The astonishing new historical novel from one of the UK's most talented literary writers
1891. London is simmering under an oppressive summer heatwave, the air thick with sexual repression. But a wave of morality is about to rock the capital as the puritans of the London Vigilance Committee seek out perversion and aberrant behaviour in all its forms.
Charles Webster, an impoverished photographer working for famed actor-manager Henry Irving at the Lyceum Theatre, has been sucked into a shadowy demi-monde which exists beneath the surface of civilized society. It is a world of pornographers and prostitutes, coralled under the sinister leadership of master manipulator Marlow, to whom Webster illicitly provides theatrical costumes for pornographic shoots.
But knowledge of this enterprise has somehow reached the Lyceum's upright theatre manager, Bram Stoker, who suspects Webster's involvement. As the net tightens around Marlow and his cohorts and public outrage sweeps the city, a member of the aristocracy is accused of killing a child prostitute...
“A clever, intriguing and very well-written novel about the moral landscape of late-Victorian London.”
“Edric mixes a potent brew ... The ending is a masterstroke of the ironic and macabre.”
“Sharply written, wholly engrossing ... not just an Edric novel, but the Edric novel”
“Place, time and atmosphere are conjured with impeccable lightness of touch”
“Gripping and entertaining read ... well told and absorbing”
Eastern Daily Press
“This book is a masterly evocation of London in the last decade of the nineteenth century.”