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book cover of The Essex Serpent

The Essex Serpent

(2016)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
Costa Book Awards Best Novel (nominee)
An NPR and Kirkus Review Best Book of 2017, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year,

and a Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction. Winner of the British Book Awards Fiction Book of the Year and overall Book of the Year, selected as the Waterstones Book of the Year, and a Costa Book Award Finalist


"A novel of almost insolent ambition--lush and fantastical, a wild Eden behind a garden gate...it's part ghost story and part natural history lesson, part romance and part feminist parable. I found it so transporting that 48 hours after completing it, I was still resentful to be back home." -New York Times

"An irresistible new novel... the most delightful heroine since Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice... By the end, The Essex Serpent identifies a mystery far greater than some creature 'from the illuminated margins of a manuscript': friendship." -Washington Post

"Richly enjoyable... Ms. Perry writes beautifully and sometimes agreeably sharply... The Essex Serpent is a wonderfully satisfying novel. Ford Madox Ford thought the glory of the novel was its ability to make the reader think and feel at the same time. This one does just that." -Wall Street Journal

An exquisitely talented young British author makes her American debut with this rapturously acclaimed historical novel, set in late nineteenth-century England, about an intellectually minded young widow, a pious vicar, and a rumored mythical serpent that explores questions about science and religion, skepticism, and faith, independence and love.

When Cora Seaborne's brilliant, domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one. Wed at nineteen, this woman of exceptional intelligence and curiosity was ill-suited for the role of society wife. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space in the wake of the funeral, Cora leaves London for a visit to coastal Essex, accompanied by her inquisitive and obsessive eleven-year old son, Francis, and the boy's nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend.

While admiring the sites, Cora learns of an intriguing rumor that has arisen further up the estuary, of a fearsome creature said to roam the marshes claiming human lives. After nearly 300 years, the mythical Essex Serpent is said to have returned, taking the life of a young man on New Year's Eve. A keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, Cora is immediately enthralled, and certain that what the local people think is a magical sea beast may be a previously undiscovered species. Eager to investigate, she is introduced to local vicar William Ransome. Will, too, is suspicious of the rumors. But unlike Cora, this man of faith is convinced the rumors are caused by moral panic, a flight from true belief.

These seeming opposites who agree on nothing soon find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart - an intense relationship that will change both of their lives in ways entirely unexpected.

Hailed by Sarah Waters as "a work of great intelligence and charm, by a hugely talented author," The Essex Serpent is "irresistible . . . you can feel the influences of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, and Hilary Mantel channeled by Perry in some sort of Victorian seance. This is the best new novel I've read in years" (Daily Telegraph).

Genre: Historical    

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Used availability for Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent

Hardback Editions

June 2017 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Essex Serpent: A Novel
Author(s): Sarah Perry
ISBN: 0-06-266637-1 / 978-0-06-266637-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Custom House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


1780 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Essex Serpent
Author(s): Sarah Perry
ISBN: 1-78125-544-X / 978-1-78125-544-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Serpent's Tail
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

April 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Essex Serpent: A Novel
Author(s): Sarah Perry
ISBN: 0-06-266638-X / 978-0-06-266638-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Custom House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2017 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Essex Serpent: A Novel
Author(s): Sarah Perry
ISBN: 0-06-267038-7 / 978-0-06-267038-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: HarperLuxe
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2017 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Essex Serpent: A Novel
Author(s): Sarah Perry
ISBN: 0-06-269627-0 / 978-0-06-269627-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Custom House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 2017 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Essex Serpent: The number one bestseller and British Book Awards Book of the Year
Author(s): Sarah Perry
ISBN: 1-78125-545-8 / 978-1-78125-545-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Serpent's Tail
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 2016 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Essex Serpent: The number one bestseller and British Book Awards Book of the Year
Author(s): Sarah Perry
ISBN: 1-78125-801-5 / 978-1-78125-801-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Serpent's Tail
Availability: Amazon UK   


Audio Editions

June 2017 : Audio CD
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Title: The Essex Serpent: A Novel
Author(s): Sarah Perry
ISBN: 1-5384-1685-9 / 978-1-5384-1685-3
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2017 : Audio CD
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Title: The Essex Serpent: Library Edition
Author(s): Sarah Perry
ISBN: 1-5384-1686-7 / 978-1-5384-1686-0
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2017 : MP3 CD
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Title: The Essex Serpent
Author(s): Sarah Perry
ISBN: 1-5384-1687-5 / 978-1-5384-1687-7
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2017 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Essex Serpent: A Novel
Author(s): Sarah Perry
Publisher: Harper Audio
Availability: Amazon   


June 2017 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Essex Serpent: A Novel
Author(s): Sarah Perry
Publisher: Harper Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


July 2016 : UK Audio CD
thumb

Title: The Essex Serpent
Author(s): Sarah Perry
ISBN: 1-5100-4592-9 / 978-1-5100-4592-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 2016 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Essex Serpent
Author(s): Sarah Perry
Publisher: Lamplight Audio
Availability: Amazon   


July 2016 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Essex Serpent
Author(s): Sarah Perry
Publisher: Lamplight Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

June 2017 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Essex Serpent: A Novel
Author(s): Sarah Perry
Publisher: Custom House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


May 2016 : UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Essex Serpent: The number one bestseller and British Book Awards Book of the Year
Author(s): Sarah Perry
Publisher: Serpent's Tail
Availability: Amazon UK