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The Physic Garden

Catherine Czerkawska (Author)

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Moving, poetic and quietly provocative’ – The Independent. City life in the early nineteenth century was never short of drama: poverty and pollution preyed on all but the lucky few, and ‘resurrection men’ prowled the streets to procure corpses for anatomists to experiment on. Life is improving, however, for young William Lang, who begins courting Jenny, a fine needlewoman, and forms an unlikely friendship with botanist Dr Thomas Brown while working in the physic garden for a leading professor of surgery. At first, William relishes the opportunity to extend his knowledge of plants and their healing properties while foraging in the countryside in the service of his new friend. The young couple’s relationship blossoms, until seeds of trouble threaten to grow out of control.

REVIEWS OF The Physic Garden

'“It'’s a great feeling when you fall in love with a book on the first page, or even the first line, and that’'s what happened to me with The Physic Garden.' - Ali Bacon Read more

'The Physic Garden is not just a good novel. This, I contend, is a great novel. It is a beautiful, elegant, at times elegiac, expression and exploration of betrayal.' - Cally Phillips, IEBR Review Read more

'Czerkawska tells her tale in a restrained, elegant prose that only adds to its poignancy.' - The Sunday Times pick of historical fiction

'From the first pages of The Physic Garden, the shadow of grief and betrayal looms large. Catherine Czerkawska draws us into the heart of that betrayal and the pain it has caused, whilst simultaneously withholding its precise nature and full extent until the final pages.' - Mari Biella Read more


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  • Rights: Worldwide Exclusive
  • BIC code(s): FV
  • BISAC code(s): FIC014000

The Physic Garden

About the author

Catherine Czerkawska

Catherine Czerkawska is a novelist and playwright based in Scotland. She has written several plays for the stage and BBC Radio 4, and has published numerous short stories and novels, including The Curiosity Cabinet, which was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize.

Praise for Catherine Czerkawska: “Powerful” – John Burnside. “Moving, poetic and quietly provocative”?– The Independent. “Heart-warming, realistic and page-turning”?– Lorraine Kelly.