The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Into the Wild

Read The Essex Serpent Online Free - Set in Victorian London and an Essex village in the 1890's, and enlivened by the debates on scientific and medical discovery which defined the era, The Essex Serpent has at its heart the story of two extraordinary people who fall for each other, but not in the usual way.

They are Cora Seaborne and Will Ransome. Cora is a well-to-do London widow who moves to the Essex parish of Aldwinter, and Will is the local vicar. They meet as their village is engulfed by rumours that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming human lives, has returned. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist is enthralled, convinced the beast may be a real undiscovered species. But Will sees his parishioners' agitation as a moral panic, a deviation from true faith. Although they can agree on absolutely nothing, as the seasons turn around them in this quiet corner of England, they find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart.

Told with exquisite grace and intelligence, this novel is most of all a celebration of love, and the many different guises it can take.

Title : The Essex Serpent
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0062666371
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 432 pages


Will rated it ★★★★★

June 21, 2017

‘Sometimes I think I sold my soul, so that I could live as I must. Oh, I don’t mean without morals or conscience—I only mean with freedom to think the thoughts that come, to send them where I want them to go, not to let them run along tracks someone else set, leading only this way or that…’ Frow...

Hannah rated it ★★★☆☆

May 17, 2017

Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend. After the death of her husband, the intelligent young widow, Cora Seaborne, abandons her society life in London and departs for coastal Essex, accompanied by her neurotic eleven-year-old son and his nanny. Co...

Rebecca rated it ★★★★★

June 03, 2016

(4.5) This exquisite work of historical fiction explores the gaps – narrower than one might think – between science and superstition and between friendship and romantic love. The Essex Serpent was a real-life legend from the latter half of the seventeenth century, but Perry’s second novel has fea...

Murray rated it ★★☆☆☆

August 14, 2016

Late Victorian England. Cora Seaborne, newly widowed by a sadistic but wealthy husband, and now free to follow her interests in palaeontology, finds herself in the Essex village of Aldwinter, where rumours of a sea serpent lurking in the always-(conveniently)-foggy bay have the locals in a supers...

Katie rated it ★★★★★

March 24, 2017

You might say The Essex Serpent is about the strivings and fears of the child within. When we’re children we have no problem whatsoever believing that a huge winged beast might live in the dark waters behind the marshlands if that’s what we’re told and what legend believes. And as children we’re...

Peter rated it ★★★★★

February 09, 2017

"STRANGE NEWS, they'd say, of a monstrous serpent with eyes like a sheep, come out of the Essex waters and up to the birch woods and commons..." I know I'm going to love a book when I find myself growing very fond of the characters early on. A mere fifty pages into this engrossing story, I was abs...

Sam rated it ★★★★☆

August 02, 2017

The Essex Serpent is a beautifully written work of historical fiction, absolutely immersing you in 1890s Victorian England, and has a fantastic cast of characters whose attitudes, ideas, and actions are the best parts of the novel. Though I found the plot itself could have been a bit tighter and...

Roger rated it ★★★★★

June 23, 2017

Something Severed, and Something Joined Then it carried me in spate to the Essex shore, to all the marsh and shingle, and I tasted on my lips the salt air which is also like the flesh of oysters, and I felt my heart cleaving, as I felt it there in the dark wood on the green stair and as I feel it...

Margitte rated it ★★★★★

April 05, 2017

Random notes while reading: - I just love the ambiance of this book! - Mmmm... do we have a curmudgeon on our hands? Reverend William Ransome, Rector of Aldwinter Parish forbids his children entry to his study; escapes by window when they're at the door; threatens them with bread and water when th...

Hugh rated it ★★★★☆

August 02, 2017

I was a little apprehensive about reading this because the plaudits it gained when published last year and its subsequent popularity made me suspect that it would disappoint. Such thoughts were groundless - within a few pages I was engrossed in this page-turner set in the 1890s. I should have kno...

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