Is for Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier, inextricably bound to the life of William Blake at the time he was living in Lambeth.
Flames and funerals, circus feats and seduction, neighbours and nakedness: a sparkling historical drama from the bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring.
Burning Bright follows Thomas Kellaway and his family as they migrate from rural Dorset to London, where Thomas has found work as a circus carpenter and builder. The novel describes the experiences of Kellaway’s son Jem and his pretty sister Maisie as they adjust with varying degrees of success to a tumultuous city, alive with repercussions from the blood-splattered French Revolution. Luckily streetwise Maggie Butterfield is on hand to show Jem the ropes. Together they encounter the neighbour they’ve been warned about: radical poet and artist William Blake. Jem and Maggie’s passage from innocence to experience becomes the very stuff of poetic inspiration.