Books like The Essex Serpent

books like the essex snake

Design by Michael Stillwell

Adapting a best-selling book to a movie or TV show could easily turn out to be a hit or a miss, but Apple TV + seems to have managed to make Sarah Perry’s best-selling novel Essex snakes into a series. The Gothic story takes place in Victorian England and follows the London widow Cora Seaborne (played by Claire Danes), who moves to Essex to investigate reports of a mythical snake. There, the protagonist meets the village pastor, Will Ransome (played by Tom Hiddleston), and the two find themselves entangled in an emotional affair. But when the tragedy strikes, things take a turn and the locals accuse Cora of attracting the sea creature.

If you’ve already read Perry’s book or started watching the new series and love the plot and the characters, you’ve come to the right place. With summer just around the corner, there is no better time to fill up on page turners to read on the beach. Here are the best gothic books to put your teeth into if you could not get enough of Essex snakes.


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After me comes the deluge: a novel

Fans of Essex snakes will also love Perry’s debut novel, After me comes the flood. The story follows London bookseller John Cole, who is in a dilapidated house after his car crashes into the side of an isolated road. As he steps closer, a laughing woman he has never met addresses him by his name and reveals that she has been waiting for him. As John enters the home, John meets a mysterious group of residents, all of whom also claim to know who he is and that they have been waiting for his arrival.

Also by Perry, Melmoth is loosely based on the Gothic book of 1820 Hiker Melmoth by the Irish playwright Charles Maturin. In Perry’s version, Helen Franklin – an English translator living in Prague – receives a manuscript describing encounters with Melmoth the Witness, a mysterious dark-clad woman doomed to wander the earth and witness atrocities in humanity after seeing The resurrection and denial of Christ. that. As the story progresses, Helen begins to realize that Melmoth may be following her, and she is forced to literally face her demons.


The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock: A Novel

Thorndike Press large pressure

Bookworms will not get enough of Imogen Hermes Gowar’s historical novel about Jonah Hancock – a wealthy merchant in 1780s London – whose life is turned upside down when he unexpectedly receives a dead mermaid. Not long after, Hancock finds himself in high society and meets Angelica Neal, a famous courtesan with whom he forms an untraditional romance. But as the plot thickens, the two face major obstacles in their love story, perhaps because of the mermaid’s power.


Miniaturists: A novel

Jessie Burton’s 2015-based-a-true-story novel will definitely fill your gaping hole Essex snakebig hole in your summer reading list. Seen in 17th century Amsterdam, Miniaturists follows 18-year-old Nella Oortman, whose world is turning upside down after her new, distant husband, Johannes Brandt, presents her with a copy of their closet-sized home. As Nella begins to give the gift – with the help of a miniaturist – she begins to reveal unusual secrets about her husband’s family and the dangers that await them.


Remarkable Creatures: A Novel

If you appreciated the paleontological aspect of Essex snakesyou are going to love remarkable creatures. Based on real events and people, Tracy Chevalier’s novel takes place in 19th century England and tells the story of the uneducated Mary Anning, who reveals an unusually petrified skeleton that rattles the scientific community. As she befriends middle-class Elizabeth Philpot, who has her own passion for fossils, the two form an unlikely bond and face a number of obstacles, including sexism in a male-dominated society and long-standing religious beliefs about extinction.

From the same author of Miniaturists, Musen jumps back and forth between the 1930s in Spain and the 1960s in London and is about an unusual painting that appears in a gallery. Throughout the story, Trinidadian Odelle Bastien, a typist working on the said gallery, puts herself on a mission to learn more about the work of art and dives into the mystery of where it came from, who painted it, and what in the end end happened with Hi M.


Once Upon a River: A novel

Atria / Emily Bestler books

Once Upon a River is another great read if you were a fan of Essex snakes. On a dark winter night near the Thames, a wounded man staggers through an old inn with an unresponsive girl in his arms. Only later does the girl suddenly return to life, but is speechless, which causes the locals to try to solve the mystery of who she belongs to. But when three families sign up to claim her as their daughter, things get complicated and their own secrets begin to unravel.


The Silent Companions: A novel

Seen in Victorian England, The silent companions follows pregnant and newlywed widow Else Bainbridge as she attempts to navigate her life on her deceased husband’s crumbling estate. But as she explores the home, she finds old diaries and a silent companion, who is a painted wooden figure who looks very much like herself. Although the residents of the estate are afraid of the character, Elsie is determined to find out more about its origins, and along the way she learns about a number of shocking family secrets.

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