By Sarah Walton

Category: Fiction, Historical, LGBT+

Formats available: Paperback, Ebook

Pages: 416

Publication date: 04/02/16

ISBN-13: 9781909954168

ISBN-10: 1909954160

Steven Saylor – ‘Warning: Reading Rufius may induce forbidden thoughts. Also laughter, wonderment, and a discombobulating sensation of time travel. Proceed with caution—but by all means, proceed!’

In a startlingly fine debut, Sarah Walton steps into the classic terrain of Mary Renault and Margeurite Yourcenar.
Like them, she stirs a spectacular story of the Ancient World. Unlike them, her lead character is not one of history’s
heroes. For the first time in literature, a cinaedus steps front stage.
Sexually, Ancient Rome ran by a different moral code. One thing firmly outlawed was the passive male. Exiled to 4th
Century Alexandria, put in charge of books while zealots set to burn libraries, Rufius is only passive sexually. He is an
irrepressible creation. Searching the streets for a youth that excites, he finds Aeson. Their love story transcends age,
scruples, class barriers, and the historical record.

‘Reminds me of Marguerite Yourcenar. Armed with the hypnotic prose of a pedigree writer,
Sarah Walton shows how we got here and the wonders, beliefs and
wit we have left behind.’ – Jose Luis de Juan, author of This Breathing World:


‘In this novel, Sarah Walton comprehensively excavates the sights, disputes and social structures of the port of Alexandria in the quarter century leading up to the inter-faith massacres and wholesale destruction of the city’s famous library by Nicene Christian mobs in 391 AD. In doing so, she reveals the loosening threads of a society once renowned for its tolerance, dissent and learning through the interlinked voices of three characters. In her remarkably adroit handling of the intersections between the big questions of faith and politics and the smaller-scale concerns of relationships and identity, there are elements that would not be out of place in novels by Gore Vidal set in the “classical” era. Highly recommended.’

- Paul Simon, Morning Star

Sarah Walton

Sarah Walton is an author, writing coach and founder of Soul Writing Intuitive Coaching. Her debut novel, Rufius was long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize. Her second novel, Sophia’s Tale was written using her Soul Writing method and the process of writing it helped write her brain back to health after she sustained a brain injury, which caused language loss and writer’s block. Her third novel, The Silk Pavilion is a psychological thriller due out with Barbican Press in 2021. Sarah holds an MA in Digital and a PhD …