Constance (novel)

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First edition
Author Lawrence Durrell
Country Great Britain
Language English
Series The Avignon Quintet
Publisher Faber & Faber (UK)
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 393 p. (Faber edition)
ISBN ISBN 0-571-11757-0 (hardback edition)
OCLC 9854630
823/.912 19
LC Class PR6007.U76 C6 1982b
Preceded by Livia
Followed by Sebastian

Constance, published in 1982 and sub-titled Solitary Practices, is the central volume of the five novels of Lawrence Durrell's The Avignon Quintet. Although the first chapter continues in Avignon, where the previous novel, Livia, left off, and details Constance's blossoming relationship with Sam, the clouds of war are looming and with it the breakup of the group whose last summer together there was depicted in Livia. Blandford takes up a post in Egypt, kindly offered to him by the Prince. However during a visit from Sam, now a soldier, a picnic trip ends in disaster as the party comes under friendly fire, leading to the death of Sam and the crippling of Blandford. Constance, meanwhile, has moved to Geneva, where she has met Sutcliffe and Toby (despite the fact that they are theoretically fictional creations from one of Blandford's novels), and it is there she hears the news of the accident. Eventually Constance decides to return to Nazi-occupied Provence and the big house of Tu Duc, where eventually Livia puts in a final appearance, disfigured by the loss of an eye (the reasons for which are only clarified in "Quinx"), before committing suicide. Constance returns to Geneva, where she embarks on a passionate affair with the Prince's aide Affad (Sebastian).

The novel was short-listed for the 1982 Booker Prize.

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