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The Reverend Timothy Fortune, ex-clerk of the Hornsey Branch of Lloyds Bank, has spent ten years as a South Seas Island missionary when a 'maggot' impels him to embark on what he describes as a 'sort of pious escapade' - an assignment to the even more remote island of Fanua, where a white man is a rarity. Mr Fortune is a good man, humble, earnest - he wishes to bring the joys of Christianity to the innocent heathen. But in his three years on Fanua he makes only one convert - the boy Lueli, who loves him. This love, and the sensuous freedom of the islanders produces in Mr Fortune a change of heart which is shattering...Beautifully imagined, the paradise island and its people are as vivid as a Gauguin painting. Told with the driest of wise humour, touching and droll by turns, its theme - that we can never love anything without messing it about - is only one of the delights of this enchanting book.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780860680437
ISBN-10: 0860680436
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 126mm x 12mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Virago Press Ltd
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 12-Jan-1984
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » The reverend Timothy Fortune travels to the remote island of Fanua, where a white man is a rarity. During his three years there he only manages to make one convert: the boy Luali, who loves him. This love and the sensuous freedom of the island bring about enormous changes in the Reverend with shattering consequences. Regarded by John Carey as one of the best book of the century, this short novel compels you to read it at one sitting, then go back immediately and start again. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Sylvia Townsend Warner

Born in Harrow (1893-1978), Sylvia Townsend Warner published seven novels, four volumes of poetry, a volume of essays and eight volumes of short stories. She lived most of her adult life with her close companion Valentine Ackland in Dorset and Norfolk.

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