Arthur and George grow up worlds apart in late nineteenth-century Britain: Arthur in shabby-genteel Edinburgh, George in the vicarage of a small Staffordshire village. Arthur is to become one of the most famous men of his age, while George remains in hard-working obscurity. But as the new century begins, they are brought together by a sequence of events that made sensational headlines at the time as The Great Wyrley Outrages.
This is a novel about low crime and high spirituality, guilt and innocence, identity, nationality and race. Most of all it is a profound and moving meditation on the fateful differences between what we believe, what we know and what we can prove.
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Julian Barnes is the author of eleven novels, including Metroland, Flaubert’s Parrot, Arthur &George and most recently The Sense of an Ending, which won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. He has also written three books of short stories, Cross Channel, The Lemon Table and Pulse; and three collections of journalism, Letters from London, Something to Declare and The Pedant in the Kitchen. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. In France he is the only British writer to have won both the Prix Médicis (for Flaubert’s Parrot) and the Prix Fémina (for Talking it Over). In 2004 he received the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, and in 2011 he was awarded the David Cohen Prize for Literature. He lives in London.