Following her hit gothic debut The Silent Companions, Purcell weaves a macabre tale of uncanny powers, social division and female subjugation set against the canvas of vividly drawn Victorian London.
The new Victorian chiller from the author of The Silent Companions.
Is prisoner Ruth Butterham mad or a murderer? Victim or villain? Dorothea and Ruth. Prison visitor and prisoner. Powerful and powerless.
Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder. When Dorothea's charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted with the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person's skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes.
But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.
The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations - of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses - will shake Dorothea's belief in rationality, and the power of redemption. Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 288 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
'A compelling slice of early Victorian gothic ... Vivid and well researched, this book is an evocative portrait of a society that punishes women who dare to contravene social norms ... as well as a splendid mystery with suitably melodramatic flourishes' - The Guardian
'The Silent Companions was a chillingly note-perfect take on Victorian gothic and [Purcell] makes a brilliant return to the genre with this much-anticipated tale ... Heart-pounding ... A classic Victorian tale of murder most foul, twisted with a curious supernatural thread' - Stylist
'Chilling ... All but the most cynical will find it hard to stop turning the pages' - The Observer
'Purcell's tale brilliantly captures the restricted lives of Victorian women, while pitting magical thinking against scientific rationale' - The Mail on Sunday
'The Corset is a contender for my Book of the Year. Ruth and Dorothea will live in my mind for a long time. Beautifully written, intricately plotted, a masterpiece' - Sarah Hilary
'A romping read with a deliciously dark conceit at its centre. Reminded me of Alias Grace. A worthy successor to The Silent Companions' - Kiran Millwood Hargrave
You may also be interested in...
“Guilty or innocent? You must decide...”
Immerse yourself in this dark world. This Victorian story is quite chilling from the start. Purcell’s beautiful sentences are deep and meaningful like an intricately woven piece of fabric. Fragile yet artistically... More
“Victim or villain....”
Laura Purcell’s debut novel ‘ Silent Companions ‘ was the Gothic novel of the year. With her second novel, she has proven that she is able to to weave another skin-tingling, heart stopping story of two women, Ruth and... More
An amazing story - it had me gripped from the beginning. It is so well written and I enjoyed every moment however dark,chilling and acute it became.
It is a great example of atmospheric writing. It had me- I was... More
Please sign in to write a review