• Dancing for the Marquis

Dancing for the Marquis

Sold Out

Product Description

France, 1879. The Marquis de Rays dreams of a utopian colony on a remote tropical island in Oceania north of Australia. He has never been to this place--a rain-drenched wilderness shadowed by mountains. Undaunted, he gathers investors, and hundreds of hopeful European battlers set out for the new world.

In northern Italy, a young farmer, Matteo, convinces his wife, Rosa, that they should emigrate. Leaving him behind to sell their smallholding, she embarks with their baby on the Marquis' third expedition.

Matteo follows later, only to discover his family are gone, there is no arable land, malaria is rife, and the captain commanding the colony is mad. Will Matteo find his Rosa and baby Angelo among other refugees who have fled to Sydney? And if he does, how will they begin again?

The marquis, a historical character, destroyed the lives, hopes, and fortunes of many. In this compelling debut novel, survival and a fresh start may be the best his victims - the investors, adventurers and immigrants - can hope for.

Although the novel is set in the nineteenth century, it touches on issues that have resonance in the twenty-first century - financial fraud, a loss of trust in once revered individuals and venerated institutions, refugee policy, and the perennial dreams of 'economic' migrants seeking a better life. In her research for this novel, Ziegler spent time in Conegliano (Italy), Marseille, and Barcelona, absorbing the atmosphere and detail of these places. Her great strength as a novelist is her ability to flesh out historical facts and fragments into a fully developed world inhabited by knowable and relatable characters.

Thanks to your support we can continue our mission to actively conserve and protect our natural, cultural, social and Indigenous heritage for future generations to enjoy.

Subscribe to hear news from The National Trust (NSW)