The period - 1780.  The setting - Buxton and the hills of Derbyshire in central England.  The hero - young Edward Horne.  The heroine - Daisy Apreece, ten years older than Edward and the wife of a man who has maggots in his heart. The question?  The one that makes the world go round: will love get its way? To be more particular, will Daisy come out of it alive?

Sizzles and swoons through its eighteenth century Derbyshire tale with the riotous gusto of a Rowlandson cartoon, resurrecting all that period’s sinewy delights - brilliantly controlled, very funny, and as fresh as new snow on the moors.’

(Adam Thorpe, author of Ulverton)

‘There is a ripeness, both in the writing and in the characterisation, that could only have come with experience.  It is as richly absorbing a debut as I have read in years...One detects the hand of a master.’

(David Robson in The Sunday Telegraph)

‘It is magnificent...It tells a complicated, exciting story; it is extremely funny; it tackles important issues...and it is superbly written.  I will read it again, slowly.’

(Sue Gaisford in Harpers & Queen)

‘The fact that historical novels often lack the spark of originality heightens the achievement of James Fleming, whose first novel gives him an honourable place in the Fleming literary tradition...Brilliant powers of description bring these characters to life for readers, who will enjoy the exceptional quality of writing and plotting.’

(Beverley Davies in The Lady)

‘His vigorous and poetic prose, flawless dialogue, rich and comical cast of characters and his exquisite observations of period detail make this a feast of a novel.’

(Charlotte Mosley in the Daily Mail)

‘It is hard to find a novel to compare to this - its flavour and character are extremely original and stay colourful in the imagination long after the book is finished.’

(Good Book Guide)

What the papers said...

© 2014 James Fleming - Damnable Iron


“One detects the hand of a master” The Sunday Telegraph