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Confessing a Murder: A Novel


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About the Author

Nicholas Drayson, a writer and naturalist, was formerly a curator at the National Museum in Canberra, Australia. This is his first novel.


An eccentric Victorian naturalist obsessed with beetles turns out to have an unlikely role in formulating the theory of evolution in Nicholas Drayson's richly imagined debut novel, Confessing a Murder. Drayson's narrator is a fictional former schoolmate of Charles Darwin, who shares the latter's pursuit of natural history and is marooned on an island in the Java Sea, where he and a young assistant are investigating the atoll's unique plants and animals. In the manuscript that makes up the body of the novel, he describes his once-intimate relationship with Darwin, his own role in coming up with the theory and the disastrous romance with Darwin's cousin that led to his exile from England. All the while, he documents his search for the elusive golden scarab, and his violent contretemps with his fellow castaway. (May 6) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"[O]ffers the excitement of a boy's desert-island story and a man's recollections of his sexual adventures... The result is startling" -- Frederick Busch "An intelligent, gripping, and vivid adventure...that perfectly captures the spirit of the 19th century." -- Kirkus Reviews

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