My ancestors lived on Tresco in the Isles of Scilly, thirty miles or so west of the westernmost point of Cornwall. It is a place of great beauty and violence, warmed by the sea but exposed to waves that have come all the way from America. This novel begins in 1829. It is rooted in a battle between two men for the love of beautiful Mary Prideaux, witch, healer, child of islands unchanged for thousands of years. One of the men is Nicholas Power, a Dublin doctor fleeing a shameful past. The other is the iron-willed philanthropist Augustus Smith, come to the islands to carve an ideal kingdom from the stubborn rocks and the even more stubborn people.
The novel is an interweaving of historical fact, fiction and rumour, against a background of passion, mayhem and shipwreck. Hell Bay has sold nearly 100,000 copies in the Isles of Scilly (population about 2000)
“A thumping great novel”
The West Briton
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