The Queen's Diadem

C. J. L. Almqvist, Author Camden House (NY) $0 (247p) ISBN 978-1-879751-00-2
A careful translation captures the playfulness and operatic passions of this 19th-century Swedish classic, while commentary by several Nordic literature specialists delineates its author's romantic vision and life. The action centers around a real event--the assassination of King Gustav III at a masked ball in 1792--and the fate of the noblemen who plotted it. Innovatively combining drama, poetry and narration, Almqvist initially focuses readers' attention on two sisters, Amanda and Adolfine, and their lovers, Ferdinand and Clas Henrik, who find themselves lost in a series of deceptions and intrigues. When Gustav is mortally wounded, conspirators Ferdinand and Clas Henrik flee and an androgynous actress named Tintomara absconds with the Queen's diadem, a crown heirloom that later becomes the property of a moneylender. Almqvist handles with zest and exuberance the melodramatic events that eventually engulf all the characters, neatly and expertly resolving the diadem's disappearance, the fate of the lovers, Tintomara's true identity and other mysteries. ( July )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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