In The Shadow King, Jane Stevenson illuminates the world of the intriguing Balthasar Stuart, the secret biracial child born of the illicit love between a queen of Bohemia and an exiled African prince. A gifted young doctor in the late seventeenth century, Balthasar struggles with very contemporary issues of identity, brought into play by his difficult heritage. Driven out of Holland by the plague, he makes his way first to the raffish, cynical world of Restoration London, where he encounters Aphra Behn, the English spy and sometimes playwright. He leaves to seek prosperity in colonial Barbados, a society marked by slavery and savage racism. Utterly absorbing and deeply perceptive, The Shadow King brings the past radiantly to life in people's habits of speech, their food and fashions, and their medical practices.
About the Author
JANE STEVENSON was born in London and brought up in London, Beijing, and Bonn. She teaches literature and history at the University of Aberdeen. She is the author of Several Deceptions, a collection of four novellas; a novel, London Bridges; and the acclaimed historical trilogy made up of the novels The Winter Queen, The Shadow King, and The Empress of the Last Days. Stevenson lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.