With locations ranging from a murder scene outside a Covent Garden theatre to the Victorian explorer Sir John Franklin’s ship Terror frozen into the Arctic ice – and taking in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, a rural idyll in Somerset and an extraordinary Masonic ritual on the way – Index is a spellbinding novella that provokes curiosity and ultimately satisfies it with a poetics of mystery that transcends conventional narrative closure.
In the book fictionalised versions of the famous magician and forger Cagliostro; the revolutionary bigot Lord George Gordon; Marie Antoinette and the transvestite spy Chevalier D’Eon, are woven into a thematic exploration of revolution, repression, seduction and death. The use of uncredited ‘found’ texts and deliberate forgeries blur the line between what might have happened and what is merely imagined. Mapped onto this web of memory and imagination are Roland and Julie, the survivors of a king’s unsuccessful experiment to uncover the truth about human nature and the original spoken language.
Bridget Penney was born in Edinburgh, lived in London and settled in Brighton. She is the author of one previously published book Honeymoon with Death (Polygon, Edinburgh 1991), which was short-listed for the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award.
Editor: Stewart Home.
128 pp. | 130 x 195 mm
ISBN: 978 1 906012 03 8
Design: Fraser Muggeridge Studio
Bookworks is a leading contemporary arts organisation with a unique role as makers and publishers of books.
Established in 1984, they are dedicated to supporting new work by emerging artists, and their projects are initiated by invitation, open submission, and through guest-curated projects. Book Works consists of a publishing and commissioning department; and a studio specialising in binding, box-making and multiples. Their activities include publishing, a lecture and seminar programme, exhibitions, the development of an on-line archive, and artists’ surgeries and workshops held by both the publishing department and the studio.