Rebecca Stott - Author

About the Author

Rebecca Stott is a writer and broadcaster. She writes both fiction and non-fiction, is affiliated to the Cambridge history of science department and is Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at UEA. Her work, in radio writing, fiction and non-fiction, weaves together history, literature and the history of science. She is the author of the non-fiction book Darwin and the Barnacle.

Featured books by Rebecca Stott

In the Days of Rain

In the Days of Rain

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/05/2017

In the vein of Bad Blood and Why be Happy when you can be Normal?: an enthralling, at times shocking, and deeply personal family memoir of growing up in, and breaking away from, a fundamentalist Christian cult. `At university when I made new friends and confidantes, I couldn't explain how I'd become a teenage mother, or shoplifted books for years, or why I was afraid of the dark and had a compulsion to rescue people, without explaining about the Brethren or the God they made for us, and the Rapture they told us was coming. But then I couldn't really begin to talk about the Brethren without explaining about my father...' As Rebecca Stott's father lay dying he begged her to help him write the memoir he had been struggling with for years. He wanted to tell the story of their family, who, for generations had all been members of a fundamentalist Christian sect. Yet, each time he reached a certain point, he became tangled in a thicket of painful memories and could not go on. The sect were a closed community who believed the world is ruled by Satan: non-sect books were banned, women were made to wear headscarves and those who disobeyed the rules were punished. Rebecca was born into the sect, yet, as an intelligent, inquiring child she was always asking dangerous questions. She would discover that her father, an influential preacher, had been asking them too, and that the fault-line between faith and doubt had almost engulfed him. In In the Days of Rain Rebecca gathers the broken threads of her father's story, and her own, and follows him into the thicket to tell of her family's experiences within the sect, and the decades-long aftermath of their breaking away.

Other books by Rebecca Stott

In the Days of Rain Winner of the 2017 Costa Biography Award

In the Days of Rain Winner of the 2017 Costa Biography Award

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/12/2017

WINNER OF THE 2017 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD In the vein of Bad Blood and Why be Happy when you can be Normal?: an enthralling, at times shocking, and deeply personal family memoir of growing up in, and breaking away from, a fundamentalist Christian cult. As heard on Jeremey Vine `At university when I made new friends and confidantes, I couldn't explain how I'd become a teenage mother, or shoplifted books for years, or why I was afraid of the dark and had a compulsion to rescue people, without explaining about the Brethren or the God they made for us, and the Rapture they told us was coming. But then I couldn't really begin to talk about the Brethren without explaining about my father...' As Rebecca Stott's father lay dying he begged her to help him write the memoir he had been struggling with for years. He wanted to tell the story of their family, who, for generations had all been members of a fundamentalist Christian sect. Yet, each time he reached a certain point, he became tangled in a thicket of painful memories and could not go on. The sect were a closed community who believed the world is ruled by Satan: non-sect books were banned, women were made to wear headscarves and those who disobeyed the rules were punished. Rebecca was born into the sect, yet, as an intelligent, inquiring child she was always asking dangerous questions. She would discover that her father, an influential preacher, had been asking them too, and that the fault-line between faith and doubt had almost engulfed him. In In the Days of Rain Rebecca gathers the broken threads of her father's story, and her own, and follows him into the thicket to tell of her family's experiences within the sect, and the decades-long aftermath of their breaking away.

In the Days of Rain

In the Days of Rain

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: eBook Release Date: 04/07/2017

A father-daughter story that tells of the author's experience growing up in a separatist fundamentalist Christian cult, from the author of the national bestseller GhostwalkRebecca Stott grew up in in Brighton, England, as a fourth-generation member of the Exclusive Brethren, a cult that believed the world is ruled by Satan. In this closed community, books that didn't conform to the sect's rules were banned, women were subservient to men and were made to dress modestly and cover their heads, and those who disobeyed the rules were punished and shamed. Yet Rebecca's father, Roger Stott, a high-ranking Brethren minister, was a man of contradictions: he preached that the Brethren should shun the outside world, yet he kept a radio in the trunk of his car and hid copies of Yeats and Shakespeare behind the Brethren ministries. Years later, when the Stotts broke with the Brethren after a scandal involving the cult's leader, Roger became an actor, filmmaker, and compulsive gambler who left the family penniless and ended up in jail. A curious child, Rebecca spent her insular childhood asking questions about the world and trying to glean the answers from forbidden library books. Only when she was an adult and her father was dying of cancer did she begin to understand all that had occurred during those harrowing years. It was then that Roger Stott handed her the memoir he had begun writing about the period leading up to what he referred to as the traumatic ';Nazi decade,' the years in the 1960s in which he and other Brethren leaders enforced coercive codes of behavior that led to the breaking apart of families, the shunning of members, even suicides. Now he was trying to examine that time, and his complicity in it, and he asked Rebecca to write about it, to expose all that was kept hidden. In the Days of Rain is Rebecca Stott's attempt to make sense of her childhood in the Exclusive Brethren, to understand her father's role in the cult and in the breaking apart of her family, and to come to be at peace with her relationship with a larger-than-life figure whose faults were matched by a passion for life, a thirst for knowledge, and a love of literature and beauty. A father-daughter story as well as a memoir of growing up in a closed-off community and then finding a way out of it, this is an inspiring and beautiful account of the bonds of family and the power of self-invention.Praise for In the Days of Rain';A marvelous, strange, terrifying book, somehow finding words both for the intensity of a childhood locked in a tyrannical secret world, and for the lifelong aftershocks of being liberated from it.'Francis Spufford, author of Golden Hill ';Writers are forged in strange fires, but none stranger than Rebecca Stott's. By rights, her memoir of her father and her early childhood inside a closed fundamentalist sect obsessed by the Rapture ought to be a horror story. But while the historian in her is merciless in exposing the cruelties and corruption involved, Rebecca the child also lights up the book, existing in a world of vivid play, dreams, even nightmares, so passionate and imaginative that it helps explain how she survived, andeven more miraculousfound the compassion and understanding to do justice to the story of her father and the painful family life he created.'Sarah Dunant, author of The Birth of Venus

In the Days of Rain

In the Days of Rain

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: eBook Release Date: 01/06/2017

WINNER OF THE 2017 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD In the vein of Bad Blood and Why be Happy when you can be Normal?: an enthralling, at times shocking, and deeply personal family memoir of growing up in, and breaking away from, a fundamentalist Christian cult. As heard on Jeremey Vine `At university when I made new friends and confidantes, I couldn't explain how I'd become a teenage mother, or shoplifted books for years, or why I was afraid of the dark and had a compulsion to rescue people, without explaining about the Brethren or the God they made for us, and the Rapture they told us was coming. But then I couldn't really begin to talk about the Brethren without explaining about my father...' As Rebecca Stott's father lay dying he begged her to help him write the memoir he had been struggling with for years. He wanted to tell the story of their family, who, for generations had all been members of a fundamentalist Christian sect. Yet, each time he reached a certain point, he became tangled in a thicket of painful memories and could not go on. The sect were a closed community who believed the world is ruled by Satan: non-sect books were banned, women were made to wear headscarves and those who disobeyed the rules were punished. Rebecca was born into the sect, yet, as an intelligent, inquiring child she was always asking dangerous questions. She would discover that her father, an influential preacher, had been asking them too, and that the fault-line between faith and doubt had almost engulfed him. In In the Days of Rain Rebecca gathers the broken threads of her father's story, and her own, and follows him into the thicket to tell of her family's experiences within the sect, and the decades-long aftermath of their breaking away.

In the Days of Rain

In the Days of Rain

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/05/2017

In the vein of Bad Blood and Why be Happy when you can be Normal?: an enthralling, at times shocking, and deeply personal family memoir of growing up in, and breaking away from, a fundamentalist Christian cult. `At university when I made new friends and confidantes, I couldn't explain how I'd become a teenage mother, or shoplifted books for years, or why I was afraid of the dark and had a compulsion to rescue people, without explaining about the Brethren or the God they made for us, and the Rapture they told us was coming. But then I couldn't really begin to talk about the Brethren without explaining about my father...' As Rebecca Stott's father lay dying he begged her to help him write the memoir he had been struggling with for years. He wanted to tell the story of their family, who, for generations had all been members of a fundamentalist Christian sect. Yet, each time he reached a certain point, he became tangled in a thicket of painful memories and could not go on. The sect were a closed community who believed the world is ruled by Satan: non-sect books were banned, women were made to wear headscarves and those who disobeyed the rules were punished. Rebecca was born into the sect, yet, as an intelligent, inquiring child she was always asking dangerous questions. She would discover that her father, an influential preacher, had been asking them too, and that the fault-line between faith and doubt had almost engulfed him. In In the Days of Rain Rebecca gathers the broken threads of her father's story, and her own, and follows him into the thicket to tell of her family's experiences within the sect, and the decades-long aftermath of their breaking away.

In the Days of Rain Winner of the 2017 Costa Biography Award

In the Days of Rain Winner of the 2017 Costa Biography Award

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/05/2017

WINNER OF THE 2017 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD In the vein of Bad Blood and Why be Happy when you can be Normal?: an enthralling, at times shocking, and deeply personal family memoir of growing up in, and breaking away from, a fundamentalist Christian cult. As heard on Jeremey Vine `At university when I made new friends and confidantes, I couldn't explain how I'd become a teenage mother, or shoplifted books for years, or why I was afraid of the dark and had a compulsion to rescue people, without explaining about the Brethren or the God they made for us, and the Rapture they told us was coming. But then I couldn't really begin to talk about the Brethren without explaining about my father...' As Rebecca Stott's father lay dying he begged her to help him write the memoir he had been struggling with for years. He wanted to tell the story of their family, who, for generations had all been members of a fundamentalist Christian sect. Yet, each time he reached a certain point, he became tangled in a thicket of painful memories and could not go on. The sect were a closed community who believed the world is ruled by Satan: non-sect books were banned, women were made to wear headscarves and those who disobeyed the rules were punished. Rebecca was born into the sect, yet, as an intelligent, inquiring child she was always asking dangerous questions. She would discover that her father, an influential preacher, had been asking them too, and that the fault-line between faith and doubt had almost engulfed him. In In the Days of Rain Rebecca gathers the broken threads of her father's story, and her own, and follows him into the thicket to tell of her family's experiences within the sect, and the decades-long aftermath of their breaking away.

Tennyson

Tennyson

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/01/2017

Alternative approaches have emerged which have radically altered our understanding of Tennyson's poetry and his relationship to the Victorian age. This text covers the most significant areas of new work on Tennyson, effectively linking feminist and gender studies with deconstructive, psychoanalytic and linguistic attention. The Introduction discusses ways in which orthodox critical approaches have dominated readings of Tennyson's poetry and provides a critical overview of the radical reappraisal of his work. It also provides a guide to the varied ways in which these new debates have shaped and are shaping themselves, with a final discussion of the future directions which Tennyson criticism is likely to take. The essays chosen cover and reflect a range of modes of critical enquiry compelling in themselves.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Author: Rebecca Stott, Simon Avery Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/01/2017

This volume will provide students with an introduction to the poetry and life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, one of the most popular poets of her day in Britain and America and who has become one of the great icons of Victorianism for the modern age. The authors present a biographical survey, study of her poetry, its critical reception and an assessment of her influence on later poets. This book also examines the complex 'myths' which are associated with Elizabeth Barrett Browning and offers re-readings of her life and work, particularly in dispelling the myth of the ailing invalid poet-recluse and instead showing her to be one of the great intellectuals of her day, immersed in European history and politics from a very early age. The book situates Browning within broader historical,political and cultural contexts than have yet been examined enabling a better understanding of her poetry and paints the portrait of a fine and innovative poet, an intellectual and an astute political thinker.

Darwin's Ghosts In Search of the First Evolutionists

Darwin's Ghosts In Search of the First Evolutionists

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/05/2013

Soon after publication of On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin received a letter that deeply unsettled him. He had expected outrage and accusations of heresy, but this letter was different: it accused him of taking credit for a theory that wasn't his. Yet when he tried to trace his intellectual forebears, he found that history had already forgotten them... Rediscovering Aristotle on the shores of Lesbos and Leonardo da Vinci fossil hunting in the Tuscan hills, this is a masterful retelling of the collective daring of a few like-minded men, whose early theories flew in the face of prevailing political and religious orthodoxies and laid the foundations for Darwin's revolutionary idea.

Darwin's Ghosts

Darwin's Ghosts

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: eBook Release Date: 12/06/2012

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK';[An] extraordinarily wide-ranging and engaging book [about] the men who shaped the work of Charles Darwin . . . a book that enriches our understanding of how the struggle to think new thoughts is shared across time and space and people.'The Sunday Telegraph (London)Christmas, 1859. Just one month after the publication of On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin received an unsettling letter. He had expected criticism; in fact, letters were arriving daily, most expressing outrage and accusations of heresy. But this letter was different. It accused him of failing to acknowledge his predecessors, of taking credit for a theory that had already been discovered by others. Darwin realized that he had made an error in omitting from Origin of Species any mention of his intellectual forebears. Yet when he tried to trace all of the natural philosophers who had laid the groundwork for his theory, he found that history had already forgotten many of them. Darwin's Ghosts tells the story of the collective discovery of evolution, from Aristotle, walking the shores of Lesbos with his pupils, to Al-Jahiz, an Arab writer in the first century, from Leonardo da Vinci, searching for fossils in the mine shafts of the Tuscan hills, to Denis Diderot in Paris, exploring the origins of species while under the surveillance of the secret police, and the brilliant naturalists of the Jardin de Plantes, finding evidence for evolutionary change in the natural history collections stolen during the Napoleonic wars. Evolution was not discovered single-handedly, Rebecca Stott argues, contrary to what has become standard lore, but is an idea that emerged over many centuries, advanced by daring individuals across the globe who had the imagination to speculate on nature's extraordinary ways, and who had the courage to articulate such speculations at a time when to do so was often considered heresy. With each chapter focusing on an early evolutionary thinker, Darwin's Ghosts is a fascinating account of a diverse group of individuals who, despite the very real dangers of challenging a system in which everything was presumed to have been created perfectly by God, felt compelled to understand where we came from. Ultimately, Stott demonstrates, ideasincluding evolution itselfevolve just as animals and plants do, by intermingling, toppling weaker notions, and developing over stretches of time. Darwin's Ghosts presents a groundbreaking new theory of an idea that has changed our very understanding of who we are.Praise for Darwin's Ghosts ';Absorbing . . . Stott captures the breathless excitement of an investigation on the cusp of the unknown. . . . A lively, original book.'The New York Times Book Review ';Stott's research is broad and unerring; her book is wonderful. . . . An exhilarating romp through 2,000 years of fascinating scientific history.'Nature ';Stott brings Darwin himself to life. . . . [She] writes with a novelist's flair. . . . Darwin and the ';ghosts' so richly described in Ms. Stott's enjoyable book are the descendants of Aristotle and Bacon and the ancestors of today's scientists.'The Wall Street Journal ';Riveting . . . Stott has done a wonderful job in showing just how many extraordinary people had speculated on where we came from before the great theorist dispelled all doubts.'The Guardian (U.K.)From the Hardcover edition.

The Coral Thief

The Coral Thief

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/11/2010

A powerful and gripping historical thriller for fans of The Essex Serpernt and The Miniaturist. 'Original and evocative ... a mesmerising thriller' Daily Telegraph 'Full of twists and turns' Scotsman 'An enthralling exploration of revolutionary science in post-revolutionary France' Guardian 'A book of penetrating humanity and a vivid evocation of Paris' Financial Times Paris, 1815. Daniel Connor, a young medical student from Edinburgh, has just arrived in Paris to study anatomy at the Jardin des Plantes - only to realise that his letters of introduction and a gift of precious coral specimens, on which his tenure depends, have been stolen by the beautiful woman with whom he shared a stagecoach. In the fervour and tumult of post revolutionary Paris, nothing is quite as it seems. In trying to recover his lost valuables, Daniel discovers that his beautiful adversary is in fact a philosopher-thief who lives in a shadowy world of outlaws and emigres. As Daniel embark on a passionate love affair with the Coral Thief, he is drawn to join her salon of thieves to execute one last breathtakingly bold robbery...

Ghostwalk

Ghostwalk

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: eBook Release Date: 08/05/2007

A Cambridge historian, Elizabeth Vogelsang, is found drowned, clutching a glass prism in her hand. The book she was writing about Isaac Newtons involvement with alchemythe culmination of her lifelong obsession with the seventeenth centuryremains unfinished. When her son, Cameron, asks his former lover, Lydia Brooke, to ghostwrite the missing final chapters of his mothers book, Lydia agrees and moves into Elizabeths housea studio in an orchard where the light moves restlessly across the walls. Soon Lydia discovers that the shadow of violence that has fallen across present-day Cambridge, which escalates to a series of murders, may have its origins in the troubling evidence that Elizabeths research has unearthed. As Lydia becomes ensnared in a dangerous conspiracy that reawakens ghosts of the past, the seventeenth century slowly seeps into the twenty-first, with the city of Cambridge the bridge between them.Filled with evocative descriptions of Cambridge, past and present, Ghostwalk centers around a real historical mystery that Rebecca Stott has uncovered involving Newtons alchemy. In it, time and relationships are entangledthe present with the seventeenth century, and figures from the past with the love-torn twenty-first-century woman who is trying to discover their secrets.A stunningly original display of scholarship and imagination, and a gripping story of desire and obsession, Ghostwalk is a rare debut that will change the way most of us think about scientific innovation, the force of history, and time itself.From the Compact Disc edition.

Oyster

Oyster

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2004

As everybody knows, oysters are the ultimate aphrodisiac. Casanova is said to have eaten 50 raw oysters every morning with his mistress of the moment, in a bathtub designed for two. Whether oysters truly have exciting properties is open to debate, but like all seafoods, they contain high amounts of phosphorus and iodine, which are believed to be conducive to stamina. Author and food expert M.F.K. Fisher wrote: 'There are many reasons why an oyster is supposed to have this desirable quality ...Most of them are physiological, and have to do with an oyster's odour, its consistency, and probably its strangeness.' As well as an aphrodisiac, the oyster has since the earliest times been an inspiration to philosophers, artists, poets, chefs, gourmets, epicures and jewellers. It has been pursued by poachers and thieves, and defended by oyster-police and parliaments. In Oyster, literary historian and radio broadcaster Rebecca Stott tells the extraordinary story of the oyster and its pearl, revealing how this curious creature has been used and depicted in human culture and what it has variously meant to those who have either loved or loathed it: the Romans carried much-sought-after British oysters across the Alps on the backs of donkeys to be eaten as delicacies at banquets in Rome, whilst by contrast Woody Allen once famously said 'I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead - not sick, not wounded - dead'. Using many unusual images and anecdotes, Oyster will appeal to oyster lovers and haters everywhere, and for those too who have an interest in the way animals such as the oyster have woven themselves into the fabric of our culture.

Darwin and the Barnacle

Darwin and the Barnacle

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/03/2004

The story of one tiny creature and history's most spectacular scientific breakthrough. In 1846, Charles Darwin has a secret: an essay, sealed in an envelope and locked in his study drawer, which will overturn human understanding of time and nature forever. Now he must publish and take the consequences. But he hesitates. First, Darwin decides to undertake just one small task: to solve the riddle of a tiny barnacle he picked up on the shores of Southern Chile, the last of his Beagle specimens. As it turns out, he could not have made a more fateful choice. Barnacles are common to almost every shoreline in the world, but this barnacle doesn't fit established definitions or accepted archetypes. He promises himself a month or so studying this creature, this potential key, to try to understand the process of natural selection within this particular species. But eight years later, his study filled with hundreds of barnacle specimens in labelled pill-boxes posted from around the world, the case is still unclosed. Was Darwin hesitating? Or was he testing his 'dangerous idea' to destruction? Lavishly illustrated and superbly told, Darwin and the Barnacle is the fascinating story of how genius sometimes proceeds through indirection - and how one small item of curiosity contributed to history's most spectacular scientific breakthrough.

Theatres of Glass

Theatres of Glass

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/10/2003

In the winter of 1847, the cloisters of Westminster Abbey enjoyed a sudden growth in popularity - though the visitors who streamed in were not of the usual kind. They were naturalists, come to see the very first marine aquarium in England, a large collection of madrepores and sea sponges kept in glass cases in the drawing-room of Ashburnham House. The Abbey aquarium was established not by the Revered Lord John Thynne, the Sub-Dean of the Abbey, but by his extraordinary wife Anna, a great beauty and mother of 10 children, who by a process of serendipity, discovered how to keep and breed her pet sea creatures in glass tanks in central London. Anna's invention of the aquarium coincided with a major philosophical turning point in history. Married to a clergyman, she found herself working in a field which cut right through to the heart of the prevailing conflict about the origins and development of life on the planet.

Grammar & Writing

Grammar & Writing

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/01/2001

Grammar and Writing is a practical book designed to be used by writers of all kinds who want to improve their knowledge of language in order to develop and improve their writing skills. The authors explaingrammatical terms in an accessible manner, through close attention to the way language is used in specific extracts from literary and non-literary writing.

Writing With Style

Writing With Style

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/12/2000

The book shows that advanced writing skills are best learnt from studying the prose styles and techniques of already established writers, and that any judgement about the quality of writing must take into account the use to which it is put and the audience for whom it is intended.

Speaking Your Mind: Oral Presentation and Seminar Skills

Speaking Your Mind: Oral Presentation and Seminar Skills

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/11/2000

This book is designed with the belie that the key to good speaking is an awareness of audience and context and knowledge of the techniques of argumentation or rhetoric.

Making Your Case: A Practical Guide to Essay Writing

Making Your Case: A Practical Guide to Essay Writing

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/01/2000

Writers investigate and learn about the processes of essay writing - from collecting information, identifying an argument and designing a plan to editing, proof-reading and referencing.

The Fabrication of the Late-Victorian Femme Fatale The Kiss of Death

The Fabrication of the Late-Victorian Femme Fatale The Kiss of Death

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/11/1992

This book examines the rise of the femme fatale as a prominant fictional type in late nineteenth-century British culture. As a stereotype she has been 'fabricated', that is to say constructed as a 'figure in the carpet' of the fin-de-siecle. The book argues that Rider Haggard's She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed , Bram Stoker's female vampires and Conrad's destructive Malayan or African women, even Hardy's Tess , are all caught up in a series of late nineteenth-century contexts: biological determinism, imperialism, race, theories about female sexuality, degeneration and evolutionary theory.

The Fabrication of the Late-Victorian Femme Fatale The Kiss of Death

The Fabrication of the Late-Victorian Femme Fatale The Kiss of Death

Author: Rebecca Stott Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/11/1992

This book examines the rise of the femme fatale as a prominant fictional type in late nineteenth-century British culture. As a stereotype she has been 'fabricated', that is to say constructed as a 'figure in the carpet' of the fin-de-siecle. The book argues that Rider Haggard's She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed , Bram Stoker's female vampires and Conrad's destructive Malayan or African women, even Hardy's Tess , are all caught up in a series of late nineteenth-century contexts: biological determinism, imperialism, race, theories about female sexuality, degeneration and evolutionary theory.

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