A 17th century Italian nobleman is marooned on an empty ship in this “astonishing intellectual journey" by the author of Foucault’s Pendulum (San Francisco Chronicle).
In the year 1643, a violent storm in the South Pacific leaves Roberto della Griva shipwrecked—on a ship. Swept from the Amaryllis, he has managed to pull himself aboard the Daphne, anchored in the bay of a beautiful island. The ship is fully provisioned, he discovers, but the crew is missing.
As Roberto explores the different cabinets in the hold, he looks back on various episodes from his life: Ferrante, his imaginary evil brother; the siege of Casale, that meaningless chess move in the Thirty Years' War in which he lost his father and his illusions; and the lessons given him on Reasons of State, fencing, the writing of love letters, and blasphemy.
In this “intellectually stimulating and dramatically intriguing” novel, Umberto Eco conjures a young dreamer searching for love and meaning; and an old Jesuit who, with his clocks and maps, has plumbed the secrets of longitudes, the four moons of Jupiter, and the Flood (Chicago Tribune).