An award-winning historical novel exposing the scandals of eighteenth-century Denmark, weaving a wide range of historical characters from Voltaire to Catherine the Great to George IIIIt is the 1760s, the height of the Enlightenment.
The young King of Denmark, Christian VII, is a half-wit.
His queen, the English princess Caroline Mathilde, has fallen in love with his most trusted advisor, the court physician Struensee.
Guldberg, a cold-blooded religious fanatic, is determined to annihilate the Enlightenment ideas Struensee is introducing to Denmark - whoever prevails in their bitter ideological battle will control not only the king but the nation state. With adultery, insanity, enlightenment and the bluest blood, Enquist brilliantly recasts a dramatic era of Danish history into a tale of ruthless political ambition and personal betrayal. `One of those rare, magical books that creates its own world so modestly that it is only halfway through that you realise you have been entranced' Telegraph