PUBLISHERS OF LITERARY FICTION SINCE 1983
Cover illustration: Lise Weisgerber
"Balthazar Van Claes is a respected Flemish merchant, rich in material goods and the love of his wife, family and friends. In 1809, a chance meeting with an impoverished Polish adventurer introduces him to alchemy, and he begins his search for 'the Absolute'. Balzac's minute portrayal of obsession, which cost Balthazar everything, is complex, convincing and compelling. This is a study of science and love and that still chills today."
Ross Leckie in The Times