The Count of Concord
Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, was—as Nicholas Delbanco writes—“world famous in his lifetime,” yet now he has been “almost wholly forgotten.” Like Delbanco himself, Sally Ormsby Thompson Robinson—the narrator of this novel and the Count’s fictional, last-surviving relative—is “haunted” by one of history’s most fascinating and remarkable figures. On par with Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, Count Rumford was, among many other things, a politician, a spy, a philanthropist, and above all, a scientist. Based on countless historical documents, including letters and essays by Thompson himself, The Count of Concord brings to life the remarkable career of Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford.
Title The Count of Concord
Author Nicholas Delbanco
Title First Published 13 May 2008
Nb of pages 480 p.
Publication Date 13 May 2008
Nb of pages 480
List Price $15.95
They laughed at him. They watched him pass. Fond mothers drew their sons to the embrasure of the window and, peering, pointed him out. “Formidable,” they whispered. “Extraordinary. It is something to remember and tell your children’s children you have seen. Look!”
Around the corner, rattlingly, the Count appeared. Along the Avenue des Ternesand stopping to collect his glass beyond the Place des Ternes—around the corner, well concealed and from French spies disguised—the beakers and alembics privately prepared for him, the necks in their tight spirals blown according to his secret and exact specifications, these coded in his assistant’s German so that the envious incompetent calumniating locals could neither copy nor take the credit—from Boulevard du Bois le Prêtre, along the Avenue de Clichy and out at its high gate; from Malesherbes, along the Boulevard des Batignolles, or to the north—Berthier, Bessières—he made his great processional: one coach.
[Nicholas Delbanco] wrestles with the abundance of his gifts as a novelist the way other men wrestle with their deficiencies. -John Updike
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Genres : Fiction : Historical Fiction
Genres : Fiction : United States and Canada
Countries : United States of America