The Violins of Saint-Jacques
by Patrick Leigh Fermor, introduction by James Campbell
Mr. Fermor’s elegant rococo fantasy about a volcanic eruption on an imaginary Caribbean island is just close enough to reality to raise a genuine shiver—possibly even a genuine tear. In truth, it is a small timeless masterpiece.
—Phoebe Lou Adams, The Atlantic
A sojourn in the Caribbean inspired a travel book and a novella, set in 1902 on an island in the Antilles, about love and intrigue in the over-blown and over-mannered society of the French aristocracy...The Violins of Saint-Jacques is a masterpiece in the minor mode.
—Brian Vincent, The Globe and Mail
[The Violins of Saint-Jacques] brings alive the glamour and the passions of the planters in their heyday. This tale of a whole rich island being destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the middle of a splendid planters’ ball is based on the true story of the annihilation in 1902.
—Robin Hanbury-Tension, The Telegraph
The Violins of Saint Jacques, filled with lush imagery and elaborate historical reconstruction, deserves to be more widely known.
—James Ferguson, Caribbean Beat
A haunting threnody for a vanished world as the sole survivor remembers the glow and decadence of the Mardi Gras balls on the night when her Caribbean island was destroyed by a volcanic eruption.