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Last Updated on May 13, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 343

Pierce Moffet, first introduced in Aegypt (1987), continues as Crowley's central interest in Love & Sleep . After leaving Noate University without completing his Ph.D. in history and Renaissance studies, Pierce secures a job in New York City teaching history and literature. Eventually, his unhappiness and failed relationships lead him...

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Pierce Moffet, first introduced in Aegypt (1987), continues as Crowley's central interest in Love & Sleep. After leaving Noate University without completing his Ph.D. in history and Renaissance studies, Pierce secures a job in New York City teaching history and literature. Eventually, his unhappiness and failed relationships lead him out of New York and to Blackbury Jambs in the Faraway Hills of New York State. Here he meets Rosie Rasmussen and Rosie's uncle Boney Rasmussen whose foundation is the literary executor for Fellowes Kraft's estate. Through these connections, Pierce's interest in alchemy and magic which originated in his reading of Kraft as a youth in Kentucky is brought full circle.

Pierce is tied closely to the Rasmussen family. Boney Rasmussen's foundation employs Pierce to transcribe Kraft's unpublished manuscript, and slowly a relationship is forming between Pierce, Rosie Rasmussen and her daughter Sam. Crowley has noted that the child has been featured more extensively in this novel in part because his own twin daughters have grown to take a greater share of his life — they were born at the time Aegypt was released. Boney's death in this novel does not signal the end to Pierce's investigation of Kraft's final manuscript or his own research into shifts of history. In fact, at the close of the novel, Pierce expresses his intention to continue his search in Europe.

One of the impressive aspects of Love & Sleep is Crowley's recreation of actual historical figures of the late sixteenth century. These characters — poets, alchemists, and court figures — move through sections of Crowley's novel bent upon achieving their political, scientific, supernatural and intellectual ends. Crowley employs familiar literary figures such as Sir Philip Sydney as well as less familiar ones such as Fulke Greville whose ghost is still thought to haunt the halls of Warrick castle. Crowley presents the supernatural elements of the novel with such confidence that the reader's belief is willingly suspended. It is obvious that Crowley engaged in careful historical research of the Renaissance and that his historical characters interact with his "fictional" ones seamlessly.

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