Adam and Rosamund
Adam and Rosamond by Brad Walker
A novella in Pushkin Stanzas
Offer until 31/01/22:
'Can you put Leeds and sophistication in the same small context? This little pearl of parody does, expertly. Go back a century to a northern town not far from Leeds. Town? Yes. A mill? Yes. Trouble? Yes.
Adam, a self-educating worker, meets Rosamond Averill, the guilt-ridden daughter of the mill-owner. Will their love transcend the barriers of class and politics? (Sorry, no spoiler).
And the sophistication? You will be amazed. Your looms and spools and pins and grease are transmitted – wait for this – by the best little part of all Russian literature, Pushkin’s Onegin stanza. This squeezed-down sonnet (four-foot lines) is the perfect vehicle for jokey narrative with diverting cultural asides.
Believe this. The story is a soufflé of intelligent entertainment delivered in a couple of thousand words. Even the plentiful dialogue flows unimpeded past line-ends. You will notice poetry, but only to admire a clever trope or an amusing rhyme. This is the English language in a holiday mood.
Read it, leave all friends in your wake, enviously impressed, and then form a little club to demand the half-promised sequel.'
– Professor Anthony Briggs
Specialist in Russian Language and Culture, especially Pushkin and Tolstoy,translator of Yevgeny Onegin (Pushkin Press, 366 stanzas of poetry) and War and Peace (Penguin Books, 366 chapters of prose).
'Brad Walker is to be praised for steering a merry course through the pitfalls of rhyme and digression which lie in wait for the poet who tackles a long poem in this notoriously difficult stanza. His fully-imagined historical narrative is managed with many moments of quiet wit and telling physical detail.'
– John Fuller, poet, novelist, critic and Fellow Emeritus of Magdalen College, Oxford.
Brad Walker is currently pursuing a career in the legal profession. His first book, Adam and Rosamond, is a verse-novella in seven chapters, in Onegin stanzas, also known as Pushkin sonnets. Using this rigorous poetic form, Brad Walker sets his story loosely in the Victorian era. He narrates how Rosamond, a cotton-mill owner's daughter, and Adam, a worker in her father's factory, fall in love with each other and endeavour to forge meaning in their lives.