The Physic Garden
'Beautiful - lyrical and sensual by turns.' Hilary Ely
The Physic Garden, the new novel by Catherine Czerkawska, is historical fiction at its most luxurious. It is, at heart, a moving love story examining the poisonous effect of betrayal. But, critically, it is also a tale set in a vividly evoked 19th century Britain – a place where our cultural traditions still prospered… and where the darker side of human nature was able to flourish.
Available March 2014. £8.99.
City life in the early nineteenth century was never short of drama: poverty and pollution preyed on all but the lucky few, and 'resurrection men' prowled the streets to procure corpses for anatomists to experiment on. Life is improving, however, for young William Lang, who begins courting Jenny, a fine needlewoman, and forms an unlikely friendship with botanist Dr Thomas Brown while working in a university physic garden.
At first, William relishes the opportunity to extend his knowledge of plants and their healing properties while foraging in the countryside in the service of his new friend. The young couple’s relationship blossoms until seeds of trouble threaten to grow out of control.
“This is not just a good novel. This, I contend, is a great novel. It is a beautiful, elegant, at times elegiac, expression and exploration of betrayal.” IEBR Review.
“Beautifully conceived and executed… It plays with our sympathies, informs us about the development of conflicting disciplines, sets urban against rural and so on and so on. It’s impossible to say in just a few words what makes it so good but take any aspect of the novelist’s art and you’ll find it exemplified here to perfection.” Bill Kirton.
More praise for Catherine Czerkawska:
“A powerful story about love and obligation.” John Burnside.
“Compelling… a satisfying blend of history, nature and romance.” The Scots Magazine.
“Moving, poetic and quietly provocative.” The Independent
“Heart-warming, realistic and page-turning.” Lorraine Kelly