Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Kate's Reading Challenge: Book Fourteen

No.14. "The Quickening Maze" by Adam Foulds (Vintage, 2010)

I've always been a big fan of English poet John Clare (I even made a short film about him at University) so this has been on my 'must read' list for some time now.

"The Quickening Maze" depicts a portion of the time that Clare spent at High Beach Asylum in Essex where he was incarcenated for four years before walking all the way home to Northampton. As Clare meanders amongst the dense labyrinths of Epping forest he manically composes poems and searches for his childhood sweetheart. Meanwhile the Asylum's ambitious owner Dr Matthew Allen is hatching a plan to make a fortune with the help of his young wealthy benefactor Alfred Tennyson.

This is a wonderful blend of fact and fiction and the subject matter is complemented so beautifully by Foulds's wandering, poetic style.

Started: May 1st Finished: May 15th

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