Haworth, West Yorkshire, 1848. Following a succession of defeats and failures in his professional and personal life, Branwell Bronte - unexhibited artist, unacknowledged writer, sacked railwayman, disgraced tutor and spurned lover - finds himself unhappily back in Haworth Parsonage, to face the disappointment of his father and his three sisters, whose own pseudonymous successes - allegedly kept secret from him - are only just becoming apparent. With his health failing rapidly, his literary aspirations abandoned and his once loyal circle of friends shrinking fast, Branwell lives in a world of secrets, conspiracies and seemingly endless betrayals. To restore himself to a creative and fulfilling existence in the face of an increasingly claustrophobic environment, he returns to the drugs, alcohol and the morbid self-delusion which have already played such a large part in his unhappy life. Sanctuary is a lacerating and moving portrait of self-destruction. In it, Robert Edric has reimagined the final months of one of the great bystanders of literary history, and, in so doing, has shone a penetrating light on one of the most celebrated and perennially fascinating families in our creative history.
"A wonderfully edgy piece of wartime noir" -- D.J. Taylor Independent "Macabre twists keep the pages turning" -- James Urquhart Financial Times "A masterly, highly evocative, multi-layered tale" Mail on Sunday (Eire) "Fabulously atmospheric" Bookseller "Edric's world, though often unsavoury, is also curiously compelling. Lured into its shady precincts, you're unlikely to want to leave." -- David Grylls Sunday Times
Robert Edric was born in 1956. His novels include Winter Garden (James Tait Black Prize winner 1986), A New Ice Age (runner-up for the Guardian Fiction Prize 1986), The Book of the Heathen (winner of the WH Smith LIterary Award 2000), Peacetime (longlisted for the Booker Prize 2002), Gathering the Water (longlisted for the Booker Prize 2006) and In Zodiac Light (shortlisted for the Dublin Impac Prize 2010). His most recent novel is The Monster's Lament. He lives in Yorkshire.