Cambridge and Baccalaureate Exams | Litcharts | Sparknotes English,Novels The Signature of All Things By Elizabeth Gilbert

The Signature of All Things By Elizabeth Gilbert

Title: The Signature of All Things

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Context: The Signature of All Things is a historical fiction novel by Elizabeth Gilbert set in the United States in the 1800s.  The Signature of All Things a novel, researched most exquisitely and narrated at a rapidly progressing pace and advances across the globe, right from London to Peru to Philadelphia and then to Tahiti and Amsterdam and many more places way beyond.

Synopsis: The story spans across much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It follows the wealth and property of an outstanding Whittaker family. The family is led by a resourceful and ingenious Henry Whittaker.  Initially he was born as a poor Englishman in the 1800s, who later makes a great fortune in the quinine trade in South America.

Over a period of time he becomes the wealthiest man in Philadelphia. Alma, is the intelligent daughter of Henry who inherits her father’s mind and money, both. Finally she becomes a botanist of many gifts herself. Being a scientist she is taken into deeper into the mysteries of evolution, with her extensive research after which she falls in love with Ambrose Pike. Ambrose is man who creates incomparable paintings of orchids and draws Alma in the exact opposite direction into a sphere of the magical, divine and spiritual. While Ambrose Pike is the utopian artist, Alma is a clear-minded scientist thus being an unlikely pair. However they have one thing in common and that is that they both in desperation wanted to study and understand the mechanisms behind life and the workings of this world.

Read realted notes  Analysis of 'Ceremony', by Leslie Marmon Silko

Other works by the Author:


2000 – Stern Men

2019 – City of Girls


2002 – The Last American Man


2006 – Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

2010 – Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

2015 – Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

As Contributor

1998 – The KGB Bar Reader

1999 – Why I Write: Thoughts on the Craft of Fiction

2001 – The Best American Magazine Writing 2001: The Ghost

2003 – The Best American Magazine Writing 2003: Lucky Jim