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Inside the Beautiful Inside

by Emily Bullock

Book Club Recommendations Books of the Month Historical Fiction Relationship Stories Star Books

LoveReading View on Inside the Beautiful Inside

Spiralling down into darkness this fascinating and compelling historical novel is based on the true story of an inmate of Bethlam Royal Hospital (Bedlam) between 1800 to 1815. James Norris an American, was restrained, chained to a bar and confined in isolation for more than ten years, here Emily Bullock takes a look at possibilities and makes them fly. James tells his own tale, the words slinking, twisting, disappearing into the fog of his memory and thoughts. Bedlam broods its way through the centre of this story, with other inmates and the keepers affecting the atmosphere. As James visits the past in his mind, his relationship, role as seaman, and even Fletcher Christian, famous for his part in the mutiny on the Bounty all entwine to explain the man James has become. The writing sparked vivid details in my minds eye, and although my heart physically ached at times, there are also moments of hope to be found within the pages. Inside the Beautiful Inside is a rather special book, it opens a door and shines a penetrating light of awareness into the shadows of history. Highly recommended.


Liz Robinson

Inside the Beautiful Inside Synopsis

A marine without his ship. A man without his liberty.

When the locks can’t hold James Norris they chain him, and when the chains won’t stay James Norris they fix him to a stake. But they still can’t take the thoughts out of his head. He is a man shackled to his own tragedies: the commission he never took; the family and friends he lost; the lover who betrayed him.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest meets Mutiny on the Bounty – an exploration of love, sanity, suffering, and compassion. Based on the true story of James Norris, an American marine who was chained to a stake for fourteen years in Bethlem, Hospital for the Insane (1800-15).

Will James Norris find what he is hunting for? Can he ever sail free?

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Inside the Beautiful Inside Press Reviews

'Astonishing- dazzling talent' AMANDA CRAIG.

'A turbulent and thrilling voyage on the high seas of madness.' ANN MORGAN

'Haunting,'   Sunday Times Best Historical Books of the Month for October 2020

‘Startlingly original and poetic—Bullock combines horror and brutality with unexpected moments of tenderness .’ Observer


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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781911427193
Publication date: 29/10/2020
Publisher: Everything with Words
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781911427193
Publication date: 29th October 2020
Author: Emily Bullock
Publisher: Everything with Words
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 240 pages
Genres: Book Club Recommendations, Books of the Month, Historical Fiction, Relationship Stories, Star Books,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Historical fiction, Historical adventure, Historical romance,

About Emily Bullock

Emily Bullock won the Bristol Short Story Prize with her story My Girl, which was also broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She worked in film before pursuing writing full time. Her memoir piece No One Plays Boxing was shortlisted for the Fish International Publishing Prize 2013 and her short story Zoom was longlisted for the Bath Short Story Prize 2014. She also won the National Writers in Education Conference (NAWE) Short Story Competition in 2013. She has a Creative Writing MA from the University of East Anglia and completed her PhD at the Open University, where she also teaches Creative Writing. The Longest Fight ...

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