“June 21st 1900. Now that I am in my twilight years, permit me,
by God’s great grace – Daniel James Nathaniel Daddow-Tregian –
to set down before you the extraordinary events that transpired
some half a century ago.”
So begins the latest novel by prize-winning Cornish author, Alan M. Kent. Set in
the fishy stench and dark, seedy underbelly of mid nineteenth-century Cornwall,
this is the antidote to the traditional historical romantic novel.
decadence Dan Daddow believes that he alone is the greatest theatrical impresario
of the Age, but when a rival tries to take his crown, he finds himself searching
for original acts and performers.
To this end, he sets about forming his
‘Cornish Comicalities’—a desperate band of no-hopers, rogues and lost souls—
in whom he places all his faith, and whom he hopes will set the world on fire.
Events, however, take a turn for the worse and Daddow and his troupe of Gothic
monstrosities find themselves embroiled in foul deeds with links to the core of
the dark arts of European culture.
In this macabre and melodramatic new novel, Alan M. Kent—acclaimed author of
Proper Job, Charlie Curnow! and Voog’s Ocean—transforms our perceptions of
the novel’s relationship to Cornwall. Whilst the base endeavours to become the
beautiful, all is told with a salacious love of life, and a deep quest for meaning and
Alan M. Kent was born in Cornwall and graduated from the Universities of Cardiff and Exeter,
specialising in Celtic and Anglo-Celtic literatures. For several years he worked as a teacher and
now lectures in Literature for the Open University. In addition to writing novels, he has published
a number of prize-winning plays and volumes of poetry. As well as his non-fiction writing, he has
also edited several collections of Cornish and Anglo-Cornish Literature. He is the series editor
of ‘Lesser Used Languages of Europe’ and joint series editor of ‘Cornish and Celtic Alternatives’.
Imprint: Ryelands. ISBN 978 1 906551 43 8, hardback, 234x150mm, 496 pages. Published October 2016.