Sarah Perry is a white woman with blonde hair tied up in a bun, wearing a purple blouse and pearl earrings. She's standing outside in front of a background of trees
Sophie Davidson
Past Event
Books & Debates

Sarah Perry: Enlightenment

Tue 7 May, 7.30pm
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Join internationally best-selling author of the novels Melmoth and The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry, as she brings us Enlightenment, an unforgettable story of love, faith and science.

Thomas Hart and Grace Macauley are fellow worshippers at the Bethesda Baptist chapel in the small Essex town of Aldleigh. Though separated in age by three decades, the pair are kindred spirits – torn between their commitment to religion and their desire for more. Through their extraordinary journeys and with a growing obsession with the vanished nineteenth-century female astronomer Maria Vǎduva, the characters discover a richer understanding of love, of the nature of the world, and the sheer miracle of being alive.  

Sarah is a winner of the Waterstone’s Book of the Year Award and the British Book of the Year Award and has been nominated for major literary prizes including the Women’s Prize for Fiction.


This event will be chaired by author, Contributing Writer at the New Statesman and Consulting Literary Editor at Harper's Bazaar, Erica Wagner.


Co-presented in partnership with Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts

Enlightenment is a complete masterwork — ambitious, crafted, truly artful. With its intersections of faith, physics, love and wisdom, I imagine we will be quoting lines from the novel for years to come
Sarah Hall, author of The Electric Michelangelo

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