is a 2001 novel
The year 2001 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* The film version of J. R. R. Tolkien's classic book, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, is released to movie theaters...
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...
author Ian McEwan
Ian Russell McEwan CBE, FRSA, FRSL is a British novelist and screenwriter, and one of Britain's most highly regarded writers. In 2008, The Times named him among their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945"....
On a fateful day, a young girl (who aspires to be a writer) makes a terrible mistake that has life-changing effects for many people. Consequently, she lives seeking atonement—which leads to an exploration on the nature of writing.
It is widely regarded as one of McEwan's best works and was one of the most celebrated and honoured books of its time. It was shortlisted for the 2001 Booker Prize for fiction. TIME Magazine
named Atonement in its list All-TIME 100 Greatest Novels
. In 2007, the book was adapted into a BAFTA and Academy Award nominated film
Atonement is a 2007 British romantic suspense war film directed by Joe Wright. It is a film adaptation of the 2001 novel of the same name by Ian McEwan. The film stars James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, and Saoirse Ronan. It was produced by Working Title Films and filmed throughout the summer of 2006...
, starring James McAvoy
James McAvoy is a Scottish stage and screen actor. He made his acting debut as a teen in 1995's The Near Room and continued to make mostly television appearances until the early 2000s. His notable television work includes State of Play, Shameless, and Frank Herbert's Children of Dune...
and Keira Knightley
Keira Christina Knightley born 26 March 1985) is an English actress and model. She began acting as a child and came to international notice in 2002 after co-starring in the film Bend It Like Beckham...
, and directed by Joe Wright
Joe Wright is an English film director best known for Pride and Prejudice, Atonement and Hanna.-Early life and career:...
In the summer of 1935, Briony Tallis, an English girl with a talent for writing, lives at her family's country estate with her older sister Cecilia, and their cousins, twins Jackson and Pierrot, and Lola. One day, Briony sees a moment of sexual tension between Cecilia and Robbie Turner, the son of the Tallis family housekeeper and a childhood friend of Cecilia's. Robbie realizes he is attracted to Cecilia, whom he has not seen in some time, and writes several drafts of a love letter to her, giving a copy to Briony to deliver. By accident he gives her a version he had meant to discard, which contains lewd and vulgar references ("Cunt
Cunt is a vulgarism, primarily referring to the female genitalia, specifically the vulva, and including the cleft of Venus. The earliest citation of this usage in the 1972 Oxford English Dictionary, c 1230, refers to the London street known as Gropecunt Lane...
"). Briony reads the letter and becomes disturbed as to Robbie's intentions. Later she walks in on Robbie and Cecilia making love in the library. Briony misinterprets the sexual act as rape and believes Robbie to be a "sex maniac."
Later on at a family dinner party attended by Briony's brother Leon and his friend Paul Marshall, it is discovered that the twins have run away and the dinner party breaks into teams to search for them. In the darkness, Briony discovers her cousin Lola, apparently being raped by an assailant she cannot clearly see. Lola is unable or unwilling to identify the attacker, but Briony decides to accuse Robbie and identifies him to the police as the rapist. Robbie is taken away to prison, with only Cecilia and his mother believing his protestations of innocence.
By the time World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...
has started, Robbie has spent 2–3 years in prison. He is then released on the condition of enlistment in the army to fight in war. Cecilia has studied and become a nurse. She cuts off all contact with her family because of the part they took in sending Robbie to jail. Robbie and Cecilia have only been in contact by letter, since she was not allowed to visit him in prison. Before Robbie has to go to war in France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
, they meet once for half an hour during Cecilia's lunch break. Their reunion starts awkwardly, but they share a kiss before leaving each other.
In France, the war is going badly and the army is retreating to Dunkirk
. As the injured Robbie goes to the safe haven, he thinks about Cecilia and past events like teaching Briony how to swim and reflecting on Briony's possible reasons for accusing him. His single meeting with Cecilia is the memory that keeps him walking, his only aim is seeing her again. At the end of part two, Robbie falls asleep in Dunkirk, one day before the evacuation.
Remorseful Briony has refused her place at Cambridge and instead is a trainee nurse in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...
. She has realized the full extent of her mistake, and realizes it was Paul Marshall, Leon's friend, whom she saw raping Lola. Briony still writes, although she does not pursue it with the same recklessness as she did as a child.
Briony is called to the bedside of Luc, a young, fatally wounded French
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...
soldier. She consoles him in his last moments by speaking with him in her school French
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...
, and he mistakes her for an English girl whom his mother wanted him to marry. Just before his death, Luc asks "Do you love me?", to which Briony answers "Yes," not only because "no other answer was possible" but also because "for the moment, she did. He was a lovely boy far away from his family and about to die." Afterward, Briony daydreams about the life she might have had if she had married Luc and gone to live with him and his family.
Briony attends the wedding of her cousin Lola and Paul Marshall before finally visiting Cecilia. Robbie is on leave from the army and Briony meets him unexpectedly at her sister's. They both refuse to forgive Briony, who nonetheless tells them she will try and put things right. She promises to begin the legal procedures needed to exonerate Robbie, even though Paul Marshall will never be held responsible for his crime because of his marriage to Lola, the victim.
The fourth section, titled "London 1999", is written from Briony's perspective. She is a successful novelist at the age of 77 and dying of vascular dementia
Multi-infarct dementia is one type of vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's disease in older adults. Multi-infarct dementia is thought to be an irreversible form of dementia, and its onset is caused by a number of small strokes or...
It is revealed that Briony is the author of the preceding sections of the novel. Although Cecilia and Robbie are reunited in Briony's novel, they were not in reality. It is suggested that Robbie Turner may have died of septicaemia, caused by his injury, on the beaches of Dunkirk and Cecilia may have been killed by the bomb that destroyed the gas and water mains above Balham Underground station. Cecilia and Robbie may have never seen each other again. Although the detail concerning Lola's marriage to Paul Marshall is true, Briony never visited Cecilia to make amends.
Briony explains why she decided to change real events and unite Cecilia and Robbie in her novel, although it was not her intention in her many previous drafts. She did not see what purpose it would serve if she gave the readers a pitiless ending. She reasons that they could not draw any sense of hope or satisfaction from it. But above all, she wanted to give Robbie and Cecilia their happiness by being together. Since they could not have the time together they so much longed for in reality, Briony wanted to give it to them at least in her novel.
- Briony Tallis – The younger sister of Leon and Cecilia, Briony is an aspiring writer. She is a thirteen-year-old at the beginning of the novel and takes part in sending Robbie Turner to jail when she claims that Robbie assaulted Lola. Briony is part narrator, part character and we see her transformation from child to woman as the novel progresses. At the end of the novel, Briony has realized her wrong-doing as a "child" and decides to write the novel to find atonement.
- Cecilia Tallis – The middle child in the Tallis family, Cecilia has fallen in love with her childhood companion, Robbie Turner. After a tense encounter by the fountain, Robbie and she don't speak again until they meet before a formal dinner. Upset over the loss of her love, to jail and war, she has almost no contact with her family again.
- Leon Tallis – The eldest child in the Tallis family, Leon returns home to visit. He brings his friend Paul Marshall along with him on his trip home.
- Emily Tallis – Emily is the mother of Briony, Cecilia, and Leon. Emily is ill in bed for most of the novel, suffering from severe migraines.
- Jack Tallis – Jack is the father of Briony, Cecilia, and Leon. Jack often works late nights and it is alluded to in the novel that he is having an affair.
- Robbie Turner – Robbie is the son of Grace Turner, who lives on the grounds of the Tallis home. Having grown up with Leon, Briony and Cecilia, he knows the family well. He attended Cambridge University with Cecilia and when they come home on break, they fall in love.
- Grace Turner – The mother of Robbie Turner, she was given permission from Jack Tallis to live on the grounds. She has become the family's maid and does laundry for the Tallises. After the conviction of her son for a crime she doesn't believe he committed, she leaves the Tallis family.
- Lola Quincey – Lola is a 15-year-old girl who is Briony, Cecilia, and Leon's cousin. She comes, along with her brothers, to stay with the Tallises after her parents' divorce. She is red-headed and fair-skinned with freckles.
- Jackson Quincey – Jackson is a young boy (Pierrot's twin) who is Briony, Cecilia, and Leon's cousin. He comes, along with his sister and his twin, to stay with the Tallises after his parents' divorce.
- Pierrot Quincey – Pierrot is a young boy (Jackson's twin) who is Briony, Cecilia, and Leon's cousin. He comes, along with his sister and his twin, to stay with the Tallises after his parents' divorce.
- Danny Hardman – The handyman for the Tallis family.
- Paul Marshall – A friend of Leon's, who rapes Lola and, some years later, marries her.
- Corporal Nettle – Nettle is Robbie's companion during the Dunkirk evacuation.
- Corporal Mace – Mace is Robbie's companion during the Dunkirk evacuation.
- Betty – The Tallis family's servant, described as "wretched" in personality.
Themes and motifs
"I gave them happiness, but I was not so self-serving as to let them forgive me," Briony says at the end of the novel. Briony recognizes her sin (i.e., wrongfully accusing Robbie and ruining his and Cecilia's chances of a life together) and attempts to atone for it through writing her novel. She does not grant herself forgiveness. Rather, she attempts to earn atonement through giving Robbie and Cecilia a life together in her writing.
McEwan reiterates the comparison between himself, a writer in reality, and Briony, a writer of fiction in his story. Throughout the novel, McEwan compares himself, an author of literary fiction, to Briony and both her literary fiction and real-life fiction. This comparison draws a relationship between the life of the author and the life of Briony in the story.
Throughout the novel, Briony constructs her own world due to immaturity and misunderstanding, both in her literature and in her mind. Briony's fabricated reality is often positive and optimistic, such as the inclusion of Robbie and Cecilia meeting at the end of her story. However, her false reality initiated the plot of the story, as she lied about the rape of Lola.
In narrative, a motif is any recurring element that has symbolic significance in a story. Through its repetition, a motif can help produce other narrative aspects such as theme or mood....
of peace is shown through the stillness and calm the characters experience at the Tallis Estate at the beginning of the novel. The estate is portrayed as being an isolated and calm environment in a world of chaos and confusion where most characters seem to enjoy being separated from the chaos of society. However, Cecilia states her discontentment with the solitary and calm atmosphere at the estate, as she wants to move on to more exciting and worthwhile things in her life.
Throughout the second half of the novel, the motif of death contrasts the motif of life shown in the beginning of the novel. The motif of death occurs mostly while Briony is working in the hospital, as she encounters the death of many soldiers and bystanders from the war. Death is also portrayed during the war, when Robbie is participating in the retreat. Robbie witnesses the death of many soldiers and innocent bystanders, and many bystanders experience the death of others around themselves.
The relationship between Cecilia and Robbie is portrayed throughout the book as a loving one, even when Briony fictitiously portrays their reunion. Companionship is also exemplified between family members in the book, although Briony's relationships are mostly overprotective.
The Trials of Arabella
In the book, The Trials of Arabella
is a play written by Briony Tallis in 1935 with the intention to teach her brother Leon to be more serious about love. In the first part of the book the performance of the play is abandoned due to the lack of cooperation of Jackson and Pierrot, and the further complications that follow. The play is later performed in 1999 during Briony's 77th birthday celebration by various young grandchildren. This was to be acted out; however not fully by the twins and Lola because Briony wanted to be Arabella.
The Tallis Estate
The Tallis Estate is in the Surrey Hills
The Surrey Hills is a Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty , located in Surrey, England. The AONB was designated in 1958 and covers one quarter of the county of Surrey...
in England, being the family home and also the site of the Tallis family party for Briony's 77th birthday. It is at The Tallis Estate that the key moments of the exposition of the story take place. The first part of the book completely takes place on this estate. In the final scene it has become a hotel; the family reunion for Briony's 77th birthday, with more than 60 guests, including various grandchildren and great-grandchildren, takes place in the same library where Robbie and Cecilia made love for the first and only time.
The vase originally belonged to Mr. Tallis's brother, Clem, who received it as a present for saving the inhabitants of a town near Verdun
Verdun is a city in the Meuse department in Lorraine in north-eastern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Verdun is the biggest city in Meuse, although the capital of the department is the slightly smaller city of Bar-le-Duc.- History :...
during World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...
. Although it is very valuable, the Tallis family decides to keep using it to honour its owner's memory.
Cecilia and Robbie (who seemingly keep ignoring each other since their return from university) fight over the vase by the fountain and break off some shards, and Cecilia undresses to get them out of the fountain. This incident leads to (the different versions of) Robbie's apologetic letter. The subject of the vase comes up again when Briony visits Cecilia and Robbie and mentions that the vase has been broken; Cecilia is unsettled by the news.
The second section of the book contains detailed descriptions of the Dunkirk evacuation, in which Robbie takes part, and gives an account of his war experiences.
The section describes the resentment felt by Robbie due to the inadequate protection to the British military from German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
Stukas during the retreat. In one scene, Robbie and his fellows save an RAF airman from being lynched
Lynching is an extrajudicial execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake or shooting, in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate, control, or otherwise manipulate a population of people. It is related to other means of social control that...
by infantrymen in the British Expeditionary Force
The British Expeditionary Force was the British force in Europe from 1939–1940 during the Second World War. Commanded by General Lord Gort, the BEF constituted one-tenth of the defending Allied force....
. This scene is based on reminiscences that McEwan heard from his father, who had been at Dunkirk. This hostility towards the RAF was later eclipsed by the glory the British pilots won during the Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain is the name given to the World War II air campaign waged by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940...
In the fourth section of the book, Briony is shown gathering information and obtaining opinions about the war in order to give as realistic a description as possible in her book. It is also revealed that she had received a number of letters from "Old Mr. Nettle", one of the two corporals with whom Robbie shared his experiences in Dunkirk.
Both Cecilia and Briony become nurses and are trained at the same hospital in London. Briony chooses hard and lowly work instead of a comfortable student life at Cambridge. In the hospital, Briony comes in contact with the harsh reality of the horrors of war.
This part of the book describes the strict semi-military discipline imposed on trainee nurses at the time, consciously modeled on the training of soldiers and harking back to the time of Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale OM, RRC was a celebrated English nurse, writer and statistician. She came to prominence for her pioneering work in nursing during the Crimean War, where she tended to wounded soldiers. She was dubbed "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night...
in the Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...
Robbie has been well-treated, being the friend and companion of the Tallis family children and having a first class school and university education paid for by the father. Nevertheless, neither he nor the family members forget that he is the charwoman's son.
Sponsoring Robbie was mainly the initiative of Jack Tallis, Cecilia and Briony's father, who at the time when the story takes place is growing ever more distant and absent. Because of the burden of his government job which keeps him away for much of the time, including on the crucial night of crisis. Near the book's end it is told that later Jack Tallis would "live in London with his second wife".
Emily Tallis, the mother, has never approved of paying for Robbie's education, nor of Cecilia's going to Cambridge, which Emily considers a waste of time and money and which interferes with finding a "suitable" match, marrying and having children. Cecilia is aware that her mother considers Paul Marshall a possible husband for her. Robbie would not have been considered suitable, even under other circumstances.
Cecilia herself is at the beginning of the novel shown as sharing in the condescending and patronizing attitude towards Robbie. When they are grown, their unequal social positions cause tension and awkwardness between them, causing Robbie to avoid Cecilia during the three years when they are both at Cambridge. Two acts in the book break these social conventions—her undressing in front of him and his writing her a sexually explicit letter.
These same acts witnessed by Briony and through her eventually widely revealed, fatally undermine Robbie's precarious social position. The Tallis family members (except for Cecilia) are immediately willing to believe the worst of him, as are the police officers stationed in the Surrey countryside. Cecilia's revelation that their sexual encounter at the library was with her full consent does not help Robbie, it just serves to further convince the police that "Mr. Turner is a dangerous man".
In going away to be a nurse in London and cutting herself completely off from her family, Cecilia expresses her anger and disgust at the family's turning on Robbie, and her understanding that in that social milieu he would never be taken as an equal and that their liaison would never have been accepted. Robbie's ambiguous social position is described in the Dunkirk part of the book, where he is "the private who talks like a toff." The two corporals, who formally outrank him, nevertheless accept his lead and address him as "guv'nor".
Awards and critiques
was shortlisted for the 2001 Booker Prize for fiction. It was also shortlisted for the 2001 James Tait Black Memorial Prize
Founded in 1919, the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes are among the oldest and most prestigious book prizes awarded for literature written in the English language and are Britain's oldest literary awards...
and the 2001 Whitbread Book Award for Novel. It won the 2002 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, the 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award
The National Book Critics Circle Award is an annual award given by the National Book Critics Circle to promote the finest books and reviews published in English....
for Fiction, the 2002 WH Smith Literary Award
The WH Smith Literary Award was an award founded in 1959 by British high street retailer W H Smith. Its founding aim was stated to be to "encourage and bring international esteem to authors of the British Commonwealth"; originally open to all residents of the UK, the Commonwealth and the Republic...
, the 2002 Boeke Prize
The Exclusive Books Boeke Prize is a book prize awarded in South Africa, loosely modelled on the United Kingdom's Man Booker Prize, and sponsored by Exclusive Books...
and the 2004 Santiago Prize for the European Novel. In its 1000th issue, Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...
named the novel #82 on its list of best 100 books in the past 25 years. Time
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...
named it the best fiction novel of the year and included it in its All-TIME 100 Greatest Novels
, and The Observer
The Observer is a British newspaper, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.-Origins:The first issue,...
cites it as one of the 100 best novels written, calling it "a contemporary classic of mesmerising narrative conviction."
- Crosthwaite, Paul. "Speed, War, and Traumatic Affect: Reading Ian McEwan's Atonement." Cultural Politics 3.1 (2007): 51-70.
- D’hoker, Elke. “Confession and Atonement in Contemporary Fiction: J. M. Coetzee, John Banville, and Ian McEwan.” Critique 48.1 (2006): 31-43.
- Finney, Brian. "Briony's Stand Against Oblivion: The Making of Fiction in Ian McEwan's Atonement." Journal of Modern Literature 27.3 (2004): 68-82.
- Harold, James. "Narrative Engagement with Atonement and The Blind Assassin." Philosophy and Literature 29.1 (2005): 130-145.
- Hidalgo, Pilar. “Memory and Storytelling in Ian McEwan’s Atonement.” Critique 46.2 (2005): 82-91.
- Ingersoll, Earl G. “Intertextuality in L. P. Hartley’s The Go-Between and Ian McEwan’s Atonement.” Forum for Modern Language Studies 40 (2004): 241-58.
- O'Hara, David K. "Briony's Being-For: Metafictional Narrative Ethics in Ian McEwan’s Atonement." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 52.1 (December 2010): 72-100.
- Salisbury, Laura. "Narration and Neurology: Ian McEwan's Mother Tongue", Textual Practice 24.5 (2010): 883-912.
- Schemberg, Claudia. Achieving 'At-one-ment': Storytelling and the Concept of Self in Ian McEwan's The Child in Time, Black Dogs, Enduring Love and Atonement.' Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2004.
- Phelan, James. “Narrative Judgments and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative: Ian McEwan’s Atonement.” A Companion to Narrative Theory. Ed. James Phelan and Peter J. Rabinowitz. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005. 322-36.
In late 2006, it was reported that romance and historical author Lucilla Andrews
Lucilla Matthew Andrews Crichton was a British romantic novelist who wrote as Lucilla Andrews.She joined the British Red Cross in 1940 and later trained as a nurse at St Thomas' Hospital, London, during World War II.She was a founder member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, which honoured...
felt that McEwan had failed to give her sufficient credit for material on wartime nursing in London sourced from her 1977 autobiography No Time for Romance
. McEwan professed innocence of plagiarism while acknowledging his debt to the author. McEwan had included Andrews among the acknowledgements in the book, and several authors defended him, including John Updike
John Hoyer Updike was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic....
, Martin Amis
Martin Louis Amis is a British novelist, the author of many novels including Money and London Fields . He is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester, but will step down at the end of the 2010/11 academic year...
, Margaret Atwood
Margaret Eleanor Atwood, is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist. She is among the most-honoured authors of fiction in recent history; she is a winner of the Arthur C...
, Thomas Keneally
Thomas Michael Keneally, AO is an Australian novelist, playwright and author of non-fiction. He is best known for writing Schindler's Ark, the Booker Prize-winning novel of 1982 which was inspired by the efforts of Poldek Pfefferberg, a Holocaust survivor...
, Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith is a British novelist. To date she has written three novels. In 2003, she was included on Granta's list of 20 best young authors...
, and the reclusive Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. is an American novelist. For his most praised novel, Gravity's Rainbow, Pynchon received the National Book Award, and is regularly cited as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature...
A film adaptation, directed by Joe Wright from a screenplay by Christopher Hampton
Christopher James Hampton CBE, FRSL is a British playwright, screen writer and film director. He is best known for his play based on the novel Les Liaisons dangereuses and the film version Dangerous Liaisons and also more recently for writing the nominated screenplay for the film adaptation of...
, was released by Working Title Films
Working Title Films is a British film production company, based in London, UK. The company was founded by Tim Bevan and Sarah Radclyffe in 1983. It produces feature films and several television productions, including films starring comic actor Rowan Atkinson...
in September 2007 in the United Kingdom and in December 2007 in the United States.
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...
is to be written based on the novel, with music by Michael Berkeley
Michael Berkeley is a British composer and broadcaster on music.-Early life:His father was the composer Sir Lennox Berkeley...
A libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata, or musical. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata, or even the story line of a...
by Craig Raine
Craig Raine is an English poet and critic born in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, England. Along with Christopher Reid, he is the best-known exponent of Martian poetry.-Life:...
. It is hoped to produce the opera in the US, UK and Germany in 2013.