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Merivel: A Man of His Time (Restoration #2)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  1,350 Ratings  ·  220 Reviews
The gaudy years of the Restoration are long gone. Robert Merivel, physician and courtier to Charles II, loved for his gift for turning sorrow into laughter, now faces the agitations and anxieties of middle age. Questions crowd his mind: has he been a good father? Is he a fair master? Is he the King’s friend or the King’s slave?
In search of answers, Merivel sets off for the
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 15th 2013 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 2012)
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Lewis Nene
Mar 28, 2013 Lewis Nene rated it really liked it
This is a cracking read. I much prefer this work to much of Tremaine's recent writing.
If you're expecting to simply pick up where 'Restoration' leaves off you'll be disappointed but if you're interested in the game Tremaine is playing with ageing - both with herself and with her main character - you're in for a treat.
The beauty of this book is that you can see how Tremaine's prose style had matured to the point where it's more measured and confident. In some ways this is true of Merivel in that
Sep 23, 2012 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having devoured Restoration in one sitting and then forcing my Book Club to read it, I was thrilled to learn that Tremain had revisited the characters of King Charles II, Merivel, Will Gates and the badger tabards. Far from being a book of two halves like Restoration, Merivel is a return to the Sir Robert (or Sir Rabbit as I shall know always know him!!!) Merivel that we originally grew so endeared to and not the gloomier and redemptive soul which made Restoration slightly hard going in the seco ...more
Robert Merivel. To Rose Tremain fans and those having read “Restoration”; this name evokes strong images. Merivel is back with all of his flaws, hilarity, and weaknesses aplomb in “Merivel: A Man of his Time”.

“Merivel” instantly sparkles with the feel and imagery of “Restoration” and once again brings the imperfect but lovable Robert Merivel to life. However, “Merivel” is definitely a sequel which instantly plunges into the story and mentions highlights from “Restoration” without fully backtrack

blurb - Rose Tremain returns triumphantly to one of her best loved characters, in the long awaited sequel to her Booker short-listed best-selling novel, Restoration, published in 1989. Seventeen years after the events related in Restoration, Merivel, a man of wit, wisdom and not a little passion, is facing a crisis. Life on his Norfolk estate and as a physician, a father and sometimes a fool to his adored King Charles 11, is no longer enough. Not only are he, and his loyal servant Will, age
Mar 12, 2013 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rose Tremaine's 1989 novel, Restoration, was such a feast for the reader, so funny, so well-researched, so humane and so moving, that I doubted whether she could possibly succeed with a sequel, especially more than twenty years later. In fact, she pulls it off wonderfully.

Though still liberally peppered with sex and low comedy, this is a more sombre tale. Merivel, King Charles and the other characters who careered through the pages of the first book, are fifteen years older. Old age and sicknes
Jul 12, 2013 Helle rated it really liked it
The first book about Robert Merivel, Restoration, is one of 15 books which have made it to my favorites shelf here on GR. It is a kind of 'Bildungsroman', in 17th century England: one man's journey to find himself through a maze of debauchery, tragedy, the Great Fire of London and other calamitous events. This is the sequel to that story - written many years later.

The novel picks up Merivel's story some years later than when we last met him, in order for us to explore what has become of him, and
Book at Bedtime

From BBC Radio 4:
Rose Tremain returns triumphantly to one of her best loved characters, in the long awaited sequel to her Booker short-listed best-selling novel, Restoration, published in 1989.

Certainly the printed version of this books is much better than this dramatization.
Jun 22, 2013 Ellie rated it it was amazing
This was my first experience of the work of Rosé Tremain, which means that, though this book revisits characters first introduced in1989 in Restoration, it is the first time I have become acquainted with Merivel. I can categorically say that this had no impact at all on my enjoyment of this sequel, which is more than capable of standing up for itself.

When I began to read Merivel, I wondered if I would be able to get into it; the style, with its mimicking of 16th century writing, felt alien, and
Dec 11, 2012 Laureen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I so love Rose Tremain's writing. Merivel, the character, is beautifully conjured. This novel is full of the same wit and merriment as his first Robert Merivel novel "Restoration", but also full of tragedy and cynical mirth at the condition of man.

I find that novels written in the first person are difficult to pull off. To keep one entertained, I find that a view from different perspectives provides more scope for the story. However, I have no trouble with Rose Tremain's writing. e.g. Merivel is
Jun 24, 2013 Jeanette rated it really liked it
Rose Tremain does this period of Charles II well. Historical fiction deluxe here- and the minutia detail and sensual description lends itself far more to this era (smellovision would really work for this story too) than it does to her moderns.

Restoration was enchanting. This one was even better, Merivel has deeper thoughts with age, especially upon the beloved servants of his recent years. The older Merivel seems more complex and vastly more intriguing to me. A little less randy and a bit more r
I didn't know this was a sequel when I picked it up, and haven't read the first installment about the life of Sir Robert Merivel, but Tremain's writing was accessible enough that that wasn't an obstacle. This is an amiably picaresque novel set in the twilight of Charles II's reign, vividly written and with characters that are well-drawn. Tremain does a good job at conjuring up a main character who is intelligent and flawed, someone whose reflections have the power to move the reader but not to r ...more
Sep 12, 2012 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really sad when I finished this book. Why? Because it's the last Merival book and he is such an entertaining and engaging character. A sequel to the wonderful "Restoration", we find Merival not full of mirth but world weary and worrying about everything from his servants to the King's friendship with his daughter as he heads into old age. The vivid descriptions of 17th century life are wonderful especially the scenes set in Versailles. The prose is fluid, and very very readable. Read this ...more
Carey Combe
Very good and sympathetic portrait of a kind but flawed man 'tired of life', but, for me, just a tad too depressing.
Mar 12, 2013 Kiwiflora rated it really liked it
Aaah, just like meeting an old friend! Sir Robert Merivel: the most human of human beings you are ever likely to meet. Flawed in many ways like all of us, at times unlikeable, but ever committed to trying to do his best in life, trying to improve himself both emotionally and materially, open to others and other ideas, he could be a man of any time including our time.

Robert Merivel was first introduced to us in the novel 'Restoration', which I reviewed in December. Some say you don't need to have
Feb 13, 2015 Karan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A placid and coasting follow-up to Tremain's very own masterful Restoration. While suffused with all the linguistic flourishes and character traits that held the reader in a vice in the book before, this one feels lesser, in the way all sequels usually and inadvertently do. That shocking beauty of the poetry in the artfully reconstructed syntax and the equally charming character idiosyncracies that make you go Bravo! while turning every page in the first book, skate over without impression despi ...more
Aug 23, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'For I understood then that no life begins only when it begins, but it had many additional inceptions, and each of these determine the course of what is to come.'

For many, a novel is supposed to rise to a peak, then slowly fall into a resolution; a safe way to write. I feel that this novel doesn't do this, but instead resembles that of a 'sine curve', with many peaks and many resolutions as we travel through Sir Robert Merivel's story. And, I guess the above quote proves so us that this would be
L.K. Jay
Sep 13, 2013 L.K. Jay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy, history, humour
I couldn't quite believe my eyes when I saw that there was a sequel to Restoration and so when I did, I downloaded it pronto. I remember reading Restoration many years ago and so just like Robert Merivel, my life has moved on as much as his had. We find the funny and flawed Merivel at his home Bidnold house with his beloved daughter Margaret.

This was a real page-turner for me. Seeing Merivel again was like revisiting and old friend. He was up to his tricks; getting into impossible situations, me
Louise Muddle
Jun 17, 2015 Louise Muddle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Has Tremain ever written a poor book? If she has I haven't read it yet. This is the second historical novel by her that I've read with a gap of many years inbetween and I'd forgotten how brilliantly she evokes a period. I loved Merivel as a character with all his flaws, humour, self-awareness, prodigious appetites and existential angst. After many depressing books my book group was crying out for something lighter and this served up great dollops of bawdy ribaldry with plenty of lace and periwig ...more
I loved this sequel to Restoration. In this book Robert Merivel raises his daughter, visits Versaillies, falls in love with an admirable woman, and as always lives hoping to be called to the side of his beloved King Charles. Merivel is a character I will never forget. He is so honest about his human failings, which are in truth, failings shared by most of us at different points in our lives, and kind to everyone, those as high ranking as the king and as low as his servants.
Restoration and Merive
Rachael McDiarmid
Sep 10, 2012 Rachael McDiarmid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rose Tremain, you've done it again. I love the character of Merivel. The way he engages with the world, the reader. I'm so glad you resurrected Sir Robert. There's something about him, I really enjoy. It's like visiting an old friend. And in this case Robert is older and wiser. So is Charles II. There are still court intrigues, love affairs and scandals. And medicine, of course. I'd like to see Rose Tremain pick this up again, perhaps from the perspective of Robert's daughter, Margaret or even t ...more
Betsy Hover
Feb 05, 2013 Betsy Hover rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-read-already
I was delighted to receive this book thru GoodReads Giveaway!

The sequel story of Sir Robert Merivel,set in the 1600's, is a physician and courtier to King charles II. You can not help but like this silly old fool who attracts but overcomes diasasters throughout the book. The first book of Sir Robert Merivel "Restoration" is a must read to set the stage and understanding of this sequel. This Historical Fiction is fascinating and intriging read.

I would highly recommend this Historical Fiction read
Apr 12, 2014 Krenner1 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed the sequel to Restoration, where we are introduced to Robert Merivel, a man living in London in 1600s and a close friend of the King. I'm glad I read the first book before this one, so I could more deeply observe the arc of Merivel's life--his foolishness finally leading to wisdom. And once he proves his huge heart you tolerate more the lascivious misdeeds of his time. A very satisfying two-book read, wrapped up beautifully.
Sharon Huether
I won this Free book throught Goodreads first-reads. Merival,a doctor, travels to France from England. When his daughter is stricken with typhus, he is able to cure her. He also removes a woman's cancerous tumor. He had good doctoring skills. He spends time at the court of Versailles. I didn't find this book appealing to me. It wasn't very interesting. I'll have to read another of Rose Tremain's books.
Aug 12, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
Having read Restoration many years ago and really enjoyed it, i approached this with trepidation, but there was no need to worry..this was also a really entertaining historical read.. i love the character Merivel with all his human failings , but underneath a good man...Highly recomended.. have to admit I shed a tear at the end..
Pam Walker
What a delight this book was, following the adventures of the physician Sir Robert Merivel through Restoration England and the Court of Versailles. The humour in the exchanges between Merivel and his trusted servant had me laughing out loud, as did Merivel's observations on the situations he found himself in. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Feb 03, 2014 Sue rated it it was amazing
I loved 'Restoration', and was pleasantly surprised that I loved this sequel just as much, if not more. Merivel is quirky, lovable and very human. Tremain is in her element and truly a master of her craft - hats (with copious ostrich feathers!) off to her - she is an inspiration to this novice novel writer.
Jan 16, 2014 Christinemary rated it it was amazing
A very good read with an engaging and endearing central character. No unresolved plot threads and accurate period detail with fascinating cameos and facts thrown in for good measure. Rose Tremain doesn't disappoint her readers.
Mar 26, 2014 Patriciagoodwin rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book. Amusing, great writing style - almost felt I was there in the 17th century. Could well recommend.
Sep 27, 2016 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
a book.... about ..... nothing much really.

lots of small plot lines but nothing really substantial.

enjoyed this enough, but not enough to care to take too long reviewing it....
Apr 03, 2014 Amanda rated it it was amazing
A fantastic follow up to Restoration. I just love the character of Merivel.
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Rose Tremain's best-selling novels have won many awards, including the Orange Prize, the Whitbread Novel of the Year, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger. Restoration, the first of her novels to feature Robert Merivel, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer Richard Holmes.
More about Rose Tremain...

Other Books in the Series

Restoration (2 books)
  • Restoration

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