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A Wild & True Relation

A gripping feminist historical fiction novel of pirates, smuggling and revenge
  • Author
    • Kim Sherwood
Regular price £9.99
Regular price Sale price £9.99
Shortlisted for the Winston Graham Prize for Historical Fiction

'This book is a rarity - a novel as remarkable for the vigour of the storytelling as for its literary ambition. Kim Sherwood is a writer of capacity, potency and sophistication' HILARY MANTEL

A Wild & True Relation opens during the Great Storm of 1703, as smuggler Tom West confronts his lover Grace for betraying him to the Revenue. Leaving Grace's cottage in flames, he takes her orphaned daughter Molly on board ship disguised as a boy to join his crew. But Molly, or Orlando as she must call herself, will grow up to outshine all the men of Tom's company and seek revenge - and a legacy - all of her own.

Woven into Molly's story are the writers - from Celia Fiennes to Hester Thrale to George Eliot - who are transfixed by her myth and who, over three centuries, come together to solve the mystery of her life. With extraordinary verve and chutzpah, Sherwood remakes the eighteenth-century Heroical novel and challenges women's writing and women's roles throughout history.

Not available for shipping to the following countries:

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  • Published: Jan 04 2024
  • Pages: 528
  • 196 x 126mm
  • ISBN: 9780349015392
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Press Reviews

  • Hilary Mantel

    This book is a rarity - a novel as remarkable for the vigour of the storytelling as for its literary ambition. Kim Sherwood is a writer of capacity, potency and sophistication
  • Fiona Mozley, Booker shortlisted author of ELMET and HOT STEW

    A thrilling adventure novel that richly evokes the sights, sounds and smells of Devon at the turn of the eighteenth century. Smugglers, pirates and some cameos from some well-known writers - what's not to like! It presents swashbuckling action alongside reflections on authorship, agency and the powerful question of who gets to write history
  • Emma Stonex, author of THE LAMPLIGHTERS

    I loved this tremendous book and devoured it in two days. Vividly imagined, relentlessly entertaining, rich and resonant in scope and context, it's both a thrilling adventure and a vital witness to women's voices
  • Wyl Menmuir, author of The Draw of the Sea
    It is a breathtaking feat of historical fiction, and an utterly astounding novel. It is wise, urgent and entirely compelling. I was bereft when it ended. If it does not win every prize for fiction next year, I will be amazed.
  • Daily Telegraph
    Breathlessly swashbuckling ... both full-blooded historical fiction and thoughtful literary deconstruction, both elements immaculately researched. You can take pleasure in her punchy plotting and flamboyant nautical descriptions, plus the subversive Molly's complex navigation of those dual selves - with "Orlando" a clear nod to Woolf's similarly gender-bending novel
  • Cosmopolitan
    A gripping feminist adventure story
  • Historical Novels Society
    A blistering tale of early 18th-century love, betrayal, murder, and revenge, wrapped up in a novel of smuggling, piracy, shipbuilding, and a girl who is not as she seems. The prose is superb
  • Sunday Times
    Rich and immersive
  • Suzi Feay, Guardian
    Employing lusty couplings, a brooding hero and a tender young heroine, Sherwood plays knowingly with the romantic genre ... By both undermining and indulging the genre, it seems Sherwood is having her delicious contraband cake and eating it, too
  • Harper's Bazaar
    [Sherwood] adopts the dramatic conventions of the 18th-century adventure novel to spin a tale of secrecy, betrayal and law-breaking on the open seas, while cleverly subverting those same codes to reveal an inherently feminist agenda . . . champions rather than elides the female voice, giving her heroine the right to both speak and record the truth about her life