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The English and the Exotic

Friday 28 March 2014

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Historical novelists Essie Fox and Wendy Wallace explore the themes of travel, freedom, spirituality and exoticism in the mid-Victorian era. They talk about the inspirations for their novels and the real-life tales woven into their fictional worlds, such as of the Rosetta Stone, of Egyptian and Hindu deities, of glamorous, deposed maharajahs and of diamonds said to be cursed.

The latest novels of Fox and Wallace take the reader to exotic eastern realms where the discovery of new cultures can lead to a new physical and spiritual freedom or a crisis of belief. Fox’s The Goddess and the Thief examines the Victorian obsession with the occult and spiritualism, and the fascination with Britain’s troubled relationship with the Raj. Wallace’s The Sacred River follows three very different women who leave London for an Egypt in the grip of an earlier Arab spring. What they find will profoundly affect them all.

Chaired by Lucy Atkins, author of The Missing One. Atkins appears with India Knight on March 29 to discuss ‘domestic chillers’.