Lord of Misrule
(aka The Disinherited)
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Gareth Jones
Original Publication: 1980 Farrar, Straus & Giroux (US), 1981 Gollancz (UK), Penguin (UK) 1984
In Brief: A hot-blooded historical romance set in the isolated, mountainous, semi-pagan Cardiganshire of the mid-eighteenth century, Lord of Misrule tells the story of Gruffydd – adventurer, dreamer, womaniser – and the power he gains over the fickle and superstitious people of the Ystwyth Valley.
Synopsis: In 1745, after years of wandering, Gruffydd returns incognito to the Wales of his birth, a land that time forgot, enmired in squalid poverty and medieval superstition, to reclaim his birthright and deliver his people from vassalage to their dissolute overlord, Viscount Kirkland.
Unrecognized, he becomes the local conjurer on whose magical powers the desperate villagers soon come to depend. Boldly he fights for his utopian vision of their future. But Gruffydd is surrounded by enemies. Charisma may not be enough to keep him alive and if his people see through him, he may be faced with a bloody reckoning. Can any good come of a lie, however inspired?
‘Gareth Jones has given us a superb historical novel… Literary merit here goes hand in hand with first class storytelling..this is a vivid story, full of drama, bawdy humour, adventure, even romance. And magic.’ Washington Post Book World
‘Jones tosses the two-sided coin of free will/fate with flips as dazzling as in Aeschylus. He offers us a hero who is truly heroic in the classical sense… Establishes Gruffydd as a character as unforgettable as his name… Leave yourself a wide swath of time when you open Lord of Misrule: it’s non-stop reading.’ Los Angeles Times Book Review – Front Page
‘A gutsy, good-natured tale… an entertaining romp with… rakes, fools and frolic.’ Kirkus Reviews
‘Jones has a talent for writing natural witty dialogue…’ Best Sellers
‘Hot-blooded historical romance… great verve and vigour.’ The Listener