Reviews

  • "Stella Tillyard has done that magical thing - combined solid historical research with an ethereal sense of the past. Her New Amsterdam in America is as wonderfully realised as the shifting world of the Fens in England. It’s a haunting book with characters who stay with the reader as their lives unfold like a sea mist"

    Philippa Gregory
  • "The Great Level proves worth the seven-year wait… This is an impressive piece of work, rich in historical detail and human insight"

    Nick Rennison, Sunday Times
  • "Rousing and heroic... this is a novel of large vision and careful detail... [Tillyard] paddles her coracle deep into little-known channels and conjure atmospheres as thick as still summer air over the meres... Richly involving… The story of a strange and passionate relationship"

    Alexandra Harris, Guardian
  • "Historian Stella Tillyard's first fictional outing, Tides of War, earned her a 2012 Orange Prize nomination. Her second novel similarly showcases her skills as a chronicler of period and place... Fans of Rose Tremain will find much to admire in Tillyard's richly detailed and atmospheric romance"

    Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail
  • "There is much to love in The Great Level - Tillyard writes with great authority...and the book has the smack of authenticity. The passages that Eliza narrates...are wonderful"

    Antonia Senior, The Times
  • "Historian Tillyard has a real feeling for the period and captures the pioneering spirit of the times, bristling with new challenges. But it is Jan's love for Eliza [...] that elicits the best and tenderest writing in the book. His understated emotions are extraordinarily poignant"

    Max Davidson, The Mail on Sunday
  • "Stella Tillyard's assured and entrancing second novel deserves a place of honour on this too-short Fenland shelf... A historian and biographer, Tillyard brings to her 17th-century plot and people a deep concern for accuracy, and a respect for the look and feel of the past, that never slides into fussy pedantry"

    Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk
  • "A novel filled with atmospheric detail and memorable characters"

    Choice Magazine
  • "Every phrase [is] weighed and shaped to reflect a slower, more relevant age… it is perfect for expressing this awed sense of uncharted nature as mysterious, beautifully locating us in the 17th century"

    Kathy O’Shaughnessy, Literary Review
  • "Beautiful... the book has a painterly quality... [Tillyard] has a wonderful way with words and arresting images, and the writing is delightfully limpid throughout"

    Fenella Gentleman, Standpoint