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Hart's Books

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An author talk with Guinevere Glasfurd – ‘The Year Without Summer’

Monday 17th February at 6:30pm

Tickets £5.00, available over the phone on 01799 524 552 or in-store.

Join us for an evening with the critically acclaimed, Costa Prize nominated novelist Guinevere Glasfurd; where she will be discussing her latest book ‘The Year Without Summer’.

1815 – and on Sumbawa Island, Mount Tambora erupts. A cataclysmic eruption, it will go down in history as larger than Krakatoa. Sent to investigate, Henry Hogg, ship’s surgeon on board The Benares, can scarce believe what he finds. The island, once a green gem, is now ash – the sea around it turned to stone. Thousands have died. But as the dust cloud tracks north, shrouding the sun, the seasons on which so much depends, will fail.

1816 – Britain is racked with riots and revolutionary protest. Snow falls in August. Weeks of incessant rain seem to foretell the end of times. Sarah Hobbes, a farm labourer, not knowing day to day if she has work and always hungry, has had enough of farmers and their fancy fa-lals. Hope Peter, back from the Wars, finds his family home demolished and a fence gone up in its place. On the run after a poaching offence, he befriends little Willie Hutchen and they flee to London. In Vermont, Wesleyan preacher, Charles Whitlock, exhorts his followers to keep faith as drought dries their wells and their livestock starve. In Switzerland, Mary Shelley, confined indoors by weeks of rain, chafes against boredom. Famine refugees trudge by her door. This was not the summer she had hoped for. Caught between the past he loves and a future he desperately wants, John Constable, is jolted out of his complacency. If all art is feeling, should he paint the misery he sees?

The Year Without Summer tells the story of a fateful year when temperatures fell and the summer failed to arrive. It is a story of the books written, the art made; of the journeys taken, of the love longed for and the lives lost. Six separate lives, connected only by an event many thousands of miles away. Few had heard of Tambora – but none could escape its effects.

A new novel from Guinevere Glasfurd that deals with the urgent issue of our climate, to remind us how relatively small shifts in temperature can have profoundly devastating and wide-reaching effects. By turning our attention on six very different characters, she examines the purpose of art and literature, of religious belief and protest at a time of undeniable crisis – a crisis that was not borne equally by all.