In the dark depths of Victorian London is a secret society of gentlemen whose members are some of the most dangerous and ambitious in England. When James, a young poet, mysteriously disappears it is up to his sister Charlotte to find him. Soon Charlotte becomes embroiled with a whole cast of dark characters until she eventually discovers that the answer to her brother’s disappearance lies with the enigmatic Aegolius Club.
LAUREN OWEN’S debut, “The Quick”, a long and complex gothic fiction, has been praised by Kate Atkinson and Hilary Mantel. It starts in about 1870 in Aiskew Hall, a “mostly shut-up” old house in Yorkshire. From there it plunges into a murky late-Victorian London of secret gentleman’s clubs, glittering ballrooms, East End doss houses, steam trains and rattling carriages. (The familiarity of the setting is acknowledged by passing references to novels by Wilkie Collins and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.)
Author Lauren Owen on the childhood which inspired new gothic novel, The Quick.