‘The Quickening Maze’
Angus Kennedy will introduce The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2009. Based on real events in Epping Forest on the edge of London around 1840, The Quickening Maze centres on the first incarceration of the great nature poet John Clare. After years struggling with alcohol, critical neglect and depression, Clare finds himself in High Beach Private Asylum - an institution run on reformist principles which would later become known as occupational therapy. Historically accurate, but brilliantly imagined, the closed world of High Beach and its various inmates are brought vividly to life. Outside the walls is Nature, and Clare’s paradise: the birds and animals, the gypsies living in the forest; his dream of home, of redemption, of escape. Rapturous yet precise, exquisitely written, rich in character and detail, this is a remarkable and deeply affecting book: a visionary novel which contains a world.
The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds