The Profligate Son has been selected by Jonathan Yardley of The Washington Post as one of his favourite books of 2013. Nicola is delighted to appear alongside such luminaries as J.G. Ballard and Edna O’Brien!
Nicola wrote a great piece for the Oxford University Press blog:
In eighteenth and early nineteenth-century England, prisons were popular tourist sites for wealthy visitors. They were also effectively run as private businesses by the Wardens, who charged the inmates for the privilege of being incarcerated there. Indeed prisoners from the higher ranks of society, who had the means to pay for better accommodation, routinely expected to be treated better than lower class or “common” criminals. Between 1810 and 1814, William Collins Burke Jackson, the son of a wealthy East India Company merchant, had the great misfortune of being able to sample the amenities offered to young gentlemen within five different penal institutions. Here is a brief tour of three of them.
Henrik Bering reviewed The Profligate Son for The Wall Street Journal. Sadly you’ll need a WSJ subscription to read the full review, but here is an excerpt.
“A tale of juvenile folly turning into serious crime is afforded by Nicola Phillips’s splendid ‘The Profligate Son’… [which] charts the boy’s chosen path to its sordid and inevitable end and in the process makes an age come wonderfully alive.”
Nicola will be running a workshop on writing family and local history at Kingston Connections, a programme of talks, workshops, debates, music, poetry and performances to explore the concept of storytelling in its broadest sense. Running from 22nd – 30th June 2013. You can book tickets at the Rose Theatre.