Published July 2012
160 pages, Paperback
Wilder's first novel, originally published in 1926, explores the self consciously
decadent world of Rome after World War I. Its
protagonist - Samuele, an American student - is drawn into the declining period of the titular secret community, comprising decaying European royalty, eccentric expatriate
Americans, and even a cardinal of the Roman Church.
Wilder playfully presents these characters as the vestigial representatives of the ancient Roman gods and goddesses.
- Thornton Wilder (1897-1975) was a novelist and playwright. The Bridge of San Luis Rey
, one of his seven novels, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928, while his play, The Matchmaker
was adapted into the musical Hello, Dolly!Penelope Niven
- Penelope Niven
is the author of critically acclaimed biographies of poet
Carl Sandburg, photographer Edward Steichen and Thornton Wilder.