THE ESSEX SERPENT
The Victorian era has not aged well, but was it as dreary and pious as its reputation suggests? In The Essex Serpent, you’ll find a time alive with contradictions, where faith meets scientific discovery, wealth meets advances in workers’ rights and women begin to look beyond their domestic confines. It’s the 1890s and recently widowed Cora Seaborne is intrigued by rumours of an ancient dragon stirring in the waters of rural Essex. Could it be a remnant of a species thought lost? Her investigations lead her to the Reverend William Ransome and his wife, Stella, who is “no bigger than a fairy and twice as pretty”. They and their friends and children are vibrant vital characters. Their curiosity, dreams and intellects make this novel a potent and irresistible brew.