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The Alchemist's Daughter by Katharine McMahon
  

The Alchemist's Daughter

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A name well worth remembering in the historical fiction area. Its the 18th century and a scientist attempts to use his intelligent and beautiful daughter in a bold and secret experiment but while his back is turned she begins a passionate and far-reaching relationship which has a tumultuous impact on them. Brilliantly written and a real page-turner.

If you like Katharine McMahon you might also like to read books by Sarah Waters, Meg Clothier and Neal Stephenson.

Synopsis

The Alchemist's Daughter by Katharine McMahon

Dark secrets haunt the manor house at Selden in Buckinghamshire, where Emilie Selden, motherless, fiercely intelligent and more beautiful than she realises, has been raised in near isolation by her father.

John Selden, student of Isaac Newton, is conducting a bold and secret experiment. He aims to turn Emilie into a brilliant natural philosopher and alchemist. Secluded in his ancient manor house, with only their two servants for company, he fills her with knowledge and records every step she takes.

In the spring of 1725, when Emilie is eighteen, father and daughter begin their most daring alchemical adventure of all - an attempt to breathe life into dead matter. But their work is interrupted by the arrival of two strangers, one a researcher into the life of plants, the other a dazzling young merchant. During the course of a sultry August, whilst her father is away, Emilie is caught up in the passion of first love and, listening for the first time to her heart rather than her head, she makes her choice…with consequences that are far-reaching and tumultuous.

Reviews

Perfectly timed and modulated not only to draw us in and wring us out but also to reveal the spirit of a time. -- The Boston Globe

Rich in period detail, this historical novel has all the right trappings. -- Daily News

Beautifully crafted . . . lavishly furnished with period details and intriguing characters. --Diana Gabaldon, New York Times bestselling author of A Breath of Snow and Ashes , The Washington Post

Evocative, compelling, and beautifully written . . . explosive secrets abound not only in the mysterious alchemy laboratory and in sprawling, seething London during the Age of Reason--but also in the heroine's heart. --Karen Harper, USA Today bestselling author of The Last Boleyn


About the Author

Katharine McMahon

Katharine McMahon was our Guest Editor in April 2010 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing.

Katharine McMahon is the author of seven historical novels including The Alchemist’s Daughter, a Waterstone’s Paperback of the Year in 2006, the bestselling Rose of Sebastopol, a Richard & Judy Book Club selection in 2008, and The Crimson Rooms. She has taught in secondary schools, performed in local theatre and worked as a Royal Literary Fund fellow teaching writing skills at the Universities of Hertfordshire and Warwick. She lives in Hertfordshire. She relies on research to uncover connections and revelations in history which will plant the seeds for a novel - and is currently engaged, with some trepidation, in a book set during The French Revolution.

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Book Info

Publication date

6th September 2006

Author

Katharine McMahon

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Author's Website

www.katharinemcmahon.com/

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Publisher

Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Format

Paperback
320 pages

Categories

Historical Fiction
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780753821312

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