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The Resource The Essex Serpent : a novel, Sarah Perry

The Essex Serpent : a novel, Sarah Perry

The Essex Serpent : a novel
The Essex Serpent : a novel
Statement of responsibility
Sarah Perry
"Costa Book Award Finalist and the Waterstones (UK) Book of the Year 2016." "I loved this book. At once numinous, intimate and wise, The Essex Serpent is a marvelous novel about the workings of life, love and belief, about science and religion, secrets, mysteries, and the complicated and unexpected shifts of the human heart--and it contains some of the most beautiful evocations of place and landscape I've ever read. It is so good its pages seem lit from within. As soon as I'd finished it I started reading it again."--Helen MacDonald, author of H is for Hawk. 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 seance. This is the best new novel I've read in years" (Daily Telegraph, London)"--
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The Essex serpent
Freed from an unhappy marriage by her husband's death, Victorian widow Cora Seaborne settles in Colchester, where she pursues her interest in natural history by searching the Blackwater estuary for evidence of the Essex Serpent, a winged serpent dismissed as superstition by vicar Will Ransome, but greatly feared by the locals. With its heady atmosphere and lush descriptions, the novel vividly explores Victorian English society and culture through the experiences of its ensemble cast. -- Description by Gillian Speace
Story line
Writing style
New York Times Notable Book, 2017
Cataloging source
Dewey number
no index present
LC call number
LC item number
E87 2017
Literary form
Target audience
Sarah Perry
The Essex Serpent : a novel, Sarah Perry
The Essex Serpent : a novel, Sarah Perry
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Control code
{'DOVER': ''}
First edition.
pages cm
Isbn Type

Library Locations

    • Main LibraryBorrow it
      73 Locust St, Dover, NH, 03820, USA
      43.19289 -70.876331
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