The Great Level

I have been reading The Great Level, Stella Tillyard’s recently published novel mainly about Jan Brunt, a Dutchman who is employed as an engineer to undertake the draining of the Fens in the early 1650s: a book which totally inhabits the physical and mental universe of the seventeenth century and the period of the early Commonwealth – its industry, its uprightness, its sense of its own rectitude, and above all, its language, infused at every level with the language of the bible, as the new order conquers the old, more heathen peoples of the Fens, living close to the water. It is a great feat of imaginative inhabitation of someone else’s world, about attitudes to nature and ownership, ending with a poetic description of life in a plantation by the James River in the New World.


2 thoughts on “The Great Level

  1. Elena Isola says:

    Ciao Charles,
    its hard to follow you, it seems you live more lives in one…
    all those places, persons, so amazing and incredible!
    I am curious , but feel happy if only I can find time to enter in your blog and enjoy it!

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