It is 1792 and Europe is seized by political turmoil and violence. Lizzie Fawkes has grown up in Radical circles where each step of the French Revolution is followed with eager idealism. But she has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a property developer who is heavily invested in Bristol's housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war. Soon his plans for a magnificent terrace built above the two-hundred-foot drop of the Gorge come under threat. Diner believes that Lizzie's independent, questioning spirit must be coerced and subdued. She belongs to him: law and custom confirm it, and she must live as he wants. In a tense drama of public and private violence, resistance and terror, Diner's passion for Lizzie darkens until she finds herself dangerously alone.
Helen Dunmore is the author of fourteen novels. Her first, Zennor in Darkness, explored the events which led to D.H. Lawrence's expulsion from Cornwall (on suspicion of spying) during the First World War. It won the McKitterick Prize. Her third novel, A Spell of Winter, won the inaugural Orange Prize, now the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Siege, set during the Siege of Leningrad, was described by Antony Beevor as 'a world-class novel' and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year and the Orange Prize. Helen Dunmore's work has been translated into more than thirty languages and she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
"Like many of Dunmore's novels, Birdcage Walk defies categorisation ... a blend of beauty and horror evoked with such breath-taking poetry that it haunts me still ... she has an extraordinary gift for taking the ordinary and familiar and rendering them new. When Tredevant's growing unpredictability once more tightens the narrative, forcing the story back into the ominous and unsettling territory where it first began, it is easy to see why [Dunmore] has earned a place among the finest writers of historical fiction working today" Guardian "A finely wrought psychological thriller... a fitting contribution to Dunmore's extraordinary legacy" Daily Mail "This fine, fiery novel will surely be remembered as one of her best." -- Melissa Katsoulis The Times "Helen Dunmore's quietly historical novels are among the best fiction of our time" -- Jake Kerridge Daily Telegraph "This is the finest novel Helen Dunmore has written." -- Kate Kellaway Guardian
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