A Novel of the Revolution
By Patrick Mcgrath
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375701313, 384pp.)
Publication Date: May 14, 2002
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When Ambrose Tree is summoned by his ancient uncle to the brooding mansion Drogo Hall, he suspects it’s to hear the old man’s dying words and then collect a sizable inheritance. He has no idea he is about to learn the bizarre story of Harry Peake, Cornish smuggler turned poet who became a monster capable of the most horrifying acts. Or that he’s about to become psychologically enmeshed in the riveting life of Harry’s daughter, Martha, who flees her father for colonial America where she becomes a heroic figure in the revolution against England. Or that he himself has a crucial role to play in this mesmerizing tale as it rushes headlong and hauntingly toward its powerful climax. Martha Peake is a spellbinding alloy of Gothic mystery and historical romance.
Patrick McGrath was born in London and grew up near Broadmoor Hospital, where for many years his father was medical superintendent. He is the author of Blood and Water and Other Tales, The Grotesque, Spider, and Dr. Haggard's Disease, and he was the co-editor, with Bradford Morrow, of The New York Gothic. He lives in New York City and London, and is married to actress Maria Aitken.
“An uncommon storyteller . . . . McGrath demonstrates his trademark ability to probe the layers of the human psyche.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“Unputdownable.” –The Washington Post
“A sweeping mytho-historical novel par excellence . . . .” –Minneapolis Star Tribune
“[Martha Peake] has rare qualities of power and urgency. . . . [Readers] are carried along by the eloquence and the energy and the brilliantly managed narrative pace.” –The New York Times Book Review