The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor

This is the first book which I’ve read by Andrew Taylor, I’m fairly sure that I had never even heard of him until Margaret@BooksPlease mentioned another of his books. I’ll definitely be reading more by him in the future as I did enjoy this one which was published in 2010.

The setting is 1786 and the book begins in London where John Holdsworth, a bookseller/binder, is living with his wife and young son. Tragedy strikes the family though and Holdsworth’s life falls apart. A chance meeting with an old acquaintance enables Holdsworth to move to Cambridge, in the employ of Lady Anne Oldershaw. She has read a book which Holdsworth has written – The Anatomy of Ghosts, in which he claimed ghosts are delusions. Lady Anne hires Holdsworth to help her son Frank who had been a student at Jerusalem College, Cambridge, where he thought he had seen a ghost. Frank Oldershaw has been locked up as a dangerous lunatic. Can John Holdsworth secure his release? Should Frank be free and what exactly has been going on in the Holy Ghost Club, a secret society which is only open to the rich, elite students of Jerusalem College.

I found this book to be a page turner, which is just as well as it’s fairly hefty at 469 pages. I don’t normally read what other people say about books before I write anything about them but I did this time, just because I had never read anything by Taylor before. I was surprised to see on Goodreads that someone mentions that it’s a short book – it makes me wonder if the reviewer had read the book at all, very strange.

7 thoughts on “The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor

  1. I read that book also about 6 months ago based on Roberta at and Margaret’s recommendation. It was a fairly intriguing book. My evening book group just finished A.S. Byatt’s “The Children’s Book”.It was 3 books in one for me, but I found it interesting. Can’t wait for the discussion!

    • Lorraine,
      I’ve just recently started visiting robertarood – actually I think you pointed me in her direction! I’ve only tried to read one Byatt book, can’t remember what it was but I know I gave up on it, very unusual for me. I wish I could listen in on your discussion. Are you not on Goodreads?

  2. I do want to read more Andrew Taylor books. I have read one, and have several from his Dougal series. I am not sure about this one. Is it really about ghosts and the supernatural?

    • TracyK,
      It isn’t really about ghosts, it’s just that a student thinks he has seen a ghost and Holdsworth sets out to prove to him that what he saw was very real and nothing at all supernatural. That doesn’t sound very interesting but I did really enjoy it.

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