The Booker shortlisted novel that restored the historical novel to its rightful place of honor (New York Times).
Robert Merivel, son of a glove maker and an aspiring physician, finds his fortunes transformed when he is given a position at the court of King Charles II. Merivel slips easily into a life of luxury and idleness, enthusiastically enjoying the women and wine of the vibrant Restoration age. But when hes called on to serve the king in an unusual role, he transgresses the one law that he is forbidden to break and is brutally cast out from his newfound paradise. Thus begins Merivels journey to self-knowledge, which will take him down into the lowest depths of seventeenth-century society.