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As Music and Splendour

Set in the 1880s and '90s, As Music and Splendour tells the story of two young Irish girls who are sent to Rome for training as opera singers. Rose - red-haired, big-hearted and big-voiced - is soon on track to become a prima donna soprano; Clare, also a soprano but subtler and less glamorous, is more at home with sacred music. While Rose juggles the affections of various men, Clare embarks on a passionate affair with her fellow-student Luisa. As Music in Splendour is a thrillingly readable and romantic novel from one of the very few truly important Irish novelists of the twentieth century.

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