"This is an astonishing and luminous novel," said Hilary Mantel of Grace McCleen's The Professor of Poetry, which is out in paperback shortly.
"Whilst recovering from cancer, Elizabeth Stone, a respected academic, returns to the city where she was a student over thirty years ago to investigate some little-known papers by T.S. Eliot, which she believes contain the seeds of her masterpiece; a masterpiece that centres on a poem given to her when she was eighteen by Professor Hunt ...
But as the days pass in the city that both enchants and disquiets her, Elizabeth's memories return her to a time shadowed by loneliness, longing and quiet despair, and to an undeclared but overwhelming love for the elusive Professor Hunt. Haunted by a sense of waste, stunned by the intensity of her emotion and faced with new challenges, Elizabeth Stone comes to realise she is facing the biggest test of her life.
With shades of Jane Eyre and A.S. Byatt, this is a timeless novel that takes time as its subject, a novel filled with silence and stillness that nevertheless rejoices in the musical, dynamic qualities of prose."