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The Pleasures of Men

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About the Author

Kate studied her BA at Somerville College, Oxford where she was a College Scholar and received the Violet Vaughan Morgan University Scholarship. She then took her MA at Queen Mary, University of London and her DPhil at Oxford. Kate's first book was England's Mistress: the Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton and her second, Becoming Queen was about the passionate youth of Queen Victoria and Princess Charlotte. She was also a consultant on the movie Young Victoria which starred Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend. Kate appears regularly on television and radio, fronting Restoration Home on BBC2 with Caroline Quentin and presenting the Royal Wedding coverage for the BBC earlier this year. She has also made appearances on the Today programme, Newsnight, The One Show, Radio 5 Live and BBC1 Breakfast, in addition to presenting a programme about Queen Victoria for BBC2's Timewatch.


A wonderfully ripe, imaginative and gripping piece of Victorian pastiche, with a spider's web of a plot and a spine-tingling atmosphere of menace and suspense * The Times * Fans of Sarah Waters will love this * Good Housekeeping * The Pleasures of Men shares with Wolf Hall an ambitious, challenging concern with form combined with a pitch-perfect historical ear . . . This intoxicating and disturbing novel is properly thrilling and extraordinarily well-written. Kate Williams is already an accomplished biographer; The Pleasures of Men shows a soaring talent let loose * Independent on Sunday * A dark story of murder and obsession * Elle * Catherine Sorgeuil's obsession with a series of murders of young girls in London's East End enmeshes her in deceit, betrayal and danger. A spine-tingling, seductive thriller * Woman and Home * An intense, intelligent and hugely entertaining read * The Guardian * Historian Kate Williams successfully makes the move from non-fiction, creating a society, and protagonist, on the brink of hysteria * Psychologies * A sure-footed evocation of seamy Victorian London * Sunday Telegraph * Part-bodice-ripper, part-slasher, the book's elaborate plot moves along at a brisk clip with a nod to the likes of Sarah Waters and Peter Ackroyd * Daily Mail * As crowded with sensation as a Victorian parlour with furniture * The Scotsman * Not since Sarah Waters have I seen so much lesbian sex in a historical novel -- Mariella Frostrup * Radio 4 Open Book * Williams creates an extraordinary world with unforgettable characters and a dark heart - highly recommended * The Bookseller * An eerie murder mystery set in the corrupt heart of Victorian London * Marie Claire Good Book Club pick * This is a fast-paced thriller written by an expert on all things Victorian. Fans of Sarah Waters and Michel Faber will revel in this charged and colourful Victorian epic * The Bookseller * Mesmerising, elegant and compelling * The Lady *

Biographer Williams (Becoming Queen) does something new with a familiar trope in her promising first novel, a thriller set in 1840 London. A Jack the Ripper-like serial killer, dubbed the Man of Crows, leaves his stabbed victims displayed with their hair stuffed into their mouths, their chests gouged in the shape of a star, and a penny placed on the exposed heart. The search for the murderer's identity largely falls to Catherine Sorgeiul, an orphan living with an ostensibly kindly uncle. Still adjusting to the tumult of the big city, Catherine also struggles with her own sexuality and the hypocrisies of early Victorian society, even as the body count rises. In one distinctive touch, the author has Catherine identify so closely with the Man of Crows' victims that she writes narratives in their names. Readers looking for more psychological sophistication than is usual in such historicals will be pleased. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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