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The Essex Serpent: a novel

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An NPR and Kirkus Review Best Book of 2017, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, 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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9780062666376
9780062666390
9780062676634
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID933597b9-8888-932a-6f44-5e51d8b74eec
Grouping Titleessex serpent
Grouping Authorsarah perry
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2020-10-19 08:56:13AM
Last Indexed2020-10-22 04:19:26AM
Novelist Primary ISBNnone

Solr Details

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display_descriptionAn 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.-- When Cora Seaborne's domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness. Seeking refuge, Cora leaves London for a visit to coastal Essex, accompanied by her son, Francis, and the boy's nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend. Cora learns of a fearsome creature said to roam the marshes claiming human lives. After nearly 300 years, the mythical Essex Serpent is said to have taken the life of a young man on New Year's Eve. Certain that the "sea beast" may be a previously undiscovered species, Cora joins local vicar William Ransome in investigating the rumors.
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subject_facetAnimals, Mythical -- Fiction
Clergy -- Fiction
Electronic books
Essex (England) -- History -- 19th century -- Fiction
Gothic fiction
Great Britain -- History -- Victoria, 1837-1901 -- Fiction
Historical fiction
Man-woman relationships -- Fiction
Vicars, Parochial -- England -- Essex -- Fiction
Widows -- England -- Essex -- Fiction
Widows -- Fiction
title_displayThe Essex Serpent : a novel
title_fullThe Essex Serpent : a novel / Sarah Perry
The Essex Serpent A Novel
The Essex serpent [electronic resource] / Sarah Perry
title_shortThe Essex Serpent
title_suba novel
topic_facetAnimals, Mythical
Clergy
Electronic books
Fiction
Historical Fiction
History
Literature
Man-woman relationships
Romance
Vicars, Parochial
Widows