A cold October night, 1854. In a dark passageway, an innocent man is stabbed to death.
So begins the extraordinary story of Edward Glyver, book lover, scholar and murderer. As a young boy, Glyver always believed he was destined for greatness. This seems the stuff of dreams, until a chance discovery convinces Glyver that he was right: greatness does await him, along with immense wealth and influence. And he will stop at nothing to win back a prize that he now knows is rightfully his.
Glyver's path leads him from the depths of Victorian London, with its foggy streets, brothels and opium dens, to Evenwood, one of England's most enchanting country houses. His is a story of betrayal and treachery, of death and delusion, of ruthless obsession and ambition. And at every turn, driving Glyver irresistibly onwards, is his deadly rival: the poet-criminal Phoebus Rainsford Daunt.
Thirty years in the writing, The Meaning of Night is a stunning achievement. Full of drama and passion, it is an enthralling novel that will captivate readers right up to its final thrilling revelation.
Michael Cox has been planning and drafting The Meaning of Night for thirty years. He is a former editor at Oxford University Press and biographer of the ghost story writer M. R. James. His lifelong passion for Victorian literature led him to edit a number of collections of short fiction from the period, including The Oxford Book of Victorian Detective Stories. He lives in rural Northamptonshire - where The Meaning of Night is partly set - with his wife. This is his first novel.