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Threshold of Fire
Threshold of Fire

Threshold of Fire

A Novel of Fifth-Century Rome

By Hella S. Haasse, Translated by Jordan Miller, Translated by Nini Blinstrub


255 Pages, 4.5 x 7

Formats: Trade Paper, Mobipocket, EPUB, PDF

Trade Paper, $13.95 (US $13.95) (CA $16.95)

Publication Date: August 2005

ISBN 9780897334266

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Aug 2005)
Academy Chicago Publishers


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In this vivid, dynamic novel, Hella Haasse has once more brought the past to life. This time she has chosen to illuminate a crucial, yet relatively obscure period of history: it is 414 A.D. and the once-powerful Roman Empire is in its death throes—split between East and West, menaced by barbarian hordes almost literally at its gates. The Emperor Honorius, an incompetent weakling, cowers in the marsh-bound city of Ravenna, where he has moved the government; he rarely "makes entry" into Rome.This is the brilliant canvas against which the characters in this drama interact. There is the Prefect Hadrian, a powerful official and fanatical Christian convert; there is Marcus Anicius, the pagan aristocrat who is clinging to a dying past, and there is the Jew Eliezar be Elijah, hemmed in by his own traditions and burdened by his dark vision of the future. There is the intrigue and uncertainty of life at Honorius's court, and there are the streets and tenements of Rome, pulsating with life and with corruption.


"Rich in psychological and historical detail, with both the characters and ancient Rome vibrantly alive: a subtle, quiet tale eloquently told." — Kirkus Reviews

Author Biography

Hella S. Haasse has written 17 novels as well as poetry, plays and essays, and has received many honors and awards including the Netherlands State Award for Literature. Her books have been translated into English, French, German, Swedish, Italian, Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian and Welsh.