A stuffed bear, a pet mouse, fraud and felony on the streets of London, and strange goings-on in the fens... Full of suspense and teeming with life, Kept is a Victorian mystery about the curious things men do to get - and keep - what they want.
August 1863. Henry Ireland, a failed landowner, dies unexpectedly in a riding accident, and his young widow disappears. Three years later his friend James Dixey, a celebrated naturalist, is found dead on his grounds with his throat torn out. Are these deaths connected? What has happened to Mrs Ireland? And what are the sinister bonds that link these men to the poaching of osprey eggs in Scotland, the doomned romance of Dixey's kitchen maid and the first Great Train Robbery?
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A gripping tale, crafted with passion, and intelligence, and an honourable addendum to the golden age of the English novel - New Statesman
A genuinely fascinating reading experience... A pageturner of the highest order. It is a genuine mystery - not a simple whodunnit but a constant revelation of a complex and tight-knit plot - The Times
He has a faultless ear for the varied nuances of mid-Victorian English... [and] takes a wicked pleasure in creating a dense underlay of references, a blend of historical fact and other authors' fiction which lies beneath his narrative and occasionally erupts into it... Clever and hugely readable - Independent
Taylor's skill ensures the book never loses its grip... Hugely enjoyable...Conan Doyle, Dickens and Wilkie Collins knew how to do it, and Taylor has learned his lesson well... A great read. It intrigues, diverts and delights. It is clever and intricate and huge fun - Guardian
Taylor is marking out a territory as distinct and disturbing as Greenland, with the same imperative towards moral inquisition and a flatlands melancholy that is all his own - Sunday Times
Intricate and vividly realised - Daily Telegraph
Taylor is utterly enthralling - Guardian
Intricate and vividly realised...a pin-sharp recreation of 19th-century life - Daily Telegraph
Taylor has a lot of fun with his premise, and readers should too - Independent on Sunday
Taylor] creates a vivid, kaleidoscopic world that constantly shifts before the reader's eyes - Sunday Telegraph
D.J. Taylor was born in Norwich in 1960. He is a novelist, critic and acclaimed biographer, whose biography of Thackeray was a critically-acclaimed success and whose Orwell: The Life won the Whitbread Biography prize in 2003. His most recent books are Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940, the Booker-longlisted novel Derby Day and the counterfactual novel, The Windsor Faction (2013).