The Hidden People
The bestselling author of Richard & Judy Book Club hit The Cold Season returns with a chilling mystery - w here superstition and myth bleed into real life with tragic consequences
Pretty Lizzie Higgs is gone, burned to dead on her own hearth - but was she really a changeling, as her husband insists? Albie Mirralls met his cousin only once, in 1851, within the grand gl...more
I’m always up for a good changeling story, and Alison Littlewood is an author I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. Thus when I found out about The Hidden People, I saw this book as the perfect place to start. There’s no doubt that the story is utterly atmospheric, full of the kind of beautiful, exquisite detail that slowly creeps up on you. Littlewood also writes wonderfully and has a flair for bringing a historical ...more
I’m very fond of a faery tale. Being Welsh, I’m a little more familiar with the mythologies of the Old Celtic countries than English folklore, but both seem to overlap on a key point: their depiction of faeries as wild, elemental, not-entirely-benevolent beings. This book goes one step further, dealing with old country folklore and looking at the flaws in the human condition, seeming to ask whether it is humans themselves who are the most inhuman of all…
Albie is not the most ...more
While I have to admit that it was what felt the longest 384 pages, the novel did deliver a certain charm. The writing is similar to 19th century classical books and that’s well done because the story is set in the 19th century. The descriptions of inns, village life and mannerisms covered the historical fiction aspect to a T.
So, yes, the writing was well thought ...more
Worthy more of 3.5 stars than just 3.
I was intrigued by the stunning cover and blurb when first seeing this book as I'd not read the authors previous work, The cold Season, but had heard many good things about it.
This is the creepy story of Albie and his obsession with his cousin Lizzie, who he met only the once at the Great Exhibition of 1851, but she always remained on his mind, so when he learns ...more
Set in 1851 at the opening of the Crystal palace with excellent writing and portrayal of simple country life with regional accents and old English words and sayings that had me looking them up in a dictionary for their ...more
I've come to look forward to a new ghost or horror story from Alison Littlewood as an Autumn treat, timed to come alongside the smell of bonfires, falling leaves and of course the darkening evenings. The Hidden People - while set at the height of Summer, indeed, in a place where it is always Summer - doesn't disappoint although it's a departure for Littlewood, being set in the past, the mid Victorian age.
Albie Mirralls is the son of ...more
I enjoyed the beginning of this novel, when I thought there was (eventually) going to be a supernatural element. The premise seemed intriguing: a city man, rational to his core, thrown into the countryside where people believe in fairies to such a degree that a man has burned his wife to death in order to force the fairies to return the 'real' her. He wo ...more
Albert, a gentlemanly Victorian Londoner, heads to Yorkshire when he hears about his cousin being burned to death by her husband because he thought she was a changeling. At first Albert just wants to sort out his cousin's affairs, spurred on by a sense of guilt that he ignored her whil ...more
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With such a gorgeous cover and an intriguing synopsis, I was super excited to read The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood. Slow to build, the pacing was problematic enough that it knocked the rating down two stars to three. Other than the pacing, the characters and story itself were absolutely fantastic! An amazing mystery that messes with your mind and keeps you wondering what is happening from start to end.
The characters were extremely interesting a ...more
Re-wind to a brief moment a few years earlier when the dead woman (Lizzie Higgs) meets her cousin (Albie Mirralls) at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and leaves an impression on him with her mild ways and beautiful voice. She left quite an impression on him in that one me ...more
In The Hidden People, Alison Littlewood has woven a lyrical tale of enchantment, delusion and jealousy, in which urban Victorian rationality collides with lingering rural folk belief, with neither emerging unscathed. Whereas the much-lauded The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry aspires to explore these themes and fails to deliver upon its promise, this cannot be said of Littlewood’s The Hidden People, for it is by far the better-written and more satisfy ...more
Despite my own inability to focus, this novel was very good and definitely had an interesting ...more
The Hidden People was a book that I heard about back in May at the Headline and Quercus Autumn highlights event and I was very intrigued to read it.
Lizzie Higgs has been burnt by her husband who believed her to be a changeling, a fairy who was not part of this world. But is she actually a changeling as her husband thought she was? When her cousin Albert hears of her death, despite having only met her once, he takes it upon himself ...more
This was the first book by Alison Littlewood I’ve ever read, I knew nothing of her previous works and unfortunately after reading ‘The Hidden People’ I don’t have too great an interest in reading them, I’m not saying that I won’t but it is very unlikely.
I’ve seen ‘The Hidden People’ compared to Susan Hill’s ‘The Woman in Black’, a book I love however for me this lacked any tension that ‘The Woman in Black’ h ...more
Set in the 1800s - Albie has only met his cousin, Lizzie, once when he was younger. But, the news of her death saddens him and makes him question what happened to the wonderful girl he ...more
The novel is a huge accomplishment on many levels. It feels completely authentic, both in the speech patterns of the middle-class Victorian characters, as well as those from rural Yorkshire. On top, and maybe more importantly, the thought processes of the narrator, Albie, seem completely credible as those of a youngish, slightly pompous Victorian rationalist. ...more
The first person point of view means that we don't as learn much about other characters as we might have done from a different viewpoint, but stylistically, it fits the story. I would like to have learned more about Helene and Lizzie, rather than just as the shrewish wife and near-perfect cousin.
My only real issue with i ...more
The horror in this is deeply psychological, and that's usually my favorite kind of horror story. The only place it falls a bit short for me is in the ...more
Set in the mid 19th century, this book harks back to the old gothic novels of the time. It is all consuming, and consistently tense throughout. ...more
The book is clearly well researched, drawing on the emerging science and modern ways of thinking as they clashed with local folklore and myths of fairies and changelings. There's a real ambiguity in some sections that reminded me of "The Turn o ...more
Her first book, A Cold Season (2 ...more