The Proprietor

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The islands lay low an dark in the sea that had claimed the lives of Adela Traherne's parents. Known to the islanders as the Island Child, her life became inextricably linked with Augustus Walmer, the Proprietor, in the summer of 1840 when a group of his friends came to see how he was restoring the economy and well-being of his people and the untamed beauty of the islands he owned. None of the people who came together in that summer was ever to forget what happened then, none of them was ever to break free from the islands grip, and the destinies of Adela and Augustus seemed fated to be forever linked.

'Ambitious, imaginative . . . The Proprietor more than a little resembles The French Lieutenant's Woman, with a dash of Jamaica Inn and an occasional nod in the direction of The Waves.' Anita Brookner, Harpers & Queen

'Outstanding success . . . elegant precision and feeling for period . . . attractive echoes of Charlotte Brontë and Elizabeth Bowen.' Hermione Lee, Observer

'Rare and strange . . . rich in detail and steeped in the author's sense of the period and place about which she writes, it establishes Ann Schlee as one of the best novelists we have.' Susan Hill

'Rare and impressive . . . the kind of novel which makes the prospect of a second reading a pleasure to be savoured.' Books and Bookmen

About Ann Schlee

Ann Schlee is a novelist whose work includes Ask Me No Questions (1976), The Vandal (winner of the 1978 Guardian Award for young fiction) and Rhine Journey, which was short-listed for the 1981 Booker Prize. Many of her novels are set in the past, but in surroundings which she knows well: London, or those parts of Africa which she remembers from childhood. Jane Gardam, writing about The Time in Aderra (1996), says: 'She writes historical novels that are more advanced, more interested in feminism, for instance, than her contemporaries who write of the twentieth century... Ann Schlee's wider vision is adventurous and sunlit'. Ann has taught English in the UK and America, and worked for many years with adults in creative writing and memoir classes at Morley College in London and Rewley House in Oxford. She has judged in a number of literary competitions including the Somerset Maugham Award, the David Higham and the Booker. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2007. Ann now lives in Berkshire with her husband, the painter Nick Schlee.

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Books by Ann Schlee

Rhine Journey
Rhine Journey
The Time in Aderra
The Time in Aderra