The Dig

The Dig

Now a BAFTA-nominated motion picture starring Ralph Fiennes, Carey Mulligan and Lily James

Summary

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.

'Exquisitely original' Ian MacEwan

'An enthralling story of love and loss' Robert Harris

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 that this is no ordinary find...

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 rivalry flourished in equal measure.

'A tale of rivalry, loss and thwarted love so absorbing that I read right through lunchtime one day, and it's not often I miss a meal' Nigella Lawson

'A delicate evocation of a vanished era' Sunday Times

Reviews

  • 'Very fine, engrossing, exquisitely original'
    Ian McEwan

About the author

John Preston

John Preston is a former Arts Editor of the Evening Standard and the Sunday Telegraph. For ten years he was the Sunday Telegraph's television critic and one of its chief feature writers. His novel, The Dig, based on the 1939 archaeological excavation at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, has been filmed starring Ralph Fiennes, Carey Mulligan and Lily James. His first nonfiction book, A Very English Scandal, was published to great acclaim in 2016 and turned into BAFTA-winning BBC drama series. His latest book Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell was published to great acclaim in February 2021. It has been shortlisted for both the Baillie Gifford Prize and the Costa Biography Prize and is being adapted for television by Working Title productions.
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