The Collector’s Daughter by Gill Paul – a Spotlight Post
A young woman who grew up in the real Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, with every advantage, Lady Evelyn Herbert wanted something very different. This novel is a fictionalised account of her life, from her ambition to be an archeologist and work with her father Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, through to her later life in the 1970s as she fights to remember the most exciting of moments. For in 1922, a small young woman of five foot one, she was the first to enter the tomb of Tutankhamun for three thousand years. This book is an intensely researched and yet brilliantly imagined novel in which the real characters involved, Eve and her husband Brograve among others, are depicted in all their doubts and emotions. At least two eras are evoked – the 1920s when people, especially many of the men are recovering from the trauma of the First World War, and the 1970s as Eve is troubled by ill health and the presence of the past. It is the sort of novel that pulls the reader in, and maintains their interest as secrets of the past emerge into a very different world.
Today I am posting a spotlight on this novel which is so tempting, with a full review to come in October. The author, Gill Paul, is obviously a writer of skill and experience and has tackled other blends of history and fiction successfully. I am greatly looking forward to reviewing this book, and am pleased to offer my initial thoughts on it today.