THE PRINCE OF EDEN by Marilyn Harris


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A big fruity mash of orts and ends featuring the career of Edward Eden, whose mother Marianne, the fisherman's daughter, billowed upward to high Victorian estate in This Other Eden (1977). Never mind why, but Edward, a bastard, now controls the wealth of the Eden estate while brother Joseph, rather a pill, snarls in frustration and sister Jennifer seems headed for spinsterhood. Edward, however, has heart; when first discovered, he's thundering into 1836 Newgate Prison distributing largesse and rescuing a child prostitute--only to find that a young married girl he once dallied with is about to expire in chains. Drugs, disappointments in love, and disenchantments with philanthropy follow until Edward gives away his legacy and expires as a humble workman toiling on the Crystal Palace. But along the way he has picked up a wife named Harriet (before bi-ped Edward comes along, she is involved in a bracing bit of equine porn, practicing some very bare-backed dressage on an agreeable stallion) and a son. Said issue will no doubt figure in sequels to come, giving Harris further opportunities to weight her scenes with real personages ("" 'Laudanum,' De Quincey said softly, 'The only passage a man needs to get from here to Heaven. Will you. . . accompany me, Mr. Eden?'"") and provide a sizable readership with more mad jumbles of off-target period background and characters hacked out of whole cloth every which way.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1978
Publisher: Putnam