Living in a Welsh Marches estate, Herbert Powyss longs to produce a scientific breakthrough consequential enough to present to the Royal Society in London. He hits on a radical experiment in isolation: For seven years, a subject will inhabit three rooms in the basement of the manor house, with no social contact whatsoever. The pay is fifty pounds per annum, but only John Warlow—a semi-literate laborer with a wife and six children to provide for—will take up the offer. The experiment is more than a little mad, and in this novel by Alix Nathan, it will have unforeseen consequences for all included.
"The best kind of historical fiction. Alix Nathan is an original, with a virtuoso touch."—Hilary Mantel