A work of historical fiction, set in 18th Century London
Hamish Hamilton 1995
Nominated by Hamish Hamilton for the 1995 Booker Prize
In London’s Adelphi, during the reign of King George III, Dr James Graham – quack physician and electricity enthusiast – opens his Temple to Health and Fertility.
His Goddess of Youth and Health is Emilia Beaumont. She believes herself to be a Devil Child, the cause of her mother’s death and catalyst of her father’s, and enters the Temple to purify herself. Enthralled by the perfections of the Peacock Lady, repulsed by the foppish Lord Smellie and attracted to rake Lord Vermilion, the Temple becomes Emilia’s sanctuary – and also proves her undoing.
Jacqui Lofthouse’s accomplished first novel, set in a time of tumult in London, with the anticipation of revolution across the channel, reveals the diseased underbelly of a duplicitous society eager to celebrate purity and beauty whilst disguising corruption behind facades of paint and powder.
Originally optioned for film production by Robert Warr, producer of ‘Let Him Have It’ and Donald Sturrock, author of ‘The Life of Roald Dahl’
A new Kindle and print edition are being planned for 2023.