The Optimists: A Novel

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A disillusioned photojournalist finds solace close to home in this “subtle, beautifully written” novel from the award-winning author of Pure (The Boston Globe).
Clem Glass was a successful photojournalist, firm in the belief that photographs could capture truth and beauty—until he went to Africa and witnessed the aftermath of a genocidal massacre.
Clem returns to London with his faith in human nature shattered and his life derailed. Nothing—work, love, sex—can rouse his interest and no other outlook can restore his faith. The one person Clem is able to connect with is his sister, who has made her own sudden retreat from reality into the shadows of mental illness, and he finds some peace nursing her back to health in rural Somerset. Then news arrives that offers him the chance to confront the source of his nightmares.
From the celebrated author of Ingenious Pain and Oxygen, this is a masterfully rendered novel that explores the perilously thin line between self-delusion and optimism.
“Once again Miller shows himself to be an acutely sensitive observer of life at a particular moment in history . . . [His] inventive yet unobtrusive prose conveys a richly complex reality filtered through Clem’s stunned consciousness.” —The Wall Street Journal
“[A] work of solemn artistry. Miller’s style is one of guarded lyricism, in which he allows just enough poetry in the language to get the job done, the mood or moment caught.” —The New York Times Book Review
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About the author

ANDREW MILLER's novel Ingenious Pain won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the International IMPAC Award. He was short-listed for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Award for his novel Oxygen.
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Additional Information

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Published on
May 6, 2013
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Fiction / General
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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 Miller's Church History

The Seven Churches of Asia 

1: The Rock Foundation 
Foundation of the Church
Opening of the Kingdom of Heaven
Church Government

2: The Day of Pentecost
Resurrection and Ascension of Christ
Descent of the Holy Ghost 
Calling in of the Gentiles
First Christian Martyr

3: The Disciples Persecuted and Scattered
Jerusalem and Samaria United by the Gospel
Conversion of Saul of Tarsus

4: The First Missionaries of the Cross
The Twelve Apostles 
Herodian Line of Kings

5: The Apostle Paul
First Visit to Jerusalem 
First Missionary Journey
Third Visit to Jerusalem
Visit to Athens

6: Paul's Third Missionary Journey
Departure for Macedonia 
Fifth Visit to Jerusalem 
Before the Sanhedrin
Martyrdom of Paul

7: The Burning of Rome 
First Persecution Under the Emperors 
Downfall of Jerusalem 
The Real Cause of Persecution
Persecutions in France

8: The Internal History of the Church 
Apostolic Fathers 
Origin of Clergy and Laity
Origin of Dioceses

9: From Commodus till the Accession of Constantine.
Persecution in Africa 
Altered Position of Christianity 
The General State of Christianity 
The Condition of the Church

10: Constantine the Great 
Church as Constantine Found It 
Effects of Royal Favour 
Baptism and Death of Constantine

11: The Council of Nice 
The Council of Tyre
The Barbaric Invaders

12: The Internal History of the Church 
Infant Baptism 
First Society of Ascetics 
Calamities of Rome

13: The Epistle to the Church in Thyatira 
Leo the First, Surnamed the Great
Missionary Zeal of Gregory
Romish Hierarchy in England

14: The Spread of Christianity Over Europe 
First Preachers in Ireland 
First Preachers in Scotland
Foreshadowing of the Man of Sin

15: Mohammed, the False Prophet of Asia. 
Religion of Islam 
Successors of Mohammed. 
Second Council of Nicaea

16: The Silver Line of Sovereign Grace 
Origin of the Paulicians 
Religious Wars of Charlemagne 
Feudal Hierarchical System.

17: The Propagation of Christianity 
Louis the Pious 
The Slavonians Receive the Gospel 
England, Scotland, and Ireland

18: The Church-Building Spirit Revived. 
Learning of the Arabs Imported into Christendom 
Traces of the Silver Line of God's Grace

19: The Pontificate of Gregory VII
Gregory and Clerical Independence 
Celibacy and Simony 
The Emperor Deposed by the Pope 
Effects of the Papal Policy 
Burning of Ancient Rome

20: The Crusades 
The First Crusade 
The Second Crusade 
The Third Crusade 
The Remainder of the Crusades

21: Henry V and Gregory's Successors
St. Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux. 
The Great Council of the Lateran 
Arnold of Brescia

22: The Encroachments of Rome in England 
The Introduction of Canon Law into England 
Thomas a Becket and Henry II
The "Constitutions of Clarendon"

23: The Theology of the Church of Rome
Mary — Worship 
Saint — Worship 
Relic — Worship 
Extreme Unction 
Auricular Confession 

24: Innocent III and His Times 
Innocent's Views of Popedom 
Philip and Otho 
Innocent and England
England Surrendered to Rome

25: Innocent and the South of France
Peter Waldo 
Raymond a Spiritual Outlaw
The Real Object of the Catholics

26: The Inquisition Established in Languedoc 
The Application of Torture 
The Auto de Fe
St. Benedict 
New Orders — St. Dominic and St. Francis

27: The Approaching Dawn of the Reformation 
Christianity in Ireland 
Christianity in Scotland 
Popery as a System.

28: The Decline of Papal Power
Gregory IX and Frederick II
The Overruling Hand of God 
The Humiliation of the Pontiff

29: The Forerunners of the Reformation
Literary Men 
The Theologians 
The Waldenses
The Dark Year of 1560

30: John Wycliffe 
England and the Papacy 
Wycliffe and the Bible 
The Lollards.

31: The Reformation Movement in Bohemia 
The Imprisonment of John Huss 
The Arrest and Imprisonment of Jerome
The United Brethren or Moravians

32: The Capture of Constantinople
The First Printed Bible 
The Immediate Precursors of Luther 
Reflections on the Life of Savonarola

33: The Reformation in Germany 
Popery and Mankind 
The First Period of Luther's Life 
Luther's Conversion

34: The First Papal Jubilee 
Luther's Public Appeal 
Distinguished Men of the Sixteenth Century 
The Diet of Worms

35: Luther at Wartburg. 
Luther and the German Bible 
The Hundred Grievances 
The First Diet of Spires

36: Protestantism 
The Lutheran Churches 
Meetings of the Protestants

37: The Sacramentarian Controversy
The Conference at Marburg 
A Proposal for Toleration and Unity

38: The Council at Bologna 
The Diet of Augsburg
The Articles of Faith 
The Letters of Melanchthon and Luther

39: The Popish Refutation 
The Final Decree
The League of Smalcald 
The Peace of Ratisbon

40: The Reformation in Switzerland 
Zwingle, Pastor of Glaris 
The Rising Storm

41: The Leaders of the Reformation in Switzerland
The Progress of the Reformation-Zurich
Zwingle and His Brothers 
The Disputations at Zurich

42: The Results of the Disputations 
The Answer of Zurich to Lucerne 
The Swiss and German Reformation 
The Weapons of Rome's Warfare

43: The General Progress of Reform 
The Reformation in Berne 
The Conference at Baden 
The Great Conference at Berne 
The Reformation of Basle

44: The Extension of Reform in Switzerland. 
The Five Cantons Form a League with Austria
The Treaty of Cappel
War Declared Against Zurich

45: The Reformation in Germany 
The Great Actors Passing Off the Scene 
The Death of Luther
Reflections on the Life of Luther

46: The Opening of the Council of Trent 
The Smalcald War
The Treachery of Maurice 
The German's Treated as a Conquered People

47: "The Interim"
The Revolution in Germany
The Calamities of the Protestants
The Rise of the Jesuits

48: The Effect of the Reformation in Germany on the Nations of Europe
Nations of Europe 
Sweden and Denmark 
The Netherlands

49: The Reformation in French Switzerland 
Early History of William Farel 
The Arrival of Calvin in Geneva 
Calvin and Calvinism

50: The Reformation in France
The Bible in French at Meaux
Commencement of Persecution in France
The Year of the Placards

51: The Great Progress of the Reformation 
The First Planting of the Reformed Church in France 
The Saint Bartholomew Massacre
The Council of Trent

52: The Waldenses
The Wars of Extermination 
The Sympathy of England
The Persecution and Expulsion of the Waldenses

53: The Reformation in the British Isles 
The Fiery Zeal of Cardinal Beaton
George Wishart 
John Knox

54: The Reformation in England
The Reformation Begun 
The Persecution Begins
Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer

55: The Reign of Elizabeth
The Puritans
John Wesley 
Sunday Schools
Foreign Missions

56: Philadelphia
Church Truth
The Spread of the Truth 

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