The Physic Garden

Catherine Czerkawska

Catherine Czerkawska is a Scottish-based novelist and playwright who has written plays for the stage and for BBC radio and television, and published eight works of fiction.

Her latest book, A Proper Person to be Detained, is something of a departure: it tells the true story of the murder of her great-great-uncle in 19th-century Leeds.

Catherine’s novels include The Physic Garden, The Jewel, and The Curiosity Cabinet, which was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize. Her latest novel, The Posy Ring, is the beginning of a trilogy set on the same Scottish island featured in The Curiosity Cabinet. She has edited For Jean, a collection of Robert Burns’ poetry and songs written for his wife, and Catherine’s short stories have been published in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies.

Catherine has taught creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and spent four years as Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of the West of Scotland. When not writing, she collects and deals in the antique textiles that often 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

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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