A Wild & True Relation : A ‘remarkable’ (Hilary Mantel) feminist adventure story of smuggling and myth-making


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A Wild & True Relation opens during the Great Storm of 1703, as smuggler Tom West confronts his lover Grace for betraying him to the Revenue. Leaving Grace’s cottage in flames, he takes her orphaned daughter Molly on board ship disguised as a boy to join his crew. But Molly, or Orlando as she must call herself, will grow up to outshine all the men of Tom’s company and seek revenge – and a legacy – all of her own. Woven into Molly’s story are the writers – from Celia Fiennes and George Eliot to Daniel Defoe and Charles Dickens – who are transfixed by her myth and who, over three centuries, come together to solve the mystery of her life. With extraordinary verve , Sherwood remakes the eighteenth-century novel and challenges women’s writing and women’s roles throughout history.