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History of a Pleasure Seeker


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The author of THE DROWNING PEOPLE returns with a sumptuous tale set in Amsterdam's Gilded Curve

About the Author

Richard Mason was born in South Africa in 1978 to activist parents who settled in England when he was ten. Brought up and educated here, he wrote his first novel, THE DROWNING PEOPLE, whilst a 19-year-old at Oxford. In the intervening years, Richard finished his degree, then set up an educational charity in memory of his sister Kay. The Kay Mason Foundation provides scholarships to disadvantaged South African children.


rich in period detail and with requisite glittering trappings, it's the sex that is most carefully observed in Mason's lusty romp. Not for the bashful. -- Eithne Farry THE DAILY MAIL - 13.05.11 Mason tells his story with humour, charm, fine attention to detail and a healthy dose of eroticism. INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY - 15.05.11 'Sex is everywhere in History of Pleasure Seeker, and it is both well described and very funny... an enthralling, perfectly placed romp that breathes new life into the picaresque genre... Piet Barol like a highly cultivated, bisexual Flashman, looks set to become the star of a whole new series of books." -- Alex Preston OBSERVER - 22.05.11 From prize-winning author Richard Mason comes a new tale set in 1907 Amsterdam. STYLIST - 25.05.11 A hugely accomplished novel - the story of Piet Barol, a young, provincial Dutchman and the social and sexual adventures he embarks upon in belle epoque Amsterdam. THE INDEPENDENT 50 Best Summer Reads 10 June 2011 Richard Mason's new novel - elegant, upholstered and, for all the sex, well-behaved - is part of a trend... for historical novels that seem not only set but written in the past - modern tracings, skilfully done, of old tropes, old forms. -- Adam Lively THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT - 17 June 2011 a masterpiece. Like Henry James on Viagra. Not only gripping as hell, but brilliantly arranges that the imagined world of Maarten and Jacobina's household sits entirely within Amsterdam of the belle epoque. I thought Piet was wonderfully drawn - rogueish and yet wholly sympathetic. -- Alex Preston, Author Of This Bleeding City a hugely accomplished novel, the story of Piet Barol, a young, provincial Dutchman and the social and sexual adventure he embarks upon when he is employed as a tutor to one of the richest families in belle epoque Amsterdam. Rich with period detail and characterised by pitch-perfect dialogue and a cast of carefully drawn characters, it explores themes of ambition, fidelity and class, and ratchets up the tension as our young hero walks a knife-edge between social/financial success and total ruin -- Greg Eden "A sharply written story of love, money and erotic intrigue pulsing behind the staid canal fronts of nineteenth century Amsterdam. Mason's hero is amoral but irresistible. I was gripped till the very last page. Thank God there's a sequel" -- Daisy Goodwin this elegantly plotted and witty tale unfolds in prose that is not just confident, but impressively stylish. The Lady Piet Barol is a dashing young man of the Belle Epoque who seduces his way into a life of decadence in this fast-paced historical page-turner. EASY LIVING - August 2011

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