I have a limited supply of early editions of my historical, literary novel with an English music history and nautical ambiance. This was before I made cuts and issued a Second Edition (see my other book page). This one was 254 pages compared to 245 pages for 2nd edition. Also the covers on this early edition were not as brilliant in color since the publisher(Infinity Books)had yet to purchase new printing equipment.
I heavily discount this supply of about a dozen to $5.95 SEE the Autograph Bookstore banner above.
Michael Guy's CDs & Books
The same novel as my other page: The Last Renaissance Man, but that one offers the later, 2nd edition with cuts issued in JUNE 2006 ($9.95 here at AD) by Infinity Publishing. This page refers to the early First edition first published in October 2005 ($5.95 here at the Den)
London's leading composer in 1695 is on a perpetual motion machine, a frantic season of theatre performances. Sir Henry yearns for one more Shakespeare-inspired opera that will revive his 'Glory Days'. With his Patroness dead, his income slashed, an alienated and suspicious wife, his agent arranges yet another tour of cheap venues. But the specter of Plague arises, and Henry stressed by grief, fears contagion. Hallucinogenic from the wrong cure he flees to sunny Madeira. Once southbound, his 'Sea Adventure' unfurls unpredictably. Do things resemble the opera he's composing? Stay aboard for book two, when the nautical nightmare grows menacingly real!
EXCERPT 1: from beginning of novel
All summer and now fall; my feet seemed like a ‘perpetual motion machine’.
Sedwick hit a particularly rough patch, while turning onto Kensington Road. Some ink spilled, foolish of me to ever attempt composition. An incessant rhythm of clattering wheels against the intolerably spaced washboard effect was forming—against my will—a ‘perpetuem mobile’ on the chord c-minor. I tried to ignore the wheeling refrain. Like some demonic machine for the stage, with chattering, ever-cranking pulley, it ground out a treading bass to the beat of hooves.
A solo took flight above. Yes! I snatched a quill, and a slim, corked-bottle from my satchel. Scrawling feverishly between jolts…alas, lost in a mess of blobs—Sedwick hit a pothole, I hit the ceiling, receiving a considerable knock, my butt landing rudely with a thud. I leaned out the open window:
‘Sedwick! I wish to get there with spare time, but I should like to arrive…’ (I paused one beat to phrase), ‘with all my appendages intact!’
‘Sorry Sir; nothing I can do. Last week’s storm, remember?’
I gave my new pocket watch another furtive glance—the cheat was ruling every hour of my day! We tore along, negotiating a series of ‘s’ turns, my foot tapping incessantly. An infatuated beat, reminding me of my ‘Devil’s Masque,’ a new opera I was toying with. Another peek at my watch; perhaps I am the possessed devil to that spinning tune revolving in my mind like a miller’s wheel in a stream, it was in a sinister way, pleasant grinding.
‘You’re the tempest as of late—and pity your family.’ Strange, tempest means storm and tumult; I poured a minute amount of tea into a teacup Sedwick had brought. It chattered convulsively, rocking perilously on the bench, the tea forming agitated rings of little wavelets…
Narrative: First PostScript
How I arrived at such confused employment during the fall of 1694 is easy enough to trace; to have imagined the changes ahead could only be conceived by the greatest flight of fancy. I shall tell you, my intended audience, of them in these pages, yet you no doubt, will accuse me of fabricating lies. If I remotely thought you would believe such a fate of one whose meager life in retrospect, now seems incredible, I shall find the faith to complete my journal. I myself would not have believed it of another, and see little hope of my account being salvaged, let alone published. I fear it shall remain for an audience of one, yet hope springs eternal that this much of my story shall be recorded. If you are a person requiring a methodical approach and see life as unfolding only in temporal order; you shall do yourself no better service than to quit my story now. From where I am narrating this account, you again would doubtless not believe. To an extent, all our futures are illustrated, not told. Our stories unfold while its twists and turns disclose our path. Yet, our character determines our fate.
I must take a backward glance to the months before I took what may have been spurious employment as a theatre musi-cian. You shall know intimately my true artistic aims, and briefly my mundane life and career achievements. I hope to tell these particulars in an entertaining fashion, but should they bore you, read ahead, and see if you can make sense of it. However, I warn you; time has a way of playing havoc with the mind. It brings both the angelic messengers of God’s will and His devils of destruction. Or, is a new and bolder city built, only by the destruction of the old? As mod-ern London rose in splendor from the ashes of that Great Fire in 1666—a year, that then promised to this seven-year old only catastrophe—so too, the long road of a man’s life emerges from the demolition of all that is prior. Yet, when he peers back through the misty dell of time’s lost worlds, and stands on the threshold of his zenith, it is unfathomable that what he is relates to what he was.
Was fulfillment cloaked from him like a stage player in disguise, yet foreshadowed in small events and details of his life? Like Columbus voyaging without a chart (or the wrong one!), he detects his destination in subtle signs on the seas—a faint scent, a bit of floating vegetation, a bird displaced that could not possibly be so far at sea. Like him, we grope our way among the familiar stars, searching a route to a promised land with obsolete ideas. We are misguided by a notion of an inadequate map, in the company of a rebellious crew, that like our faithless thoughts, demand proof long be-fore any should sensibly be entertained. However, can we map a land we have never seen? Had we applied sooner to the ‘Mapmaker of the Universe’ we should have found the right coordinates to steer by. We must hold fast to our dead reckoning despite the cries of betrayal and mutinous plans of our partners. Read on if you choose, or skip ahead, it is your journey now as well as mine; or complacent, hang your head in shame and quietly row back to shore.