Elizabeth Garner

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Assistant: Eli Keren


Elizabeth Garner was born in Cheshire, grew up in the north of England and now lives in Oxford, where she works part time as a script editor. Her first novel NIGHTDANCING won a Betty Trask Award, and was shortlisted for the Authors' Club First Novel Award.


Set in nineteenth-century Oxford, and shot through with a powerful sense of magic, Elizabeth Garner's new novel will appeal both to fans of historical fiction and to the huge Susanna Clarke/Philip Pullman fanbase.

In nineteenth-century Oxford, an extraordinary child is born - Edgar Jones, a porter's son with a magical talent. Though his father cannot see beyond his academic slowness, his abilities as a metalworker and designer are quickly noticed, and become a source of tension within the family. When Edgar comes to the attention of a maverick professor at work on a museum of the natural sciences, Edgar is at once plucked from obscurity and plunged into the heart of a debate which threatens to tear apart the university. Edgar's position is a dangerous one - will he be able to control the rebellious spirit that fires his inventiveness, but threatens to ruin him, and to break up his family once and for all?

"Garner's imagination is compelling and the novel has real narrative drive... enjoyable and eloquent"
Helen Dunmore, The Times

"Darkly atmospheric, Garner's clean, spare prose conjures a strong ,simple narrative... a delight to curl up with' Metro

"A sad, sweet tale of the love and misunderstanding between a father and son who dare to aim for a higher place in the world"  Daily Mail


Publication DetailsNotes


A couple fall in love at first sight – a magical encounter. They search for a home, and soon they are building a charmed life together on the fringes of Wimbledon Common. But when summer arrives, and with it, two gregarious neighbours, their haven is transformed. In the course of lazy days of sunshine and long, hedonistic nights, the boundaries between the two households blur, and the lovers’ faith in each other is put to the test. Deep-seated tensions surface, which gradually give way to fears that echo through their days, and haunt their nights. NIGHTDANCING is an unforgettable portrayal of the transforming power of young love, and the darkness that can be born of an ordinary relationship.