The Essex Serpent: A Novel

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A Kirkus Review Best Book of 2017 and a Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction. Winner of the British Book Awards Fiction Book of the Year and overall Book of the Year, selected as the Waterstones Book of the Year, and a Costa Book Award Finalist

"A novel of almost insolent ambition--lush and fantastical, a wild Eden behind a garden gate...it's part ghost story and part natural history lesson, part romance and part feminist parable. I found it so transporting that 48 hours after completing it, I was still resentful to be back home."  -New York Times

“An irresistible new novel…the most delightful heroine since Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice…By the end, The Essex Serpent identifies a mystery far greater than some creature ‘from the illuminated margins of a manuscript’: friendship.”  -Washington Post

"Richly enjoyable... Ms. Perry writes beautifully and sometimes agreeably sharply... The Essex Serpent is a wonderfully satisfying novel. Ford Madox Ford thought the glory of the novel was its ability to make the reader think and feel at the same time. This one does just that." -Wall Street Journal

An exquisitely talented young British author makes her American debut with this rapturously acclaimed historical novel, set in late nineteenth-century England, about an intellectually minded young widow, a pious vicar, and a rumored mythical serpent that explores questions about science and religion, skepticism, and faith, independence and love.

When Cora Seaborne’s brilliant, domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one. Wed at nineteen, this woman of exceptional intelligence and curiosity was ill-suited for the role of society wife. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space in the wake of the funeral, Cora leaves London for a visit to coastal Essex, accompanied by her inquisitive and obsessive eleven-year old son, Francis, and the boy’s nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend.

While admiring the sites, Cora learns of an intriguing rumor that has arisen further up the estuary, of a fearsome creature said to roam the marshes claiming human lives. After nearly 300 years, the mythical Essex Serpent is said to have returned, taking the life of a young man on New Year’s Eve. A keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, Cora is immediately enthralled, and certain that what the local people think is a magical sea beast may be a previously undiscovered species. Eager to investigate, she is introduced to local vicar William Ransome. Will, too, is suspicious of the rumors. But unlike Cora, this man of faith is convinced the rumors are caused by moral panic, a flight from true belief.

These seeming opposites who agree on nothing soon find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart—an intense relationship that will change both of their lives in ways entirely unexpected.

Hailed by Sarah Waters as "a work of great intelligence and charm, by a hugely talented author," The Essex Serpent is "irresistible . . . you can feel the influences of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, and Hilary Mantel channeled by Perry in some sort of Victorian séance. This is the best new novel I’ve read in years" (Daily Telegraph).

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About the author

Sarah Perry is the internationally bestselling author of The Essex Serpent and After Me Comes the Flood. She lives in England.

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Additional Information

Publisher
HarperCollins
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Published on
Jun 6, 2017
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Pages
464
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ISBN
9780062666390
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Gothic
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"A very talented writer." —Sharon Kay Penman, NYT bestselling author of Devil's Brood

England, 1044. Harold Godwineson, a young, respected Earl, falls in love with an ordinary but beautiful woman. He marries Edyth despite her lack of pedigree, pitting him against his turbulent family and his selfish King, Edward. In France, William, the bastard son of a duke, falls in love with power. Brutal and dangerously smart, William sets his sights on England, finding ambition a difficult lust to conquer.

In 1066, with the old King Edward dying, England falls vulnerable to the winds of fate-and the stubborn will of these two powerful men. In this beautifully crafted tale, Helen Hollick sets aside the propaganda of the Norman Conquest and brings to life the English version of the story of the last Saxon King, revealing his tender love, determination, and proud loyalty, all shattered by the unforgiving needs of a Kingdom. Forced to give up his wife and risk his life for England, the chosen King led his army into the great Battle of Hastings in October 1066 with all the honor and dignity that history remembers of its fallen heroes.

"A novel of enormous emotional power...Helen Hollick is a fabulous writer of historical fiction." -Elizabeth Chadwick, author of To Defy a King

What Readers Are Saying:

"We all know the ending! But Helen Hollick's masterful and moving account of Pre-Conquest England still carries the reader along on an enthralling journey to that moment...it made me cry in all the right places. Helen Hollick is a consummate storyteller."

"An epic work, grand and sweeping. I've read many versions of the events of 1066 but this is one of the best."

(This book was previously published in the U.K. as HAROLD THE KING)

"A moving and lifelike portrait... a thoroughly delightful novel." - New York Times

Country-lad-turned-jester Will Somers tells the behind-the-scenes story of King Henry VIII and his six wives. Told by the man who saw the triumphs and tragedies, weddings, divorces, and dramatic pageantry that was the Tudor court.

When country lad Will Somers lands himself the plum position of jester to the mercurial King Henry VIII, he has no idea that he's just been handed a front-row seat to history.

At court Will witnesses firsthand the dizzying power struggles and sly scheming that marked the reign of the fiery Tudor king. A confidante of all six wives of Henry VIII including the tragic Katherine of Aragon, the doomed Anne Boleyn, and the charming princess Mary Tudor, Will's tale casts a new light on England's most infamous king.

This intimate peek into the royal chambers gives readers a unique perspective on the capricious King Henry, told from the point of view of a sympathetic friend whose loyalty never wavered.

A unique tale of tumultuous Tudor England, fans of Philippa Gregory, Anya Seton and Sharon Kay Penman will delight in this new look at a well-known dynasty from world-renowned historical novelist Margaret Campbell Barnes.

Other books about the six wives of Henry VIII and the Tudors by Margaret Campbell Barnes:
Brief Gaudy Hour a refreshing novel of Anne Boleyn, cast in a new light
My Lady of Cleves a fresh story of Anne of Cleves, the bride who survived Henry VIII
The Tudor Rose the richly drawn story of Elizabeth of York who united a kingdom and birthed a dynasty

What readers are saying about The King's Fool:

"a remarkable insider tale of the Tudor court"

"I loved this REFRESHING perspective"

"What a great way to look at King Henry VIII. Henry was a very difficult King to feel compassion for. Yet, after reading this book, one is reminded that things aren't always as the world views it."

"But THIS book revealed sides to all characters in depths I've never seen."

"a deftly written, well-researched, absorbing story"

"If you liked The Other Boleyn Girl, here's another prospective of Henry 8th court."

"Absolutely loved this book~ Must read for any TUDOR fan."

What reviewers are saying about The King's Fool:

"A moving and lifelike portrait... a thoroughly delightful novel." - New York Times

"Immensely entertaining and absorbing." - Chicago Tribune

"A dramatic story, full of color and good characters, great people made more human." - Book of the Month Club

"...Watch the king's cruel vanities through the eyes of a friend whose love and sympathy never waver." - News Chronicle

What everyone is saying about Margaret Campbell Barnes:

"Margaret Campbell Barnes has added brilliant hues to a picture which never lacked in color." - Vancouver (BC) Daily Province

"Immensely entertaining and absorbing." - Chicago Tribune

"Turns A BRILLIANT LIGHT on one of the lustiest and one of the most dramatic periods of English history." - Philadelphia Inquirer

Featuring an exclusive excerpt from Kate Quinn's next incredible historical novel, THE HUNTRESS

 

NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY BESTSELLER

#1 GLOBE AND MAIL HISTORICAL FICTION BESTSELLER

One of NPR's Best Books of the Year!

One of Bookbub's Biggest Historical Fiction Books of the Year!

Reese Witherspoon Book Club Summer Reading Pick!

The Girly Book Club Book of the Year!

A Summer Book Pick from Good Housekeeping, Parade, Library Journal, Goodreads, Liz and Lisa, and BookBub

 

In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth...no matter where it leads.

“Both funny and heartbreaking, this epic journey of two courageous women is an unforgettable tale of little-known wartime glory and sacrifice. Quinn knocks it out of the park with this spectacular book!”—Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of America's First Daughter

I have debts to pay and secrets to keep. When someone threatens my life, I crash into him: Jackson Ludlow

The recluse billionaire of New York

Once, he had everything a man could want. Then, he lost the only thing that he ever loved.


So, he spent four years holed up in his mansion doing the only thing he knew how to do: make money. 


We are all wrong for each other. He’s cold, uninterested and demanding. 

I’m impatient and inexperienced. 


The only thing we have in common is that we both have secrets. 

And the closer we get, the more they threaten to destroy us.


Praise for Charlotte Byrd's Black Edge 

“Decadent, delicious, & dangerously addictive!” - Amazon Review ★★★★★

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"Exciting, intense, sensual” - Rock, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

“Sexy, secretive, pulsating chemistry…” - Mrs. K, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

“Charlotte Byrd is a brilliant writer. I've read loads and I've laughed and cried. She writes a balanced book with brilliant characters. Well done!” -Amazon Review ★★★★★

“Fast-paced, dark, addictive, and compelling” - Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

“Hot, steamy, and a great storyline.” - Christine Reese ★★★★★

“My oh my....Charlotte has made me a fan for life.” - JJ, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

"The tension and chemistry is at five alarm level.” - Sharon, Amazon reviewer ★★★★★

“Hot, sexy, intriguing journey of Elli and Mr. Aiden Black. - Robin Langelier ★★★★★

“Wow. Just wow. Charlotte Byrd leaves me speechless and humble… It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. Once you pick it up, you won't put it down.” - Amazon Review ★★★★★

“Sexy, steamy and captivating!” - Charmaine, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

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“An awesome book. Extremely entertaining, captivating and interesting sexy read. I could not put it down.” - Kim F, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

“Just the absolute best story. Everything I like to read about and more. Such a great story I will read again and again. A keeper!!” - Wendy Ballard ★★★★★

“It had the perfect amount of twists and turns. I instantaneously bonded with the heroine and of course Mr. Black. YUM. It's sexy, it's sassy, it's steamy. It's everything.” - Khardine Gray, Bestselling Romance Author ★★★★★

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