The secret to King Roger of Sicily's pleasure garden
Dr Roberto Balducci, a retired archaeologist, is invited to Palermo by an elderly marchesa to take charge of the papers of her late husband, Don Francesco di Valenti. He arrives to discover that the Don has spent his life researching a pleasure garden known as La Favara, once the country retreat of the twelfth-century King Roger of Sicily. The marchesa wants to discover whether her husband’s untimely death is in some way linked to the king’s.
Soon Dr Balducci finds himself seduced by Don Francesco’s obsessions. La Favara begins to reveal its secrets. Reading the Don’s notebooks, and exploring the city’s archives, he uncovers and letters documents that reveal the full extent of the activities which occurred at La Favara during King Roger’s reign. It is none other than a garden of the mind.
Palace of Memory by award-winning author James Cowan explores the way our memory become the servant of fact. Through Balducci’s eyes we are brought face-to-face with the constraints of thought when it is solely in their service. Walking along the dream-like avenues of La Favara is to finally break with the tyranny of the real, as men from the past parade along its sunlit avenues.