Valerie Martin - The Ghost of the Mary Celeste - Orion Publishing Group

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    • ISBN:9781780226217
    • Publication date:04 Jun 2015
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    • ISBN:9780297870340
    • Publication date:20 Feb 2014

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste

By Valerie Martin

  • Hardback
  • £18.99

From the ORANGE PRIZE-winning author, an enthralling novel about an enduring mystery, an infamous mystic and Arthur Conan Doyle.

From the ORANGE PRIZE-winning author, an enthralling novel about an enduring mystery, an infamous mystic and Arthur Conan Doyle.

A mystery unsolved to this day
A mystic who confounds the cynics
A writer looking for the story that will make his name

A ghost ship appears in the mist. To the struggling author Arthur Conan Doyle, it is an inspiration. To Violet Petra, the gifted American psychic, it is a cruel reminder. To the death-obsessed Victorian public, it is a fascinating distraction. And to one family, tied to the sea for generations, it is a tragedy.

In salons and on rough seas, at séances and in the imagination of a genius, these stories converge in unexpected ways as the mystery of the ghost ship deepens. But will the sea yield its secrets, and to whom? Intricate, atmospheric, and endlessly intriguing, The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is a spellbinding exploration of love, loss and the fictions that pass as truth.

Biographical Notes

Valerie Martin is one of America's finest contemporary novelists, best known for her Orange Prize-winning Property and also the award-winning Mary Reilly, filmed by Stephen Frears. She is the daughter of a sea captain but has never been to sea.

www.valeriemartinonline.com

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780297870326
  • Publication date: 20 Feb 2014
  • Page count: 320
  • Imprint: W&N
THE GHOST OF THE MARY CELESTE is a wonderfully ingenious novel, compelling, convincing and exciting. — John Banville
Valerie Martin is a writer of immense talent and insight. Her latest novel weaves a beautiful tale of loss, love and the connections that link us. One moment we're aboard the doomed ship, another we're in the pages of a diary, yet another we're looking at a tragedy. THE GHOST OF THE MARY CELESTE offers readers a riveting cast and evocative prose. — Yann Martel, bestselling author of LIFE OF PI
A masterpiece of fine detail and intense reimagining. — Christobel Kent, THE GUARDIAN
In December 1872, the brig the Mary Celeste was discovered in the middle of the Atlantic, headed for Gibraltar, perfectly intact, and with no one aboard. The famous mystery lies at the heart of this wonderful, truly haunting novel, but it's a mystery which this very talented American novelist approaches obliquely and from a handful of viewpoints, before and after the ship's disappearance... It is all really rather brilliantly done - fluently written, vividly imagined, moving and genuinely, chillingly spooky. — Harry Ritchie, DAILY MAIL
This tale of ghost ships, mystery writers and seances is dripping with atmosphere — THE TIMES
The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is an unusual page-turner from an Orange Prize-winning novelist, paying homage to Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad and Conan Doyle — Hope Whitmore, THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
This is a fiction permeated by absence. Gradually we come to understand that it is not just the events about theMary Celeste that are unknowable: that mystery is merely a spectacular version of the enigmas that haunt all transactions. The amused clarity of Martin's prose lends itself well to anatomising the ineffable. — Jane Shilling, NEW STATESMAN
The discovery of the Mary Celeste in 1872, adrift and unmanned, continues to inspire and intrigue. The enigma surrounding its fate is retold in this riveting tale that delivers a convincing portrait of the era, while also sustaining our curiosity. Masterfully weaving fact and fiction, it focuses on the relationship between a cynical journalist and the psychic cousin of the missing ship's captain, as they both try to unearth what happened. Written in vivid prose, it is an evocative account of Victorian scepticism. A maritime ghost story that keeps you guessing. — THE LADY
A sly and masterly historical novel, a page-turner written with intelligence and flair — John Vernon, THE SCOTSMAN
Vivid descriptions of life at sea — THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
For a spooky sea-set tale, try Valerie Martin's The Ghost of the Mary Celeste, which gives the 19th-century story of an abandoned vessel a fine new spin — Erica Wagner, HARPER'S BAZAAR
This historical novel explores with eerie brilliance the stories that are created to make sense of things that are inexplicable... In this intelligent, impressionistic work, Martin never tackles the story of the ship's mysterious vanishing head-on. Instead, she plays with notions of 19th-century ghost and sensation stories to draw the reader into a death-obsessed Victorian culture. — Tina Jackson, METRO
Valerie Martin has woven a brilliant novel around the main characters whose lives were touched by this tragedy... This book is a true page turner. It reminded me somewhat of "The Luminaries" (somewhat shorter!) in the entwining of the lives of the main players... It is a highly readable, emotional (but never sentimental) version of events. Highly recommended both for groups and the individual reader. — NEWBOOKS MAGAZINE
Martin builds a fascinating world around her main players, blurring the line between fact and fiction with aplomb. But the author's richest writing is in the numerous moments where the story takes to the water - these passages are wonderfully evocative, vividly describing life at sea, where calm and beauty can give way to chaos and tragedy at a moment's notice. Part ghost story, part seafaring adventure, I recommend this to anyone who fancies bringing a bit of mystery into their literary lives — Chris Gray, IRISH EXAMINER
A sly and masterly historical novel, a page-turner written with intelligence and flair... Through her ingenious weaving of fiction and fact, she both 'solves' the mystery and (as one of her characters says) deepens it ... Valerie Martin never sacrifices the richness of her novel for easy answers. She's more interested in the questions. And so, then, are we. — NEW YORK TIMES (USA)
Martin, who won Britain's Orange Prize for her historical novel "Property", slips into the 19th century with the ease of a time traveler. Her period set pieces are superb, from descriptions of the Briggs family picking plums for jam ("The trees were dripping heavy, dark fruit") to Conan Doyle's scrutiny of the Mediterranean-themed garden a sea captain's widow has planted in a West Hampstead housing development, with rosemary bushes pruned into pyramids and pots of begonias "shiny as porcelain." — THE BOSTON GLOBE (USA)
an intricate, suspenseful novel — HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW
A bravura book — History Today
Valerie Martin has created a gripping fictionalisation of the passengers' stories — GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
THE GHOST OF THE MARY CELESTE is a wonderfully ingenious novel, compelling, convincing and exciting. — John Banville
Valerie Martin is a writer of immense talent and insight. Her latest novel weaves a beautiful tale of loss, love and the connections that link us. One moment we're aboard the doomed ship, another we're in the pages of a diary, yet another we're looking at a tragedy. THE GHOST OF THE MARY CELESTE offers readers a riveting cast and evocative prose. — Yann Martel, bestselling author of LIFE OF PI
A masterpiece of fine detail and intense reimagining. — Christobel Kent, THE GUARDIAN
In December 1872, the brig the Mary Celeste was discovered in the middle of the Atlantic, headed for Gibraltar, perfectly intact, and with no one aboard. The famous mystery lies at the heart of this wonderful, truly haunting novel, but it's a mystery which this very talented American novelist approaches obliquely and from a handful of viewpoints, before and after the ship's disappearance... It is all really rather brilliantly done - fluently written, vividly imagined, moving and genuinely, chillingly spooky. — Harry Ritchie, DAILY MAIL
This tale of ghost ships, mystery writers and seances is dripping with atmosphere — THE TIMES
The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is an unusual page-turner from an Orange Prize-winning novelist, paying homage to Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad and Conan Doyle — Hope Whitmore, THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
This is a fiction permeated by absence. Gradually we come to understand that it is not just the events about the Mary Celeste that are unknowable: that mystery is merely a spectacular version of the enigmas that haunt all transactions. The amused clarity of Martin's prose lends itself well to anatomising the ineffable. — Jane Shilling, NEW STATESMAN
The discovery of the Mary Celeste in 1872, adrift and unmanned, continues to inspire and intrigue. The enigma surrounding its fate is retold in this riveting tale that delivers a convincing portrait of the era, while also sustaining our curiosity. Masterfully weaving fact and fiction, it focuses on the relationship between a cynical journalist and the psychic cousin of the missing ship's captain, as they both try to unearth what happened. Written in vivid prose, it is an evocative account of Victorian scepticism. A maritime ghost story that keeps you guessing. — THE LADY
A sly and masterly historical novel, a page-turner written with intelligence and flair — John Vernon, THE SCOTSMAN
Vivid descriptions of life at sea — THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
This historical novel explores with eerie brilliance the stories that are created to make sense of things that are inexplicable... In this intelligent, impressionistic work, Martin never tackles the story of the ship's mysterious vanishing head-on. Instead, she plays with notions of 19th-century ghost and sensation stories to draw the reader into a death-obsessed Victorian culture. — Tina Jackson, METRO
Valerie Martin has woven a brilliant novel around the main characters whose lives were touched by this tragedy... This book is a true page turner. It reminded me somewhat of "The Luminaries" (somewhat shorter!) in the entwining of the lives of the main players... It is a highly readable, emotional (but never sentimental) version of events. Highly recommended both for groups and the individual reader. — NEWBOOKS MAGAZINE
Martin builds a fascinating world around her main players, blurring the line between fact and fiction with aplomb. But the author's richest writing is in the numerous moments where the story takes to the water - these passages are wonderfully evocative, vividly describing life at sea, where calm and beauty can give way to chaos and tragedy at a moment's notice. Part ghost story, part seafaring adventure, I recommend this to anyone who fancies bringing a bit of mystery into their literary lives — Chris Gray, IRISH EXAMINER
A sly and masterly historical novel, a page-turner written with intelligence and flair... Through her ingenious weaving of fiction and fact, she both 'solves' the mystery and (as one of her characters says) deepens it ... Valerie Martin never sacrifices the richness of her novel for easy answers. She's more interested in the questions. And so, then, are we. — NEW YORK TIMES (USA)
Martin, who won Britain's Orange Prize for her historical novel "Property", slips into the 19th century with the ease of a time traveler. Her period set pieces are superb, from descriptions of the Briggs family picking plums for jam ("The trees were dripping heavy, dark fruit") to Conan Doyle's scrutiny of the Mediterranean-themed garden a sea captain's widow has planted in a West Hampstead housing development, with rosemary bushes pruned into pyramids and pots of begonias "shiny as porcelain." — THE BOSTON GLOBE (USA)
an intricate, suspenseful novel — HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW
A bravura book — HISTORY TODAY
Valerie Martin has created a gripping fictionalisation of the passengers' stories — Margaret Atwood, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING