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Paul Patoff   By: (1854-1909)

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Paul Patoff by F. Marion Crawford is a gripping and enchanting tale set in 19th century St. Petersburg, Russia. The novel beautifully weaves together elements of romance, mystery, and intrigue to create an unforgettable literary experience.

The story centers around the life of the enigmatic and charismatic Paul Patoff, a Russian nobleman with a mysterious past. As the narrative unfolds, we are taken on a thrilling journey through the extravagant social circles and political landscapes of the Russian capital. Crawford's exquisite prose effortlessly transports the reader into a world filled with opulent ballrooms, elegant ceremonies, and clandestine meetings, painting a vivid and immersive picture of Russian society at that time.

One of the strengths of Paul Patoff lies in its multifaceted characters, who are brilliantly crafted and undergo profound transformations throughout the story. From the enigmatic Paul himself to the headstrong heroine Lady Sarah, each character is complex and three-dimensional, capturing the reader's imagination and evoking a genuine emotional connection.

Furthermore, Crawford's masterful storytelling shines through the intricate plot. The author skillfully combines romance and suspense, gradually unraveling the mystery surrounding Paul Patoff's true identity, while simultaneously exploring themes of love, loyalty, and personal sacrifice. As readers, we find ourselves eagerly turning the pages, desperate to uncover the secrets hidden within the narrative.

Additionally, Paul Patoff offers a fascinating glimpse into Russian culture and history. Crawford's extensive research is evident in the rich descriptions of St. Petersburg's architecture, customs, and the political climate of the time. Through his meticulous attention to detail, the author transports us back in time, allowing us to experience the grandeur and tumult of 19th century Russia firsthand.

However, despite its many strengths, some readers may find the pacing of the novel to be slow at times. Crawford's deliberate build-up and intricate character development may not appeal to those seeking a fast-paced, action-packed narrative. Nevertheless, for those who appreciate a more contemplative and immersive reading experience, Paul Patoff delivers in abundance.

In conclusion, Paul Patoff is a riveting historical novel that masterfully combines elements of mystery, romance, and political intrigue. F. Marion Crawford's exceptional storytelling and vivid descriptions bring 19th century St. Petersburg to life, while the complex and compelling characters keep readers captivated until the very end. A true literary gem that will leave readers longing for more.

First Page:




Author of "A Roman Singer," "To Leeward," "An American Politician," "Saracinesca," Etc.

New York The MacMillan Company London: MacMillan & Co., Ltd. 1911

All rights reserved

Copyright, 1887, by F. Marion Crawford.

Copyright, 1892, by F. Marion Crawford.

First published elsewhere. Reprinted with corrections, April, 1893; June, 1894; June, 1899; July, 1906; January, 1912.

Norwood Press J. S. Cushing & Co. Berwick & Smith Norwood Mass. U.S.A.


My dear lady my dear friend you have asked me to tell you a story, and I am going to try, because there is not anything I would not try if you asked it of me. I do not yet know what it will be about, but it is impossible that I should disappoint you; and if the proverb says, "Needs must when the devil drives," I can mend the proverb into a show of grace, and say, The most barren earth must needs bear flowers when an angel sows the seed.

When you asked for the story I could only find a dry tale of my own doings, which I detailed to you somewhat at length, as we cantered down into the Valley of the Sweet Waters. The south wind was warm this afternoon, though it brought rain with it and wetted us a little as we rode; it was soft and dreamy, and made everything look sleepy, and misty, and a little uncertain in outline... Continue reading book >>

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