Allan Massie

  • Hiver 1942-1943. À l'Est, la guerre tourne à l'avantage de l'URSS. À l'Ouest, les Américains prennent pied en Afrique du Nord. La défaite de l'Allemagne se profile mais en France l'Occupation se poursuit. Pour l'heure, les soucis familiaux du commissaire Lannes s'alourdissent?: l'un de ses fils est à Londres, l'autre à Vichy et le fiancé de sa fille est prêt à s'engager dans la L.V.F...
    Une nouvelle enquête lui permettra peut-être de se changer les idées?: une dame distinguée qui donnait des leçons de piano est assassinée chez elle. La mise en scène suggère un rendez-vous galant qui a mal tourné. Mais, en bon émule de Maigret, Lannes, guidé par sa seule intuition, ne se laisse pas abuser longtemps. Il ne tardera pas à découvrir tout un réseau de solidarités et de compromissions inattendues qui mêle intimement certaines autorités d'Occupation, les notables de la ville et la pègre.
    Sans complaisance mais sans excès de noirceur Allan Massie reconstitue avec art l'atmosphère grise et glauque d'une époque tragique qui exacerbe les passions ordinaires.
     

  • Après Stalingrad et le débarquement américain en Afrique du Nord, l'Allemagne ne pouvait plus gagner la guerre. Au printemps 1944, on s'interroge seulement sur l'étendue de sa défaite.
    Les plus opportunistes se hâtent de changer de camp avant qu'il ne soit trop tard. Les plus lucides voient se profiler les règlements de comptes sanglants de l'après-guerre. Le commissaire Lannes est l'un de ces esprits qui savent pressentir le cours des choses.
    Sa hiérarchie l'a mis sur la touche à la demande des Allemands. Chez lui, l'ambiance est morose. Ses enfants sont engagés - par idéalisme - dans des camps ennemis.
    Pour éviter de sombrer dans la neurasthénie, Lannes accepte de conduire à titre officieux une enquête sur la disparition d'une jeune Bordelaise de milieu aisé. Il retrouvera sans surprise les turpitudes et les compromissions qui sont de tous les temps mais que le dérèglement de la guerre fait prospérer.
    Bientôt tout basculera. Ce sera le déferlement de la haine, de la peur, de la vengeance. Les personnages réels se mêlent aux créatures imaginaires. Un jeune politicien promis au plus brillant avenir symbolise toutes les ambiguïtés de l'époque. Il  s'appelle François Mitterrand. Tout en servant Vichy dont il défend l'utilité, il a déjà donné des gages aux futurs vainqueurs.
    Le Quatuor de Bordeaux frappe, encore une fois, par sa justesse et sa profondeur.

  • Introduced by Alan Taylor Widely acclaimed as Massie's finest novel, A Question of Loyalties engages with all the complexities and ambiguities of loyalty, nationality and family as they are put under threat by betrayal, by errors of judgement, or simply friendship.

    Etienne de Balafré, half French, half English and raised in South Africa, returns to post-war France to unravel the tangled history of his own father. Was Lucien de Balafré a patriot who served his country as best he could in difficult times, or a treacherous collaborator in the Vichy government?

    Rife with the anguish of hindsight and the irony of circumstance, this powerful book brilliantly explores the ties between fathers and sons and the pains of love and duty in a period of European history that is still characterised by wilful denial and hatred.

    'Miraculous.' Auberon Waugh 'I have no hesitation in calling it a major novel . . . Massie here has vigorously pushed back the narrowing boundaries of English fiction. This is a novel of scope, substance and strength all too rare today.' Spectator 'Addictively narrated . . . Out of one broken man's story evolves the weighty history and treachery of a whole era.' The Times 'As a prose stylist, Massie can write like an angel . . . taut yet elegiac, epigrammatic yet wistfully lyrical.' Sunday Telegraph

  • It is 1978. Corrado Dusa is head of Italy's Christian Democrat Party and the country's Senior Minister. He is also considered to be the key figure in resolving the crisis of dissent and violence that permeates political life. But Dusa has been kidnapped and now his son, Bernardo, a member of a militant extremist group, has disappeared. The press is aghast while the family sense disaster. Can Dusa's release be negotiated? Under what conditions? And - most importantly - with what results? First published in 1981 (The Bodley Head Press) Massie's stylish and enthralling thriller won a Scottish Arts Council Award: exploring America's influence on Europe and the causes of terrorism, The Death of Men is sure to have an arresting affect on readers today

  • The Royal Stuarts ruled for over 300 years in Scotland and for a century as the Royal Family of Britain and Ireland. They were leading actors in the foremost political dramas of British history - the Scottish Wars of Independence, the Union of the Crowns, the English Civil War and the Restoration - and remain the most controversial and divisive of royal families.

    Drawing on the accounts of historians past and present, novels and plays, Allan Massie tells the family's full story, from the salt marshes of Brittany to the thrones of Scotland and England, and then eventual exile. A book which gets beyond the received generalisations, The Royal Stuarts takes us deep into the lives of figures like Mary Queen of Scots, Charles I and Bonnie Prince Charlie, uncovering a family of strong affections and fierce rivalries, the brave and capable, the weak and foolish.

    Told with panache and pace, adventurous and opinionated, this is a nuanced history of that remarkable family who, for better or worse, shaped our history and made our country what it is.

  • Gaius Caligula is known as the mad emperor, the one who made his horse a consul. He was violent and vicious, a murderer and guilty of committing incest with his sisters. Yet, when he succeeded the aged recluse Tiberius, the Romans were delighted and for a few months at least he seemed generous and enlightened. So what went wrong? Why was he murdered after a reign of only four years? Is the conventional picture true or false: was he mad and evil or the victim of circumstance and rumour? Is it possible to take a sympathetic view of Caligula... and is it possible to make sense of him?
    In his compelling new novel Allan Massie peels back the mask of the monster of popular myth to expose the young emperor as a real man and explore the truth of his brief but tempestuous reign.

  • At the beginning of the year 66, Emperor Nero ruled the Roman Empire. By the end of it, Nero had committed suicide and three of his successors were dead, and out of the carnage of civil war at home and a nationalistic uprising in Judaea a new emperor, Vespasian, had emerged. Here Scaurus, once the lover of both Vespasian's son and daughter, looks back on the whole extraordinary year and recreates a world of treachery, malice, passion and-occasionally-quiet heroism.
    Drawing on his formidable knowledge of Roman history, Allan Massie brings the distant past vividly to life and creates telling parallels with the present.

  • Standing on the verge of ruin, Mark Antony dictates his memoirs to his secretary Critias, who contributes an acerbic running commentary as Antony relives his struggle with Octavian for mastery of the Roman Empire in the wake of Caesar's murder, his infatuation with Cleopatra and his obsession with the East.
    A tragi-comedy of ambition and self-indulgence, passion and valour, ANTONY forms a triumphant conclusion to Allan Massie's acclaimed Roman Quartet.

  • Allan Massie's Caesar is a perception of greatness overreaching itself. Through the eyes of one of his comrades, Decimus Brutus, we observe Caesar the enchanter, the showman, the general whose soldiers will follow him anywhere, while their wives supply his bed. We see the man of authority whose charm can be devastating but whose emotional engagement is nil. In his third Roman novel after Tiberius and Augustus, Allan Massie writes with a wry wit about human frailty, while political philosophy has never before been clothed in such an atmosphere of highly charged sexuality.'Massie's achievement is to infuse the mythical emperor with blood . . . he invigorates his characters with voices that seem to echo the present, not the past, and which are utterly convincing . . . a piece of bravura invention' Independent

  • Habitually vilified as a monstrous tyrant, Emperor Tiberius has been one of history's enigmas. Now he speaks for himself - a proud, secretive, troubled man, a great general yet reluctant ruler, disgusted by the degeneracy which surrounds him.
    In this sequel to Augustus, Allan Massie combines a compelling study in public power and private tragedy with a vibrant portrait of the Roman world.

  • Augustus was the founder of the Roman Empire, adopted son of Julius Caesar, friend and later foe of Mark Antony, patron of Horace and Virgil. Frank and forceful, this putative autobiography tells his story from the assassination of Caesar, through his military, political and personal struggles to his final days as Emperor in everything but name.

  • David comes alive in this novel as a fascinating, divided self, but you also feel on finishing it that you have understood a little more about the extraordinary world of the Middle East from which so much of our own Judaeo-Christian religion and civilisation spring. Modern parallels are never forced - Massie to too subtle a writer for that - but this world of sex, intrigue, war and religious mania suggests constantly to the reader not memories of the Bible but events in the newspapers in that very Hebron where David ruled as king' AN Wilson, Evening Standard

  • Allan Massie
    Printemps noir à Bordeaux
    En ce printemps 1940, Bordeaux, comme toute la France, connaît une "drôle de guerre" - ou si l'on veut une drôle de paix. Le commissaire Lannes est amené à enquêter sur la mort de l'un de ses vieux amis, ancien avocat et homosexuel notoire: un crime crapuleux, un bon vieux crime à l'ancienne. Mais l'enquête s'avère plus compliquée que prévu: des pressions sont exercées sur Lannes pour qu'il l'abandonne. Et l'Histoire, la grande Histoire, le rattrape.Les masques tombent, et le bon vieux crime crapuleux se révèle un meurtre politique, qui plonge ses racines dans les années tourmentées d'avant-guerre.

  • C'est l'été 1941. Dans Bordeaux occupé, le corps d'un homme assassiné est découvert dans un jardin public, et ce qui paraissait une enquête banale va conduire le commissaire Lannes dans les coulisses du vieux Bordeaux.
    Dans ce deuxième volume de sa tétralogie bordelaise, Allan Massie poursuit son tableau de la France occupée, en une période où l'issue de la guerre semble pour le moins incertaine, et où l'Allemagne paraît avoir le dessus.
    L'enquête menée par Lannes n'est qu'un prétexte à une étude de caractères. En cette période troublée, personne n'a tort, personne n'a raison. Il y a peu de francs salauds, mais de pauvres gens qui essaient de comprendre un univers sens dessus dessous. Alain parti pour Londres est aussi sincère que son frère aîné dévoué à la "Révolution Nationale", ou que Michel, persuadé de la nécessité de l'Europe Nouvelle voulue par Hitler.

  • A truly European monarch, Charlemagne was king of the Franks from 768 to 814 and for some of that time king of the Lombards, too. From 800, when at Mass on Christmas day in Rome, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne Imperator Romanorum (Emperor of the Romans) he became the renewer of the Western Empire, which had expired in the 5th century.

    His dual role as Emperor and King of the Franks provided the historical link between the Imperial dignity and the Frankish kingdoms and later Germany. Today both France and Germany look to him as a founding figure of their respective countries.

    His nephew, Roland, was also renowned for his prowess in battle and was the inspiration for the Chanson de Roland which recounts the story of the battle of Roncesvalles, in which he died.

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