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Of Ink, Wit and Intrigue… – Party like 1660

Of Ink, Wit and Intrigue…



Susan Cooper-Bridgewater explores the life of John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester, in Of Ink, Wit and Intrigue, a gripping novel that weaves together fact and fiction.

I surrender this testimony of my life and have laid bare some obscure events, the truth of which is for you to ponder upon. Your not so obedient servant, Rochester.

Of Ink, Wit and Intrigue: Lord Rochester, in Chains of Quicksilver is a quirky historical fiction, weaving known facts in the life of one of England’s most notorious wastrels, wits, poets and libertines, John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, (1647-1680), with invented episodes, both bizarre and plausible. Told from Rochester’s point of view, the novel vividly narrates the intimate events of his odd and audacious life.

It characterises the life of this infamous and fantastical man, and those of his meritorious wife and beloved children, his friends, and his enemies. Even Louis XIV refused to let Rochester kiss his hand when first they met in 1669, the Sun King hearing of Rochester’s act of Lèse-majesté when he boxed Thomas Killigrew’s ears in the presence of Charles II. The novel also portrays his romantic infatuation and adoration for his mistress, the celebrated actress Mrs. Elizabeth Barry. His story reveals his associations with all ranks of people and all manner of places and buildings, including London, the idyllic Cotswolds of his birth, Dorset and Somerset. Many of the locations in his story are still evident today, wherein his extraordinary spirit lives on.

Rochester has always seemed to stay the “oddest, most fantastical man alive”, as he described himself. Susan has unearthed obscure and important details about his life with scholarly diligence. Now, in this imaginative recreation of Rochester’s inmost thoughts and feelings, she delves even deeper.” J.W. Johnson

The author has, for many years, held a curiosity for England’s history, with particular emphasis on the Restoration period. Her enthusiasm has led her to scholarly research of those times, resulting in some of her works being published in 2011 and 2013 volumes of Oxford University Press Notes and Queries Journal. She also has unpublished pieces archived in Blenheim Palace at Woodstock, Magdalene College in Cambridge and in the Library Catalogue of Trinity College in Cambridge.

Published by Matador, an imprint of Troubador Publishing Ltd.

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