The Secret History

by Tartt, Donna

The Secret History, the first novel by Mississippi-born writer Donna Tartt, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1992. A 75,000 print order was made for the first edition (as opposed to the usual 10,000 order for a debut novel), and the book became a bestseller. Set in New England, The Secret History tells the story of a closely knit group of six classics students at a small, elite Vermont college, similar in many respects to Bennington College where Tartt was a student from 1982 to 1986.

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On Apr 3, 2016, Anonymous said:

"…people never seemed to notice at first how big Henry was. Maybe it was because of his clothes, which were like one of those lame but curiously impenetrable disguises from a comic book (why does no one ever see that 'bookish' Clark Kent, without his glasses, is Superman?). Or maybe it was a question of his making people see. He had the far more remarkable talent of making himself invisible – in a room, in a car, a virtual ability to dematerialise at will – and perhaps this gift was only the converse of that one: the sudden concentration of his wandering molecules rendering his shadowy form solid, all at once, a metamorphosis startling the viewer."

The Secret History is the first novel by American author, Donna Tartt. At the age of nineteen, Richard Papen goes to Hampden College in Vermont, primarily to get away from his parents and his depressingly boring hometown of Plano, CA. Having done two years of study in Ancient Greek, he jumps at the opportunity to join an exclusive class of five students studying The Classics under the very selective Julian Morrow.

Richard is somewhat dazzled by his fellow students: Henry Winter, dark-suited, stiff, aloof and extremely intelligent; Francis Abernathy, angular and elegant; the beautiful twins, Charles and Camilla Macaulay, and Bunny Corcoran, loud and cheery. Never does he dream that within a few months, one of their number will be dead.

At the centre of this book, both figuratively and literally, is a murder. The narrative is split into two: what led up to the murder, and the aftermath. The story is told by Richard some nine years after he went to Vermont. Tartt advances her story at a slow and careful pace; her characters, flawed and not necessarily appealing, develop as Richard gets to know them; her descriptive prose expertly evokes the atmosphere of the New England college.

So naturally do events lead into one another that the reader occasionally needs to step back and think: this is murder they are so matter-of-factly discussing. Black humour relieves the tension: the twins, upbraided for their failure to plan a meal, retort "Well, if you wake up intending to murder someone at two o'clock, you hardly think what you're going to feed the corpse for dinner".

As well as giving the reader plenty to think about (the value of life, self-preservation, friendship any loyalty), there is a plot with a few interesting turns and a quite unexpected climax. Tartt combines the story-telling talent of Stephen King with prose worthy of Wallace Stegner: the result is a compelling read that will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.

On Feb 13, 2015, a reader said:
The first book I read by Donna Tartt was her newest "Goldfinch" novel. When I completed it, I immediately went to purchase "The Secret History". I really enjoyed this book. It's a thrilling sort of mystery laced with oddly endearing characters that you feel a closeness to despite their strange underlying coldness at times. Tartt hangs you by a thread most of the book, leaving you wondering what is going to happen next. It's tragic, beautiful and horrific. It's unique. I am in Seattle and it's winter so we're in our overcast time. Reading this book was perfect for this time of year, even though based on the East coast, I could feel the atmosphere entirely. I highly recommend this book.
On Apr 23, 2014, a reader said:
Her characters stay with you after you have finished the book. I go back and read this book about twice a year and find some new little character aspect every time.

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SECRET HISTORY -SIGNED PRESS KIT

by TARTT DONNA

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The Secret History

by TARTT DONNA

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1992
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London: Viking, 1992. First Edition. Hard Cover. Dust Jacket. First UK Edition. Publisher's black boards with gilt spine lettering. First UK Edition. A fine (or better) copy in like D/W. Truly deserving of the accolade 'modern classic', Donna Tartt's novel is a remarkable achievement - compelling and elegant, dramatic and playful and unaccountably scarce… Read more
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The Secret History

by TARTT, Donna

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1992
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SECRET HISTORY - SIGNED 1ST ED

by TARTT DONNA

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The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

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1992
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9780679410324
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The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

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1992-09-05
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9780679410324
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SECRET HISTORY - USED SIGNED 1ST ED

by TARTT DONNA

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The secret history

by Tartt, Donna

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The Secret History; A Novel

by Tartt, Donna

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1992
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The Secret History

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Secret History

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The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

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1992-09-05
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Secret History

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The Secret History

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1992
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The Secret History

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1992
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The Secret History [Signed Bookplate Laid in]

by Donna Tartt

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1992
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The Secret History

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The Secret History (Penguin Celebrations)

by Donna Tartt

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SECRET HISTORY -FIRST ED

by TARTT DONNA

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The Secret History.

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1992.
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Secret History (Advance Reader's Edition)

by Tartt, Donna

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THE SECRET HISTORY

by DONNA TARTT

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1992
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The Secret History

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1992
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The Secret History

by Tartt, Donna

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The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

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1996-09-29
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The Secret History

by Tartt, Donna

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1992
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The Secret History (Penguin Celebrations)

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The Secret History (Penguin Celebrations)

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The Secret History

by Tartt, Donna

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1992
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The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

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1992-09-05
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The Dragon in New Albion

by S.H. Paxton

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The Secret History: Ballentine Books Edition

by Tartt, Donna

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The Secret History: Ballentine Books Edition

by Tartt, Donna

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The Secret History: Ballentine Books Edition

by Tartt, Donna

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The Secret History: a novel

by Tartt, Donna

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(1992)
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The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

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2004-04-13
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The Secret History

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1992-09-11
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The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

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The Secret History

by Tartt, Donna

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1992
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9780679410324
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The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

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1992-09-05
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The Secret History

by Tartt, Donna

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2004
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New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 2004. Later printing. Paperback. New. 559pp. [20 cm] Illustrated wraps. "Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel, The Goldfinch, established herself as a major talent with The Secret History, which has become a contemporary classic. "Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits… Read more
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The Secret History

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The Secret History

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1992-09-05
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The Secret History

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Express to the Stars, Rockets in Action

by Homer E. Newell

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The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

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October 1993
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The Secret History

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The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

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The Secret History

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The Secret History

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1992-10-29
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