Restoration Background

Restoration Background

Restoration is a novel that was written by Rose Tremain and published in 1989. It was fairly popular, being shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1989 and being the Sunday Express Book of the Year. In addition, Restoration was made into a film in 1995. Rose Tremain was a pioneer of the magical realism style, and her works have influenced William Golding and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. She has taught creative writing, and has written things ranging from novels to short stories to works for children. Restoration was one of her most highly acclaimed novels.

Restoration takes its name from the age of the same name. The narrator and protagonist of the novel is named Robert Merivel, who is an English physician. Merivel is a little self centered and obsessed with great wealth, often daydreaming on the luxuries that he dreams that he will one day attain. Merivel heals one of King Charles II’s dogs, and he is appointed surgeon to all of the king’s dogs. He joins the king’s court, and King Charles II arranges a marriage between Merivel and one of his mistresses named Celia Clemence and gives Merivel an estate called Bidnold in Norfolk. When Merivel is drunk one night and tries to have sex with Celia, the king gets mad and takes away Bidnold, and so Merivel has to go to the New Bedlam hospital in Norfolk. He tries to turn his life around by working in the hospital, but things go awry when he makes a patient named Katharine pregnant, John Pearce, one of Merivel’s old friends, dies, Merivel and Katharine move to London, and the Great Plague and the Fire of London happen.

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