The Physic Garden

Catherine Czerkawska

Catherine Czerkawska

Catherine Czerkawska is a critically acclaimed writer of long and short fiction, non-fiction and plays. Her novels include The Curiosity CabinetThe Physic Garden, The Posy Ring, Bird of Passage and The Jewel, about the life of Robert Burns’s wife, Jean Armour. 

In 2019 Contraband published A Proper Person to be Detainedan intriguing exploration of family history that takes us from 19th-century Ireland to the industrial heartlands of England and Scotland. Following on from this, The Last Lancer is a personal account of loss and survival in Poland and Ukraine, a book with a tragic resonance, given the current situation in that country. 

Catherine’s stage plays include Wormwood, about the Chernobyl disaster, and Quartz, both commissioned by Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre. She has also written more than 100 hours of drama for BBC Radio 4. 

She spent four years as Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of the West of Scotland and when not writing, collects and deals in the antique textiles that occasionally find their way into her fiction.

The Physic Garden

by Catherine Czerkawska

  • RRP: £8.99 (print) / £4.99 (ebook)
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781908643513
  • Ebook ISBN: 9781908643520



Buy The Physic Garden

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