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The Warlow Experiment, Hardback Book

The Warlow Experiment Hardback

Hardback

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A Sunday Times fiction book of the yearA Times Book of the YearA 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 ReviewWhat 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

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