The Essex Serpent (Hardback)
  • The Essex Serpent (Hardback)

The Essex Serpent (Hardback)

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Hardback Published: 27/05/2016
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Strange News Out of Essex...

The Essex earth had bucked as if trying to shake off all its towns and villages; for twenty seconds, no more, a series of convulsions that paused once as if breath were being drawn and then began again.

Now and again, books fall across our path that for even us as booksellers suddenly underline the sheer brilliance of just what a novel can achieve. The Essex Serpent is just such a book, effortlessly skipping between genres and written with astonishingly acute clarity. Reading copies suddenly became as gold dust between staff, the surest sign that Sarah Perry’s second novel was indeed something rather special.

Set in 1893 and firmly rooted in the author’s home county of Essex, the novel centres on the character of Cora Seaborne, a widow freed from a controlling, unhappy marriage. Retreating to the Essex countryside with her son, she hears the rumours surrounding the so-called ‘Essex Serpent’, a creature of folklore being blamed for a spate of deaths and disturbances and the cause of escalating panic in the local community. Her ensuing investigations bring her into contact with a clergyman, William Ransome, a man convinced of finding the answer to local hysteria in faith, just as Cora is on finding it in science. Despite their differing opinions, their lives become ever-more enmeshed, finding themselves bound to each other in ways neither could anticipate.

the_essex_serpent_muralOur The Essex Serpent mural at Waterstones Manchester Deansgate

‘Fertile, open, vocal about its own origins and passions, crammed with incident, characters and plot… narrative and voice coil together until it is very difficult to stop reading.’ – M John Harrison, The Guardian

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd

ISBN: 9781781255445

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781781255445

Waterstones Southend Book Club- The Essex Serpent.

Waterstones Southend Book Club- The Essex Serpent.

Tuesday 11th October 18:00

This month we are very excited to be reading The Essex Serpent, the newest offering by acclaimed author Sarah Perry. Rich, intelligent and highly enjoyable, it is a historical classic with gothic undertones and a great amount of love and humanity at its core.


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Hardback edition
21st March 2016
Helpful? Upvote 21

“It will match any Victorian mystery”

Cora Seaborne has moved to Aldwinter, an Essex parish, upon the burial of her husband. Rumours are rife that the Essex Serpent, a marsh-dwelling creature first seen in the 17th Century, has returned, leaving Cora... More

Hardback edition
26th May 2016
Helpful? Upvote 17

“A glorious sense of place”

This is a wonderful book, with a glorious sense of place and a delightful cast of characters - I loved Cora Seaborne and everything she stood for & hope to meet her again at some point.

Hardback edition
16th April 2016
Helpful? Upvote 17

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