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A brilliantly realised account of the most famous archeological dig in British history, now a major motion picture starring Ralph Fiennes, Carey Mulligan and Lily James.
In the long hot summer of 1939 Britain is preparing for war. But on a riverside farm in Suffolk there is excitement of another kind: Mrs Pretty, the widowed farmer, has had her hunch proved correct that the strange mounds on her land hold buried treasure. As the dig proceeds against a background of mounting national anxiety, it becomes clear though that this is no ordinary find... and pretty soon the discovery leads to all kinds of jealousies and tensions.
John Preston's recreation of the Sutton Hoo dig - the greatest Anglo-Saxon discovery ever in Britain - brilliantly and comically dramatizes three months of intense activity when locals fought outsiders, professionals thwarted amateurs, and love and rivaly flourished in equal measure.
© John Preston 2007 (P) Penguin Audio 2020
'Very fine, engrossing, exquisitely original'
'An enthralling story of love and loss, a real literary treasure. One of the most original novels of the year'
'You don't need to be in archaeology - this is a tale of rivalry, loss and thwarted love. It's so absorbing that I read right through lunchtime one day, and it's not often I miss a meal'
'A rich vein of dry humour runs throughout'
'Intriguing, tender and entertaining ... easily Preston's best'
'A delicate, quietly affecting human drama'
'A moving novel that coheres wonderfully as it progresses'
'A delicate evocation of a vanished era'
Wonderful, evocative. From this simple tale of dirt, Preston has produced the finest gold. He keeps an iron grip on the reader's attention
'Beautifully written...there is a true and wonderful ending to the story'
John Preston, author of new book The Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell, shares five facts he unearthed about one of the 20th Century’s most villainised figures.