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Alix Nathan was born in London and educated there, and at York University where she read English and Music.
She has lived in Norwich, Munich, Philadelphia, Birkenhead and now in the Welsh Marches where, with her husband, she owns some ancient woodland.
She has published three children’s books and written about Christina Rossetti and the 18th century writer and notorious beauty Mary Robinson.
Since 2006 she has been writing adult fiction, both contemporary and historical. Her short stories have been published in Ambit, The London Magazine, New Welsh Review and read on BBC Radio 4.
A Sunday Times fiction book of the year 'She is an original, with a virtuoso touch' - Hilary Mantel 'An extraordinary, quite brilliant book' - C. J. Sansom 'A powerful and unsettling novel' - Andrew Taylor The year is 1793 and Herbert Powyss is set on making his name as a scientist. Determined to study the effects of prolonged solitude on another human being, he advertises for someone willing to live in his cellar for seven years in return for a generous financial reward. The only man to apply is John Warlow, a semi-literate farm labourer with a wife and six children to support. Cut off from nature, Warlow soon begins losing his grip on sanity while, above ground, Powyss rapidly becomes obsessed with Warlow's wife, Hannah. The experiment, a classic Enlightenment exercise gone more than a little mad, will have unforeseen consequences for all included. In this seductive tale of self-delusion and obsession, Alix Nathan has created an utterly transporting historical novel which is both elegant and unforgettably sinister. One of 2019's most high-profile hardback publications, now out in paperback. Featured on Radio Four's Book at Bedtime BBC History Magazine Best Historical Fiction of 2019
A Sunday Times fiction book of the year A Times Book of the Year A Daily Mail Historical Book of the Year 'An extraordinary, quite brilliant book' - C. J. Sansom 'Original and gripping' - The Times 'Powerful and unsettling' - Andrew Taylor 'Engrossing ... compelling' - The Sunday Times 'Powerful, imaginative' - Literary Review What kind of person keeps a man underground for seven years? And who would agree to be part of such an experiment? Herbert Powyss lives on a small estate in the Welsh Marches, with enough time and income to pursue a gentleman's fashionable cultivation of exotic plants and trees. But he longs to make his mark in the field of science - something consequential enough to present to the Royal Society in London. He hits on a radical experiment in isolation: for seven years a subject will inhabit three rooms in the cellar of the manor house, fitted out with books, paintings and even a chamber organ. Meals will arrive thrice daily via a dumbwaiter. The solitude will be totally unrelieved by any social contact; the subject will keep a diary of his daily thoughts and actions. The pay? Fifty pounds per annum, for life. Only one man is desperate enough to apply for the job: John Warlow, a semi-literate labourer with a wife and six children to provide for. The experiment, a classic Enlightenment exercise gone more than a little mad, will have unforeseen consequences for all included. In this seductive tale of self-delusion and obsession, Alix Nathan has created an utterly transporting historical novel which is both elegant and unforgettably sinister. BBC History Magazine Best Historical Fiction of 2019
Born in her father's coffee house in Change Alley, London, Sarah Battle is raised in a smoke-thick atmosphere of coffee and alcohol. Witnessing and suffering from the destruction of the Gordon Riots in 1780, she longs to escape her surroundings into a better life. Her first attempt is via marriage to a man who's not what she thinks he is. Her second sees her in the new, promising, democratic world of late 1790s Philadelphia where she experiences deep love and warm friendship. Meanwhile, not far from Battle's, lives Joseph Young, a highly talented, depressive engraver who picks up Lucy, a girl he finds collapsed in a doorway. Their fraught life, with its connection to an extreme, revolutionary group, contrasts with the joy of Sarah's brief stay in America. The two stories weave together and eventually merge in a final exhilarating and dangerous journey, during which Sarah's vision of both past and future reveals the direction of a new life. The Flight of Sarah Battle is set in the turbulent last decade of the 18th century in a London where riot constantly rumbles and Bartholomew Fair entertains, and Philadelphia, where new building, hope and a democracy not quite fully.
Travel to the revolutionary closing years of 18th century England. Meet Jack Cockshutt, arsonist by trade, returning to rescue his victims and profit from their relief, finding the woman who just might save him. Meet the beauty who castigates her customers with passages from Paine's Rights of Man; the boy who raises the tricolour on the White Tower; the labourer contracted to spend seven years locked up beneath a dilettante's country house. Meet Lappish women. Glimpse the picnic party of the Ottoman ambassador. A stunning new voice emerges with these strange and gemlike stories.
Pocket Tales is part of Pocket Reads, a superb collection of quality books that really capture children's imaginations! Pocket Reads have fantastic breadth and variety of genre, with Pocket Sci-Fi, Pocket Facts and Pocket Chillers making up the rest of the collection of independent readers. The fiction books are beautifully illustrated and are guaranteed to appeal to even the most reluctant of readers. The non-fiction readers are equally as stunning and will captivate and excite children with fascinating facts. The 105 pocket-sized fiction and non-fiction readers have each been carefully levelled to the National Curriculum and Book-Banded to ensure children make progression. You can therefore be assured that every reading experience is one that counts.