The Rose Crossing

Published by Hamish Hamilton (1994) UK and Australia and The Overlook Press, New York (1995)

Published in French: Pour l’amour d’une rose noire, translated by Anne Rabinovitch, Plon, Paris (1997)

‘Nicholas Jose has written an imaginative historical fable, less a love story than a tale of obsession and crosscultural exploration in which the rose is a central symbol … But it’s not so much what happens in this book as how. The story comes together like an intricate silk tapestry, one colourful image setting off another, contrasts creating harmonies.’ – Penelope Nelson, The Weekend Australian

Read about The Rose Crossing exhibition here.

Tim Storrier, The Rose Crossing, 1998, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 31.0 x 183.0cm.

Escaping revolution and a ship’s mutiny, 17th-century naturalist Edward Popple and his daughter Rosamund find refuge on an uncharted island in the Indian Ocean. Popple is a man of passions– for Rosamund and for scientific discovery. On the island they encounter Lou Lu, a Chinese eunuch, and his charge, Taizao, an impotent princeling, lost on the way to Rome to petition the Pope. They have a yellow rose. Like the crossing of Chinese and European roses the crossing of the two cultures through passionate love and procreation might also prove evolutionary – or will it?