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Edition details


eBook ISBN

Publication date
11th August 2014


Gallic Books

Extent (number of pages)

Julian Evans


UK, Commonwealth, South Africa and Ireland: Exclusive; Rest of world ex USA and Canada: non-exclusive

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The Vatican Cellars

(Les Caves du Vatican)

Author André Gide


Could the Pope have been secretly abducted?

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Could the Pope have been secretly abducted?

Set in the 1890s, André Gide’s famous satire centres around a group of ingenious fraudsters (‘The Millipede’) who convince their wealthy victims that the pontiff has been imprisoned in the Vatican cellars, and a false Pope has been enthroned in his place. Posing as clergy, they con money by promising to obtain the true Pope’s release and restoration.

The book features one of Gide’s most memorable creations: the amoral Lafcadio, who in pushing a man from a moving train commits the ultimate motiveless crime.

Unavailable in the UK for 25 years, this scandalous, funny and highly original novel has been re-translated to mark the centenary of its publication. Supported by English PEN.

‘An expertly constructed network of coincidence and error, shot through with a level of dramatic irony not present in the work for which Gide is most renowned.’The Irish Times
‘Gide’s subtle, snarky humor had me very entertained, even though many of the characters do completely depraved things. I understand why Gide was such a controversial author in his time.’A Bookish Type
‘Quite brilliantly blackly comic’ Winstonsdad’s Blog
The Vatican Cellars is an entertaining, easy read and can be intellectually stimulating if you are interested to analyse it further’ Word by Word
Bonus Material
An Introduction to the Vatican Cellars
Julian Evans’ Postface for the Centenary Edition
‘Vatican Cellars’ on ‘The TLS’ Blog
André Gide

Meet the author

André Gide was a giant of twentieth-century French literature. An innovator of the novelistic form, he undertook a life-long exploration of morality in his work, and was a major influence on the writing of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. Gide was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1947.

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