At the heart of this novel lies the fictional village of Ulverton. It is the fixed point in a book that spans three hundred years. Different voices tell the story of Ulverton: one of Cromwell's soldiers staggers home to find his wife remarried and promptly disappears, an eighteenth century farmer carries on an affair with a maid under his wife's nose, a mother writes letters to her imprisoned son, a 1980s real estate company discover a soldier's skeleton, dated to the time of Cromell...Told through diaries, sermons, letters, drunken pub conversations and film scripts this is a masterful novel that reconstructs the unrecorded history of England. "Sometimes you forget that it is a novel, and believe for a moment that you are really hearing the voice of the dead". (Hilary Mantel).
The sensational debut novel by Adam Thorpe, now regarded as a 20th century classic.
If you believe English fiction is jaded, you must read Adam Thorpe... Tender, precise, tragicomic and unsentimental. -- Hilary Mantel Independent on Sunday We arent used to the many deep matters Thorpe touches on, not to such a thorough grasp of the complex nature of our rural past, and through it, of all existence itself... Suddenly English lives again -- John Fowles Guardian These stories sing like psalms, robust and vibrant - a poet's novel and a celebration that no social historian would dare attempt Observer A superb and moving meditation on history, fate and the nature of time, Ulverton is at once a traditional fiction and a wholly successful testing of the limits of literary art -- John Banville Spanning three centuries and encompassing a startling variety of lives, this debut novel from poet Adam Thorpe is nothing less than a bravura performance... With Ulverton, Thorpe has woven his own enticing 'secret web'. This is no mere promising first novel, but a major work, heralding a brillant new voice in British fiction Washington Post
Adam Thorpe was born in Paris in 1956. His first novel, Ulverton, was published in 1992, and he has written nine others - most recently Flight - as well as six collections of poetry and two collections of stories. His new translation of Madame Bovary has just been published by Vintage. He lives in France with his wife and family.