London 1794. Revolution creeps across the channel, the coffee-houses brew gossip and the great City seethes with émigrés, upstarts and opportunists. Among them, restless young women, two of whom want more than a husband…
Motherless Alathea Sawneyford, her charms grown disturbing as she rebels against her father, has made the city’s streets her own, while Annie Cantabile is constrained, by her own disfigurement and her father, to his pianoforte workshop under the shadow of Tyburn gibbet. One afternoon the dusty workshop receives a visitor. A man, representing an unscrupulous band of City speculators, Alathea’s father among them, require a pianoforte and its charming teacher to find titled husbands for all their daughters: sisters Evelina and Marianne; stolid Harriet and pale, pining Georgiana. It seems an innocent enough plan but these are subversive times and perhaps even a drawing-room piano lesson isn’t exactly what it seems. All of which will suit Alathea perfectly.
Fierce and bawdy, uproarious and exquisite, SEDITION takes its plot at a racing gallop: bold, beautiful and captivating.
“This is one of those precious novels. The kind that bookworms burrow inside to devour with relish from cover to cover. The kind you’ll secrete behind all the other books on your shelves in case friends steal it and somehow “forget” to give it back. The kind from which you’ll read chosen snippets to your offspring when they’re old enough. An induction into the magical unruliness of words. Not a dull or superfluous page…
…Grant at times writes like Jane Austen on crack cocaine or Dickens sating himself at an orgy – drawing freely on the literary posturing of past greats, but entirely, refreshingly modern, entirely herself.
– The Scotsman
“A tale of seduction, sex, love, death and music, SEDITION pulsates with pain but also with a wicked sense of humor that sometimes arises from the smallest details…
The darkness of SEDITION is its driving force. A subversive and thrilling gothic tale, it will keep you up all night. …It’s the sort of novel you say you’ll read for only 10 more minutes because its already way past your bedtime. Two hours later, your light is still on.”
– The New York Times
“SEDITION is one of the most delightfully contrary novels I have ever met… This is a wonderful read from a born storyteller.”
– Chris Cleave, author of Incendiary and The Other Hand
“Packed full of colourful characters and with an unexpectedly poignant coda, this is an original, winningly-imagined tale of the ties that bind (and some very naughty pianoforte lessons).”
– Daily Mail
“It takes an innovative, clever writer to rise above the clichés. Katharine Grant has succeeded, with this original and dark novel about sex and women in Georgian London…
…[Grant writes] with wit, verve and not a little mischief”
– The Times
“SEDITION – Katharine Grant’s first book for adults – is as dark and deceitful as it is gloriously bawdy, the beautiful bastard child of Choderlos de Laclos’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith”
“This is a narrative dealing in sex and death, money and impotence, in freighted exchanges of power and their violent consequences, and its intention is not to console or instruct but to unsettle, and to excite…