Antonina, Or, the Fall of Rome

by Wilkie Collins

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Antonina was Collins's first published novel, it was written in a laborious, deliberately florid style using detail from Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and modelled on Bulwer-Lytton's The Last Days of Pompeii (1834). The plot is challenging, with many passages reading like a cross between a guide book to ancient Rome (based on Collins's visit in 1837) and a description of his father's paintings. The story begins in the Rome of 408 AD, where the young Antonina lives with her father Numerian, zealous in his aims to restore the Christian faith to its former ideals. Numerian's steward, Ulpius, brought up in the old religion, secretly lives only to restore the forbidden gods of pagan sacrifice. Vetranio, their wealthy neighbour, has designs on the innocent Antonina. When they are surprised by Numerian in an apparently compromising situation, Antonina flees outside the city walls just before Rome is blockaded by the encircling army of the Goths
  • ISBN10 1366592999
  • ISBN13 9781366592996
  • Publish Date 10 March 2017 (first published 1 December 2001)
  • Publish Status Active
  • Imprint Blurb
  • Format Paperback (US Trade)
  • Pages 424
  • Language English