A brilliant and beautifully written novel in the tradition of Robert Graves' I, Claudius, Augustus is a sweeping narrative that brings vividly to life a compelling cast of historical figures through their letters, dispatches, and memoirs.
A mere eighteen years of age when his uncle, Julius Caesar, is murdered, Octavius Caesar prematurely inherits rule of the Roman Republic. Surrounded by men who are jockeying for power--Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, and Mark Antony--young Octavius must work against the powerful Roman political machinations to claim his destiny as first Roman emperor. Sprung from meticulous research and the pen of a true poet, Augustus tells the story of one man's dream to liberate a corrupt Rome from the fancy of the capriciously crooked and the wildly wealthy.
'Williams has fashioned an always engaging, psychologically convincing work of fiction-a consistent and well-realized portrait' The New Yorker
"Weir's sympathetic and detailed biography reassesses the life of a woman whose role in public life...has been underrated by historians" * New Statesman * "The finest historical novel ever written by an American" * Washington Post * "It would be easy to over-praise this novel; but there does not seem any adequate reason why this temptation should be resisted" * Economist * "A novel of extraordinary range, yet of extraordinary minuteness, that manages never to sacrifice one quality for the other" * Financial Times * "Williams has fashioned an always engaging, psychologically convincing work of fiction - a consistent and well-realized portrait" * New Yorker *
John Williams was born on August 29, 1922 in Clarksville, Texas. He served in the United States Army Air Force from 1942 to 1945 in China, Burma and India. The Swallow Press published his first novel, Nothing But the Night, in 1948, as well as his first book of poems, The Broken Landscape, in 1949. Macmillan published Williams' second novel, Butcher's Crossing, in 1960. After recieving his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Denver, and his Ph.D from the University of Missouri, Williams returned in 1954 to the University of Denver where he taught literature and the craft of writing for thirty years. In 1963 Williams received a fellowship to study at Oxford University where where he received a Rockefeller grant enabling him to travel and research in Italy for his last novel, Augustus, published in 1972. John Williams died in Arkansas on March 4, 1994.