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By (author) Alfred Duggan

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It was really the army's fault. Bored with respectable middle-aged generals, they picked Elagabalus, thirteen-year-old high priest of a Syrian sun-god, to be Emperor of Rome. Golden-haired, handsome as a god, a brilliant charioteer with a passion for stable boys -- this wilful adolescent was hardly a fit successor to Caesar and Augustus. With real government in the able hands of family favourites -- grandmother, mother, aunt -- he was left free to pursue his own extravagant pleasures until his inevitable assassination. This fantastic reign with its fabulous banquets and practical jokes, painted boys and rickshaw girls, makes a fine subject for one of Alfred Duggan's most skilful reconstructions of history. 'An intimate first-hand account of the bizarre, off-beat moment in history when the exotic East descended upon the sober West' Evening Standard 'Mr Duggan has a marvellously wry quality in his writing. Behind the straight face of his novel there is a disciplined hilarity which is tremendously appealing' Sunday Times

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  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 14mm | 376g
  • 09 Aug 2012
  • Pan MacMillan
  • Macmillan Bello
  • London
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1447228928
  • 9781447228929

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Author Information

'There have been few historical imaginations better informed or more gifted than Alfred Duggan's' (The New Criterion) Historian, archaeologist and novelist Alfred Duggan wrote historical fiction and non-fiction about a wide range of subjects, in places and times as diverse as Julius Caesar's Rome and the Medieval Europe of Thomas Becket. Although he was born in Argentina, Duggan grew up in England, and was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. After Oxford, he travelled extensively through Greece and Turkey, visiting almost all the sites later mentioned in his books. In 1935 helped excavate Constantine's palace in Istanbul. Duggan came to writing fiction quite late in his life: his first novel about the First Crusade, Knight in Armour, was published in 1950, after which he published at least a book every year until his death in 1964. His fictional works were bestselling page-turners, but thoroughly grounded in meticulous research informed by Duggan's experience as an archaeologist and historian. Duggan has been favourably compared to Bernard Cornwell as well as being praised in his own right as 'an extremely gifted writer who can move into an unknown period and give it life and immediacy.' (New York Times).

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