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The Great Level I Am An Engineer And A Measured Man Of The World I Prefer To Weigh Everything In The Balance, To Calculate And To Plan Yet My Own Heart Is Going Faster Than I Can Now CountIn , Jan Brunt, A Dutchman, Arrives In England To Work On Draining And Developing The Great Level, An Expanse Of Marsh In The Heart Of The Fen Country It Is Here He Meets Eliza, Whose Love Overturns His Ordered Vision And Whose Act Of Resistance Forces Him To See The World Differently Jan Flees To The New World, Where The Spirit Of Avarice Is Raging And His Skills As An Engineer Are Prized Then One Spring Morning A Boy Delivers A Note That Prompts Him To Remember The Fens, And Confront All That Was Lost There The Great Level Is A Dramatic And Elemental Story About Two People Whose Differences Draw Them Together Then Drive Them Apart Jan And Eliza S Journeys, Like The Century They Inhabit, Are Filled With Conflict, Hard Graft And Adventure And See Them Searching For Their Own Piece Of Solid Ground

10 thoughts on “The Great Level

  1. says:

    Ever since I read the review in The Guardian, I have wanted to read this book the story, set in the mid of the 17th century, of Jan Brunt, a Dutch engineer who comes to East Anglia to drain the marshes , is told in a most beautiful prose Jan is the

  2. says:

    That is what I believed that time nibbles away at the future, and in that moment puts the present behind its back The past retreats as each present moment joins it, on and on Yet that is far too simple Inside us, time sways backwards and forwards from now to

  3. says:

    Beautifully written Historical facts mixed with a personal story which I enjoyed very much The main characters are not worked out in depth The author observes them throughout their lives and relates the observations to the reader It s a fairytale style of writing, but

  4. says:

    Now this should have been a book I enjoyed.It has chapters set in my place of birth Kings Lynn and many others set at the very foundation of the City I visit monthly New York as it transitions from New Amsterdam Golden HillThe Kings Lynn and Ely part is around the draining of th

  5. says:

    Stella Tillyard s The Great Level is an absolute stunner It s everything that I want in an historical novel a completely immersive reading experience, feeling submerged in a previously unknown historical epoch and previously unknown historical locales After Mike McCormack s Solar Bones, w

  6. says:

    Jan Brunt is a Dutchman who moves from the Netherlands to England to work on the drainage of the Fens around Ely Years later he s living in New Amsterdam and thinking back to his time in England in the 164os 50s when the country was still in tumultuous times following the civil war I found this a l

  7. says:

    Jan Brunt arrives in Norfolk to drain The Fens and increase the amount of arable land, funded by Norfolk s famous son Oliver Cromwell In Norfolk, he meets and starts a relationship with Eliza, who later tells her story and becomes a three dimensional character on a page The story eventually moves to New Amst

  8. says:

    There are two problems with this book one and its pace and two the ending Mostly told from the point of view of the engineer Jan Brunt, the story creeps along at a frustrating pace until the second voice of Eliza is introduced She is brave, intelligent and curious and ultimately she turns a punishment into an opportun

  9. says:

    Wow she evokes so much life and vivid details of the fens, Netherlands as well as the new land America in the early part of the 17th century Wow what a novel, haunting and breathtaking and just rich in detail I wanted to savour every page This is one book I wanted to finish and yet did not want it to end I might be tempted to b

  10. says:

    It s surprising that the draining of the English Fens in the mid seventeenth century hasn t inspirednovelists It s an event with plenty of material a country still reeling from a brutal civil war and regicide, the culture clashes between the locals and the Dutch engineers brought over by the King to get the job done and between old estab

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