The Fraud by Zadie Smith *Released 09.05.23

The Fraud by Zadie Smith *Released 09.05.23

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The instant New York Times bestseller.

 

From acclaimed and bestselling novelist Zadie Smith, a kaleidoscopic work of historical fiction set against the legal trial that divided Victorian England, about who gets to tell their story--and who gets to be believed

 

It is 1873. Mrs. Eliza Touchet is the Scottish housekeeper--and cousin by marriage--of a once-famous novelist, now in decline, William Ainsworth, with whom she has lived for thirty years.

 

Mrs. Touchet is a woman of many interests: literature, justice, abolitionism, class, her cousin, his wives, this life and the next. But she is also sceptical. She suspects her cousin of having no talent; his successful friend, Mr. Charles Dickens, of being a bully and a moralist; and England of being a land of facades, in which nothing is quite what it seems.

 

Andrew Bogle, meanwhile, grew up enslaved on the Hope Plantation, Jamaica. He knows every lump of sugar comes at a human cost. That the rich deceive the poor. And that people are more easily manipulated than they realize. When Bogle finds himself in London, star witness in a celebrated case of imposture, he knows his future depends on telling the right story.

 

The "Tichborne Trial"--wherein a lower-class butcher from Australia claimed he was in fact the rightful heir of a sizable estate and title --captivates Mrs. Touchet and all of England. Is Sir Roger Tichborne really who he says he is? Or is he a fraud? Mrs. Touchet is a woman of the world. Mr. Bogle is no fool. But in a world of hypocrisy and self-deception, deciding what is real proves a complicated task. . . .

 

Based on real historical events, The Fraud is a dazzling novel about truth and fiction, Jamaica and Britain, fraudulence and authenticity and the mystery of "other people."