History of a Pleasure Seeker


Richard Mason, author and Orson co-founder

Richard Mason was born in South Africa and lives in London.

He was 21 when his first novel The Drowning People was published. It sold more than a million copies in 28 languages and won Italy’s Cavour Prize for Best First Novel. After his second novel Us, he began a collection of interconnected works that now include The Lighted Rooms, History of a Pleasure Seeker and Who Killed Piet Barol?

The foundation he established in memory of his sister has transformed the lives of hundreds of young people in Cape Town. It currently sends over 100 students per year to the city's best secondary schools. Find out how it works and why Archbishop Desmond Tutu chose to be its patron by visiting The Kay Mason Foundation.


Dan Stevens, narrator

Dan’s star quality in Downton Abbey won him roles on Broadway (The Heiress, opposite Jessica Chastain) and on the silver screen as David in The Guest. Feature films include The TicketOppenheimer Strategies, and Beauty and the Beast. He presently stars in the FX network's series Legion.

Richard introduces the first stand-alone digital edition that inspired the Orson app bookshelf.

Key features

Hand drawn illustrations from Raguenet’s Materiaux et Documents d’Architecture paired with 44 color and archival images

Historical essays about the Belle Époque, luxury liners, and the banking panic of  1907

Six author videos

Fourteen musical pieces by Bizet, Chopin, Bach, and Mozart, recorded specifically for the Orson


Orson publication date: 2016

File size: 536 MB

Original edition publication date: February 2011 (UK)

Original edition publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (UK); Knopf (US)

Editor: Benjamin Morse