Donna Tartt: The Secret History

(2226 words)
  • Lindsay Sullivan (University of Wales, Cardiff)

Donna Tartt reputedly received a $450,000 advance for The Secret History. In addition to being a commercial success, the novel has been translated into over twenty languages and has received much critical acclaim. One of the novel’s epigraphs is from Book 2 of Plato’s Republic: “Come then, and let us pass a leisure hour in storytelling, and our story shall be the education of our heroes”. Part murder mystery, part Bildungsroman and part campus novel, The Secret History tells the story of a group of Classics students who, in the act of re-creating a Dionysian bacchanal, accidentally kill a stranger, and then, to cover their tracks and preserve their freedom, murder one of their …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Sullivan, Lindsay. "The Secret History". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 May 2005
[, accessed 10 October 2015.]