Spirit of the Place
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The March cover of BfK features Dilly the Dinosaur who is 10 years old this year. Her author, Tony Bradman, is the subject of our Authorgraph this month. We are grateful to Reed Books for their help in reproducing this illustration from Susan Hellard's original artwork.
Shades of Peter Ackroyd in this time slip novel. Eighteenth-century poet and scientist, Nicholas Fowler, believes that Man's destiny is to perfect Nature. He commissions large scale landscaping, builds a grotto and experiments with electricity at his country estate, Coswold. Modern-day Literature undergrad, Lindsey Lovelock, chooses Fowler as the subject of her major study while boyfriend, Rod, is more interested in the genetic research that's taking place there. The historical scenes as Fowler incurs the fear and loathing of servants and neighbours are inter-cut with modern times - Lindsey, in a hospital bed suffering from amnesia, and Rod being questioned by the police about a break out from Coswold. Slowly the story is pieced together and, yes, Fowler, Lindsey and Rod did make contact across the centuries. It's all very cleverly done and with references to Pope, to a number of Fowler's Philosophical Odes (courtesy of the author), and much debate and discussion, this is one for potential A* Literature candidates I think.