"The perfect novel of its genre."
New York Times
“Probably (The Trial of Sören Qvist) is the most perfet of Janet Lewis’ novels, and among the most perfect of any novels.”
Fred Inglis, Critque: Studies in Modern Fiction
"A harmonious retelling of a seventeenth-century legend concerning a saintly pastor, his cherished daughter, and the villain who betrayed them…. Miss Lewis's artfully simple prose achieves the effect of an ancient, lovingly illuminated missal."
“Lewis has retold a true legend of Denmark in unadorned, free, and exciting prose. Here is a gruesomely fascinating story of such circumstantial evidence as to make the reader want to cry out in protest.”
Saturday Review of Literature
Originally published in 1947, The Trial of Sören Qvist has been praised by a number of critics for its intriguing plot and Janet Lewis’s powerful writing. And in the introduction to this new edition, Swallow Press executive editor and author Kevin Haworth calls attention to the contemporary feeling of the story—despite its having been written more than fifty years ago and set several hundred years in the past. As in Lewis’s best-known novel, The Wife of Martin Guerre, the plot derives from Samuel March Phillips’s nineteenth-century study, Famous Cases of Circumstantial Evidence, in which this British legal historian considered the trial of Pastor Sören Qvist to be the most striking case.
Janet Lewis was a novelist, poet, and short-story writer whose literary career spanned almost the entire twentieth century. The New York Times has praised her novels as “some of the 20th century’s most vividly imagined and finely wrought literature.” Born and educated in Chicago, she lived in California for most of her adult life and taught at both Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. Her works include The Wife of Martin Guerre (1941), The Trial of Sören Qvist (1947), The Ghost of Monsieur Scarron (1959), Good-Bye, Son and Other Stories (1946), and Poems Old and New (1982).
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