During the English Age of Reason, a woman cloistered since birth learns that knowledge is no substitute for experience.
Raised by her father in near isolation in the English countryside, Emilie Selden is trained as a brilliant natural philosopher and alchemist. In the spring of 1725, father and daughter embark upon their most daring alchemical experiment to date—attempting to breathe life into dead matter. But when Emilie—against her father’s wishes—experiences the passion of first love, she is banished to London, where she soon discovers she knows nothing about human nature—or her own family’s complicated past. So begins her shocking journey to enlightenment.
Also available as a Random House Large Print edition and as an eBook
About the Author
Katharine McMahon is the author of four novels published in the United Kingdom. She lives in Hertfordshire, England.
“Perfectly timed and modulated not only to draw us in and wring us out but also to reveal the spirit of a time.” —The Boston Globe
“Rich in period detail, this historical novel has all the right trappings.” —Daily News
“Beautifully crafted . . . lavishly furnished with period details and intriguing characters.” —Diana Gabaldon, New York Times bestselling author of A Breath of Snow and Ashes, The Washington Post
“Evocative, compelling, and beautifully written . . . explosive secrets abound not only in the mysterious alchemy laboratory and in sprawling, seething London during the Age of Reason—but also in the heroine’s heart.” —Karen Harper, USA Today bestselling author of The Last Boleyn