Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver, a monumental epic that follows his critically acclaimed international bestseller Cryptonomicon, is a novel of history, adventure, science, invention, sex, absurdity, piracy, madness, death, and alchemy. It sweeps across continents and decades, upending kings, armies, religious beliefs, and all expectations. It is the story of Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and courageous Puritan, pursuing knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of the Baroque Age, in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the powerful, and where catastrophe, natural or man-made, alters the political landscape overnight. It is a chronicle of the near-legendary exploits of Half-Cocked jack Shaftoe - London street urchin turned swashbuckling adventurer, known to all as the King of the Vagabonds - as he risks life and limb for fortune and love while slowly poing mad from the pox. And it is the story of Eliza, rescued by jack from a Turkish harem to become spy, confidante, and pawn of royals as she reinvents a contentions continent through the newborn power of international finance. A gloriously rich, entertaining, and endlessly inventive novel that brings a remarkable age and its momentous events to vivid life - an historical epic populated by Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton, William of Orange, Benjamin Franklin, and King Louis XIV - Quicksilver is an extraordinary achievement from one of the most remarkable and original writers of our time.