"How does Jeremiah Mount, the dealer in pornography, come to be the lover of the Duchess of Albemarle and the colleague of the great Samuel Pepys? In Pepys' Diary, Jem Mount plays a shadowy role, but in Jem's own memories Sam looms large. Friends and drinking partners at first, they become vicious rivals for fame and women. In his struggle to survive and triumph over his adversary in a rackety world, Jemm stumbles into many trades- chemist, butler, soldier, secretary and, now and then, lover.This 'newly discovered autobiography' - with its disconcerting echoes of our own time - takes its dubious hero from the shaky days of Cromwellian England, through the unbuttoned license of the Restoration, to the panic of Monmouth's Rebellion and the Jamaica sugar boom."
"This is a novel that wears its learning lightly. The extensive research is woven seamlessly into the plot and illuminates the setting" -- Philippa Gregory * Independent * "This is a marvellously vivid and enterataining evocation of Cromwellian and Restoration England. Mount paints from a rich palette, but the brushwork is stylishly economical... When is a historical novel not a historical novel? When it is written by Ferdinand Mount. He is in danger of giving the genre a good name'" -- Ian McIntyre * The Times * "The story smoothly takes in the Dutch wars, the Plague and Fire... It includes hellish episodes in a groaning Bedlam, as well as sylvan scenes of sport and the superior delights of the metropolis... Mount gives JEM a fluent, allusive prose with a period flavour that avoids pastiche...vivid...powerful" * Sunday Times *