Kept: A Novel (Paperback)

Kept: A Novel By D. J. Taylor Cover Image

Kept: A Novel (Paperback)


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When Henry Ireland dies unexpectedly from what appears to be a riding accident in August 1863, the failed landowner leaves behind little save his high-strung young widow, Isabel—who somehow ends up in the home of Ireland's friend James Dixey. A celebrated naturalist, Dixey collects strange trophies in his secluded, decaying manse and has questionable associations with rather unsavory characters—including a pair of thuggish poachers named Dewar and Dunbar. Dixey's precocious, inquisitive young servant, Esther, cannot turn a blind eye to the suspicious activities surrounding her. While in the crime-ridden streets of London, a determined captain of Scotland Yard follows the threads that may well link a daring train robbery to the disappearance of a disturbed heiress as well as to the possible murder of Henry Ireland.

D. J. Taylor's Kept is a gorgeously intricate, dazzling reinvention of Victorian life and passions that is also a riveting investigation into some of the darkest, most secret chambers of the human heart.

D. J. Taylor is a novelist, critic, and acclaimed biographer of William Thackeray and George Orwell. His Orwell: The Life won the Whitbread Award in 2003. Married with three children, he lives in Norwich, England.

Product Details ISBN: 9780061146091
ISBN-10: 0061146099
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: August 12th, 2008
Pages: 480
Language: English

“...a genuinely fascinating reading experience…a powerful contribution to the changing practice of historical fiction.” — Philippa Gregory, Sunday Times (London)

“A tour-de-force in the style of Dickens. The eccentrics and Victoriana are…captivating.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Intriguing.” — Charlotte Observer

“Taylor has captured the essence of the Victorian novel and weaves it through his gripping narrative.” — Library Journal

“A gripping tale, crafted with passion and intelligence, and an honorable addendum to the golden age of the English novel.” — Simon Baker, New Statesman

“A smartly satisfying novel…Intricate and vividly realized…a pin-sharp recreation of 19th century life....a playful reimagining of history” — Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Telegraph

“Kept is a great read. It intrigues, diverts and delights. It is clever and intricate and huge fun.” — Susan Hill, Guardian

“It is unlikely that many such offerings will equal, let alone surpass, D.J. Taylor’s Kept” — Francis King, Literary Review

“A marvel of intricacy and ingenuity. Dickens and his peers would surely have approved.” — Washington Times