Joseph - Julian Rathbone’s highly unreliable early 19th-century narrator - tells the story of his poignant, comic and richly entertaining life.

Born into a turbulent Europe of 1790, Joseph has a half-English Catholic priest for a father and an Italian brothel-keeper in place of a mother. He is educated in mathematics, music, and philosophy, but has a gift for narrative and a natural bent for depravity. Seduced by the hectic glamour of battle at the age of eleven and tossed in its wake for the next fifteen years, he survives as courier, pimp, linguist, mercenary, and mascot to tell his tantalisingly unreliable tale.

The Booker Prize 1979
Published by
Michael Joseph
Publication date
Julian Rathbone

Julian Rathbone

About the Author

Julian Rathbone's novel Diamonds Bid was published in 1967. It was the first of many books in a career that spanned more than 40 years.
More about Julian Rathbone

Other nominated books by Julian Rathbone

King Fisher Lives