Books

A Perfect Explanation

A Perfect Explanation Eleanor Anstruther
International publishers Italy (Rizzoli)
Publisher (UK) Salt Publishing (March 2019)
Publisher (US) Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2020)

Exploring themes of ownership and abandonment, A Perfect Explanation is a fictionalized account of the true story of Enid Campbell (1892-1964), granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Argyll, who sold her son to her sister for £500.

““But is it ours?”  Enid had asked, again and again, until she was old enough to realise that it wasn’t – that nothing was owned, that everything could be taken away.”

Enid was Eleanor’s grandmother, her son, Ian, Eleanor’s father. The story’s dialogue – passed down to Eleanor but also imagined – gives us an authentic insight into a world of aristocratic privilege, where inheritance is everything. The unsaid and the unspoken in Enid’s story are vividly conveyed, and haunt the pages of this extraordinary book.

A Perfect Explanation was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2019.

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