The Words in My Hand
-19 %

The Words in My Hand

Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2016
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Guinevere Glasfurd
561 g
233x151x38 mm

A young servant girl desperate to learn.
An ambitious philosopher in search of the truth.
A story lost from history.
Set against the backdrop of the Scientific Revolution, a time of change but also of great danger, The Words In My Hand is a debut novel of harrowing beauty, in the vein of Girl With A Pearl Earring and The Miniaturist.
font size="+1"Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award
Shortlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award
The Times Book of the Month The Words in My Hand is the reimagined true story of Helena Jans, a Dutch maid in 17th century Amsterdam working for an English bookseller. One day a mysterious and reclusive lodger arrives - the Monsieur - who turns out to be René Descartes.

At first encounter the maid and the philosopher seem to have little in common, yet Helena yearns for knowledge and literacy - wanting to write so badly that she uses beetroot for ink and her body as paper.

And the philosopher, for all his learning, finds that it is Helena who reveals the surprise in the everyday world that surrounds him, as gradually their relationship deepens in a surprising story of love and learning.

'Excellent... an entirely unsentimental love story with a memorable and engaging heroine. Clever and touching' The Times
'An accomplished first novel... Glasfurd brilliantly dissects the complex frustrations of a woman in love with a man consumed by intellectual obsessions. There is much to move us here' Guardian

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