THE WAY TO THE LANTERN by Audrey Lindop

THE WAY TO THE LANTERN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The first person narrative of Philippe-Jean-Baptiste-Raoul Vicomte de Lambriere, (or Anthony Buckland of Sandgate, England, or Roberts the actor), relates the incidents that brought him to the Mousetrap, a prison in Paris, in 1793, and how he escaped from it. Trained by an actor who is also an accomplished trickster, Roberts is an able, but not always obedient, pupil for M.S.'s teachings; his impersonation of a French suitor causes the well born, forceful Eliza Weldon to love him as Philippe and she pursues him to France where he seeks to evade her during the Revolution. In Paris it is 13 year old Suzon du Pont (Puce) who becomes another of his claimants while he falls into the coils of Marie-Clarice and her game of aristocracy-bourgeoisie balance. For his own peace of mind he gives himself up, promotes the question of his three identities and becomes party to a mock hanging so that he may escape in a coffin-to be claimed by Eliza. With an infinite capacity for being wrong, Roberts makes his raffish way from high to low life, knows the fringes of English and French theater, is a witness to the fall of the Bastille and subsequent events, and is a seedy swindler of a hero. An inventive touch to picaresque adventuring gives this historical piece a certain lift.

Publisher: Doubleday