When a young Dublin student goes to pay his last respects to his dying uncle, he never imagines that he might chance upon a terrifying family secret. Who is the sinister old man in the portrait and why is his uncle so anxious for him to burn it? Why is the Spanish man who saves him from drowning so frightened when he hears the name Melmoth?
As he digs deeper into the mystery, an intricate and blood-chilling story begins to unfold. For the past two hundred years, the accursed Melmoth has been searching desperately for an escape from the infernal bargain he once made. Melmoth has traversed the globe leaving destruction and misery in his wake, from Inquisition-era Spain to a remote island in the Indian Ocean - and there have been recent sightings of him in County Wicklow, where our narrator is still piecing the story together.
This Victorian classic has captured the imaginations of readers since 1820 and inspired numerous other gothic masterpieces, including Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray and Sarah Perry's novel Melmoth.
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About the Author
Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has been the writer in residence at Gladstone's Library and the UNESCO World City of Literature Writer in Residence in Prague. After Me Comes the Flood, her first novel, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Folio Prize, and won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. Her latest novel, The Essex Serpent, was a number one bestseller in hardback, Waterstones Book of the Year 2016, the British Book Awards Book of the Year 2017, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and Dylan Thomas Award, and longlisted for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction 2017. Her work has been translated into twenty languages. She lives in Norwich.