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The Quickening Maze A Novel

ISBN: 9780143117797 | 0143117793
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pub. Date: 6/29/2010

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Set in a world of disorder and unpredictable dramas, The Quickening Maze is a deeply affecting work of intense and atmospheric imagination. Finalist for the Man Booker Prize. Based on real events in 1840, Foulds's compelling tale centres on the life of the great nature poet John Clare. After years spent struggling with alcohol, critical neglect and depression, Clare finds himself in High Beach Asylum, built within Epping Forest. At the same time, the young Alfred Tennyson moves nearby and becomes entangled in the life and catastrophic schemes of the asylum's owner, the peculiar yet charismatic Dr Matthew Allen. Historically accurate but brilliantly imagined, the closed world of High Beach and its various inmates -- the doctor, his lonely daughter in love with Tennyson, the brutish staff and John Clare himself -- are brought vividly to life, as are depictions of life outside the walls, and Clare's dreams of home, redemption and escape.

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