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Well Downstream from Canary Wharf

Lorna Sage: Derek Beavan, 5 March 1998

Acts of Mutiny 
by Derek Beavan.
Fourth Estate, 280 pp., £14.99, January 1998, 1 85702 641 1
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... Derek Beavan burst on the scene four years ago with his own bold brand of palimpsest history in Newton’s Niece, a wonderfully circumstantial novel about magic in the new age of science. Real people, from Newton to Swift, Handel, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Mrs Manley, mingled with imaginary ones, not least the eponymous narrator of the title him/herself, a time-traveller from a late-20th-century mental hospital who switches gender in the process ...

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