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Imperial Purple

Imperial Purple

(The Colour of Power)
A novel by

Publisher's Weekly
Bradshaw ( Beekeeper's Daughter and Beacon at Alexandria ) creates a compelling fictional character, Demetrias. Wife and mother, well-born slave, she is the premier silk weaver working in fifth century Tyre, where life and commerce revolve around the precious purple dye that symbolizes the power of imperial Rome. When Demetrias is assigned to weave a cloak in the proscribed imperial color, but not of measurements to fit Emperor Theodosius II, she realizes that treachery is afoot, but refusal is not a slave's option. Her survival depends on devising a strategy to save her life and those of her family. The plot twists and turns through a diorama of actual events involving historical figures, notably Demetrias's encounter with the emperor's formidable sister, Pulcheria. Historical novels are stamped by both the writer and the backdrop of an era; Imperial Purple is doubly embossed with strength in a style that will appeal to readers of Robert Graves and Mary Renault. The author's historical afterword further illuminates the turbulent Byzantine era.

Library Journal
Again displaying her skill in utilizing fictional characters to illuminate historical figures, Bradshaw turns to the mid-5th century eastern Roman Empire. Demetrias, a state slave and silk weaver in Tyre, is ordered by her supervisor to weave secretly a purple cloak as part of a scheme to overthrow Emperor Theodosius II. Concerned and seeking protection for Demetrias, her fisherman-husband confides in Flavius Marcianus, agent of a rival faction who is visiting Tyre. The Emperor's representatives, suspicious of Demetrias, take her to Constantinople, pursued by her husband and son in their small boat. A way of life, individuals, and events are memorably evoked in this work that further enhances Bradshaw's reputation. Highly recommended.Ellen Kaye Stoppel, Drake Univ . Law Lib., Des Moines

School Library Journal
YA Continuing her work on historical motifs, Bradshaw brings readers a third novel set in the Byzantine period. The fascinating theme throughout this tale is the manufacture of purple dye from murex shellfish and the weaving of sumptuous gownsthe purple cloth valued above gold and worn only by emperors. The slave Demetrias, a talented silk weaver, is instructed to weave a cloak of imperial purple. She and her husband, a murex fisherman, are drawn into a treacherous plot which gives drama to the lives of slaves, eunuchs, and rulers. Endpaper maps show Tyre and Constantinople in the 5th Century a.d. In a concluding statement, Bradshaw provides information about actual people and facts used and those invented for the enrichment of the tales. Jenni Elliott, Episcopal High School, Bellaire, Tex.

Used availability for Gillian Bradshaw's Imperial Purple

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Hardback Editions

August 1989 : USA Hardback
Title: Imperial Purple
Author(s): Gillian Bradshaw
ISBN: 0-517-67478-5 / 978-0-517-67478-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Value Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

March 1989 : UK Hardback
Title: The Colour of Power
Author(s): Gillian Bradshaw
ISBN: 0-413-18680-6 / 978-0-413-18680-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Methuen Publishing Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

November 1988 : USA Hardback
Title: Imperial Purple
Author(s): Gillian Bradshaw
ISBN: 0-395-43635-4 / 978-0-395-43635-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (T)
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

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