Camille and the Raising of Eros

Author(s) : William Rose

Camille and the Raising of Eros

Book Details

  • Publisher : Sphinx
  • Published : May 2019
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 280
  • Category :
    Fiction: historical
  • Catalogue No : 93461
  • ISBN 13 : 9781912573134
  • ISBN 10 : 191257313X
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Spain, 1920s. The lives of three Carmelite nuns intersect and develop through a period of intense experience. In their personal histories there is great contrast, from the artistic exuberance of Paris in ‘La Belle Époque’ to slavery in Africa, but a past element is shared that has deeply affected each one.

William Rose adeptly guides the narrative through Africa, Spain and France in the early decades of the 20th century, as the characters reveal their histories and discover the destinies that await them.

This novel is a striking exploration of personal history aided by the spirited observations of an eccentric French psychoanalyst. It is also an emotive reflection upon the agony of maternal loss and betrayal, and upon love.

About the Author(s)

William Rose was born and continues to live in London. He has had, for many years, a special interest in both the art of the Symbolist movement and the early development of psychoanalysis, two areas of cultural purpose that in their own very different ways, aimed to free the human psyche from the limitations of repression.

More titles by William Rose

Reviews & Endorsements

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Lynn Charles on 02/10/2021

I am flabbergasted that this is only William Rose's second book. His writing is flawless. He savours every moment of his narrative, describing the lives of his three vibrant female characters with as much love for them as he has for the period in which they lived – a seminal period in Europe when art and psychology began to probe the mysteries of the subconscious mind. What I particularly enjoyed about this book was how it gradually unfolded through the build up of many layers, the way an analyst might form a picture of the inner and outer life of an individual.

We see into the psyche of the enigmatic Camille and the sensual mythology that shines through her dreams; we accompany an aristocratic French heiress around the great Paris Exposition of 1900, meeting some of the artists who were lighting up the art world at that time, and in stark contrast, we experience intense scenes from the life of ‘Sister Africa’ growing up in Senegal. And these three passionate souls, strangely linked, collide in one unlikely sanctuary – a closed Carmelite monastery in Central France. But can this place offer them full protection from what threaten to shatter their peace? All moves towards an intense climax.

A very satisfying read.

Rosalind Bieber on 27/04/2020

William Rose has written a captivating tale beginning in Spain in the
1920s. It takes us through the experiences of three nuns, tracing
their lives before the seclusion and silence of a Carmelite monastery.
Each has had a dramatic life history.
We are taken through their journey via Spain, Africa and Paris.
Shot through with psychoanalytic insights, Rose manages to resolve the
conflict between secular love and desire and the love of God. His
understanding into the minds of his characters and evocation of the
time and atmosphere makes this an enlightening and fascinating read.

Hugh Chignell on 06/03/2020

I loved this beautifully written book and was very sorry to put it down at the end. William Rose transports the reader to a different world - a Carmelite monastery in Cordoba and then later in the book to Paris during the Belle Epoque. William Rose's themes are serious (identity, psychoanalysis, loss) but the book is vibrant with historical detail and has a compelling, even gripping, narrative. I was glad to have been introduced to Camille and all of the other wonderful characters and so sad to bid them farewell. William Rose is a major, emerging talent and I will not be the only person eager to read his next book!

Mlle Joanna Pike on 28/02/2020

Reading Camille and the Raising of Eros has given me a truly enjoyable and deeply enriching experience.
For me this is an important and insightful book showing three characterful women who choose the monastic life as Carmelite nuns. The psychological narrative is told by a maverick, seasoned psychoanalyst; matured like the fine wine he enjoys. Rose’s novel respects at each juncture the different inner life paths held to faithfully by each character, and it is this ability he has to hold the differences with such sensitive respect which enables the depth of experience I felt in reading this novel. The interweaving of characters is masterful and I found myself absolutely captivated as the mystery of this drama unfolded.
William Rose’s beautiful writing echoes the colour, warmth and historical atmosphere of the geographical landscapes of Paris at the turn of the 20th century, Andalusia and central France.

D. Fagin on 24/11/2019

William Rose has written a uniquely sensitive and masterfully crafted book.
It describes the personal journeys of its main characters, three Carmelite nuns at a time of great change both culturally and historically. (Belle Époque)
Change is also central to its characters.
It’s a refined and a very good read.
With reference to Freud’s views on religion, the reader is invited into analytically oriented discussions about Camille’s chosen path, thereby giving us an insight into the links between perception and memory.
Links are made to Greek mythology, spirituality and, not least, it offers a helpful way of understanding Freud’s theory of repression and how that can manifest as emotional anxiety and mental illness.
If parallels can be drawn between Belle Époque and the unrest of our contemporary lives, a question is raised as to how we control our own way of being when faced with the grim reality of living by the doctrine of others.
For those of us who cling to wanting to live in an ordered world, the sense of sanctuary becomes more and more desirable. ‘Retreat’ from the pressures and impingement therefore may be seen as one way of dealing with that aim, even if sometimes it means living in isolation.

C. Leader on 26/10/2019

Camille and the Raising of Eros is as extraordinary as its title. With subtle skill, the author, William Rose, offers the reader the mysteriously cloistered yet rich and interwoven lives of three religious women whose stories move through a wide psychological and geographical landscape. And the book has a wonderful pace and energy that kept me wanting to read on. The narrative takes us to Cordoba, Spain, to the African desert lands and finally to France during the glamorous historical period of La Belle Époque and the Great Exhibition in Paris in 1889 and then beyond. And in the background is the presence of psychoanalysis and the deep connections between dreams and spiritual and erotic passion. It turns out that these three women are uncannily connected but I don’t want to give too much away of this rich and exciting tale.

S.C.Thompson on 07/08/2019

Having really enjoyed Rose’s first book The Strange Case of Madeleine Seguin, I really looked forward to getting stuck in to his second and it didn’t disappoint. You know you’re in safe hands as his knowledge in his subject matter is so well researched - the Carmelite nuns, La Belle Epoch, the strong seam of mythology interwoven with psychoanalytic thinking of the time. But in case this sounds dry the story line is unusual and vividly depicted - colourful and emotional - with strongly drawn, sympathetic and conflicted characters. He gives you plenty of time to get drawn in to Camille’s world and then ramps up the pace with a truly gripping finale. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Robin Ray on 08/07/2019

Great follow-up to Strange Case of Madeleine Seguin, mystery, suspense, history, magic...
Read this delicious new book over three days in the sun, unable to put it down except for meals, outings and swimming. Stunned. Seems so personal! (Gave me ideas about my meta-mythological pictures (pretentious? Moi?) in a way I haven’t thought about before.) I feel it’s done something to me, something significant, rare in any book. Reading the psychoanalysts when I was 17 was an utterly shallow skimming I now realise and 70 years later I’m rereading whatever I can get my hands on. Mr Rose’s ability to relate art, religion and psychoanalysis in a suspense-filled novel I find irresistibly exciting, bless him. His writing is unfashionably pure, so leisurely, so comprehensive, with few metaphors or similes yet so visual, never an important clue to his intent is missing. And his use of mythology is thrilling. I can’t wait for vol 3. I’m already mentally casting J in the movie. Meryl for Genevieve? Who’s Morel though? I suppose Cumberbatch?... no too predictable for Mr Rose. As for Camille, well, over to you, gentle reader!