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It is 1718 and, in a small parish near Newcastle, Eliza Tally, a headstrong girl of 15, embarks on a reckless love affair that will prove her undoing. When her lover casts her off, denying their union, she is forced to travel to London, a city that attracts and alarms her in equal measure.


There she takes up a position in the house of an apothecary, Grayson Black, whom she trusts to salvage what remains of her reputation.



‘A compelling story, which will draw in, for different reasons, fans of Sarah Waters's dense narrative complexities and Andrew Miller's metaphysical horrors. Clark … meets the 18th century on its own terms: knocks its wig off, twists its private parts and spits in its eye.’

Hilary Mantel


‘Clark depicts brilliantly the seamy, corrupt backdrop of the teeming city … She has the understanding of a historian and the gift of a storyteller. She writes with vivid elegance. This novel is a triumph; chilling, powerful, and by the end, immensely satisfying.’

Sunday Telegraph


‘As a storyteller, Clark is endowed with verve and intelligence, but her larger gift, dazzlingly in evidence throughout both her fine novels, lies in the originality of imagination … [She] gives us a world that feels alive and intense, magnificently raw.’

The New York Times


‘Clark takes us into a world of cesspits and unlit, violent streets for a rattling good story with an unexpected ending.’

Big Issue


‘Clark has emerged as a writer of style and energy … Clark’s evocations of both rural Northumberland and London, then the largest city in the world, are beautifully achieved. It is the balance between her exemplary historical research and her narrative skills that make The Nature of Monsters such a pleasure. The voice of Eliza is a delight: sharp, crude, defiant and vulnerable.’

Judith Flanders, TLS


‘[A] stunning new gothic novel, driven by mystery and drenched with menace … The Nature of Monsters is a spellbinder. Writing with grace and energy, Clark has the power to pull her readers into the deep past and hold them prisoner long after the story ends.’

St Petersburg Times

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