently well-researched ... the developing power struggle between Augusta and Annabella is wonderfully shaded and ambiguous.

Sunday Herald
Critic Reviews

It's hard to decide which is more remarkable. His [Markovits'] insight into the psychology of a 19th-century Englishwoman or his control over the language of his thoughts ... a brisk, straightforward narrative lends ballast to each lyrical flight, making Annabella's story as compelling to read as it is dazzling ... roll on book number three.

Observer, Paperback of the Week

Benjamin Markovits grew up in Texas, London and Berlin. He is the author of eleven novels, including Either Side of Winter, You Don’t Have To Live Like This, and Christmas in Austin. He has published essays, stories, poetry and reviews on subjects ranging from the Romantics to American sports in the Guardian, Granta, The Paris Review and The New York…

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