The Nature of Monsters and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading The Nature of Monsters on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Nature of Monsters [Hardcover]

Clare Clark
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 31.50
Price: CDN$ 19.85 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 11.65 (37%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Usually ships within 1 to 3 weeks.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition CDN $9.99  
Hardcover CDN $19.85  
Paperback, Bargain Price CDN $2.69  

Book Description

May 1 2007
1666: The Great Fire of London sweeps through the streets and a heavily pregnant woman flees the flames. A few months later she gives birth to a child disfigured by a red birthmark.

1718: Sixteen-year-old Eliza Tally sees the gleaming dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral rising above a rebuilt city. She arrives as an apothecary’s maid, a position hastily arranged to shield the father of her unborn child from scandal. But why is the apothecary so eager to welcome her when he already has a maid, a half-wit named Mary? Why is Eliza never allowed to look her veiled master in the face or go into the study where he pursues his experiments? It is only on her visits to the Huguenot bookseller who supplies her master’s scientific tomes that she realizes the nature of his obsession. And she knows she has to act to save not just the child but Mary and herself.

With exquisite prose, dark humor, and a historian’s eye for detail, Clare Clark has created another transporting novel.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. British author Clark's second novel, a moving historical set in early 18th-century London, surpasses her acclaimed debut, The Great Stink (2005). When teenager Eliza Tally gets pregnant, her mother sells her into servitude to an apothecary, Grayson Black. Eliza struggles to survive in a bizarre household, unaware that her new master is interested in the effects of various emotions on her unborn child. Isolated save for a kindly, slow-witted fellow servant, Mary, Eliza develops an unlikely relationship with a French bookseller, Mr. Honfleur, who supplies Black with the scientific treatises he uses to inform his sadistic researches. Eliza hopes Honfleur will provide her with the means for escape. Unlike The Great Stink, this suspenseful tale contains no whodunit element, but as in her previous book, Clark's empathetic portrait of the powerless and the victimized will remind many readers of Dickens. Author tour. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Clark is a first-rate storyteller. The setting is 18th-century London, a dark and unwelcoming city of massive size. Eliza Tally, pregnant and unmarried, has been sent there by her mother to begin service as a maid for apothecary Grayson Black. His shop is managed by Mrs. Black, who holds an unyielding grip over all the affairs of the elusive man. Upon her arrival, Eliza meets Mary, the other servant, whom she finds annoying and bothersome at first. Eliza's new home sits in the shadow of the impressive landmark of St. Paul's Cathedral, and the young woman becomes readers' eyes and ears as she vividly conveys the sights and sounds of the city's bustling life. She is disturbed by the changes in her body as the baby within her grows. At the same time, she discovers that all is not right with the mysterious apothecary and his ever-vigilant wife. His interests in her and her condition make her increasingly uncomfortable as she perceives that she is somehow an unwitting party to his secrets, and she and Mary come to rely on one another for warmth and companionship. Ultimately, Eliza learns that monsters can take many forms, and that human behavior is oftentimes most fearsome. The novel's well-described setting and its well-realized themes of unplanned pregnancy and exploited female labor will engage teen readers.–Catherine Gilbride, Farifax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Afterwards, when I knew that I had not loved him at all, the shock was all in my stomach, like the feeling when you miscount going upstairs in the dark and climb a step that is not there. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monsters come in many forms .. June 29 2007
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 50 REVIEWER
Ms Clark did such a great job of depicting monsters and monstrous behaviour in this novel that it took me while to find redeeming qualities in any character. Except, of course, for Mary.

Set in early 18th century London, this novel focusses on aspects of life that are really confronting and uncomfortable. In many ways, this is an Hogarthian London - perhaps just around the corner from Gin Lane. It won't appeal to everyone but it should appeal to those who enjoyed Ms Clark's first novel 'The Great Stink'.

We meet both the best and worst of humanity in these pages but underpinning it all is the depiction of London herself.

Highly recommended.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars More than worth a read Jan. 8 2010
I will start off by saying I blind bought this book and that I was told by a friend who read the inside slip that it was a horror novel. I needed something to read at work that night basically and I was in a hurry. When I got through the first few chapters and realized it wasn't the kind of novel I thought it was I almost stopped, however as I continued to read the story started to draw me in more and more. I am a 22 year old male who reads mostly sci-fi and horror so I can imagine most people would enjoy this book.

I will not spoil anything, but I will say that this novel is well worth picking up.
Was this review helpful to you?
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Monstrously Disappointing Oct. 4 2008
I bought this book based on two criteria: 1) the reviews I had read/heard etc; 2) the cover looked nice haha

Unfortunately, although the book looks nice on my bookcase, it failed to live up to the reviews. I have not read Clark's other novel "The Great Stink" but I don't think that that should discredit my review.

First of all, I should note that the book started off decent enough. I could see how it was going to develop into an intriguing and interesting account of England shortly after the Fire. Sadly, my joy soon faded soon after Eliza moved into Mr. Black's apothecary. I soon realized that I felt no sympathy for Eliza, and honestly it's hard to stay interesting in a book when you don't really care what happens to the main character. I can't say much more without divulging secrets and spoiling it (not that would be a bad thing considering how it all turns out) so let me just say that until the last chapter, you feel nothing for Eliza, due mostly with the way that she feels about other characters and how she treats them.

Secondly, although the 'journal' entries of the apothecary are unique and interesting, soon it just gets confusing, especially since they start talking about things that are never mentioned prior to or after that entry. Many times I was left wondering what the heck it was supposed to be telling me. Then it changed from not only journal entries but random letters and notes from various people, again with no consequence or mention of them ever again. Argh!

Thirdly, as the only child of a mid-wife/herbalist you would think that Eliza would be a little more saavy and knowledgeable when it comes to pregnancy/child-birth and (abortion)herbs.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category