Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Prague, Czech Republic
Uluru, Australia
  • Location: London, Essex, Colchester

The Essex Serpent

The Essex Serpent

Why a Booktrail?

1893: Is there such a thing as the Essex Serpent and is some strange creature is lurking in the nearby marshes? Some say it’s folklore but superstition can change people..

  • ISBN: 978-1781255445
  • Genre: Fiction, Folklore, Historical, Romance

What you need to know before your trail

When Cora Seaborne’s husband dies, she is nervous about the next stage in her life. For her marriage was not a happy one. She decides to leave town with her son Francis, and set up home in Essex, where she hopes the fresh air and space will do them both good.

They find lodgings in Colchester but just as soon as they are settled, they hear rumours of the mythical Essex Serpent which used to roam the marshes, eating any human it came across. The Serpent seems to be back.

People are scared but Cora is a keen amateur naturalist is fascinated and thinks that this mythical creature may in fact be an as yet undiscovered species

Travel Guide


The main setting of the book and the landscape where the serpent is said to inhabit..

Aldwinter (not real, but Brightlingsea corresponds best) Where Reverend William Ransome and his family live, soon to become fast friends of Cora Seaborne and her son.

Mersea Cliffs ‘Last month two men were walking at the foot of the Mersea cliffs and were almost knocked out by a landslip. They had the wit to look at the rubble and found fossil remains’ The recently-revealed site of archaeological interest that first draws Cora’s attention towards Essex

The Blackwater (river) ‘a young man walks down by the banks of the Blackwater under the full cold moon Where the river meets the sea, a young man drowns on New Year’s Eve, causing the Essex locals to panic and blame it on the serpent.

Streetview Maps

D) Essex - Red Lion Hotel
F) London - Foulis Street

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

What a  treat of a read! Quirky for sure but after the stunning artistic cover, this world I was swept into was just wonderful! At first I thought this might be about some mythical snake of some sort so would be a light quirky read but this was so much more. It was a fully fleshed mystery and dark and brooding landscape which curled itself around me,  apt for the book!

Cora Seaborne was a very unique woman and being a naturalist at a time when that job would have been held by a man, was fascinating. When most people were scared of the serpent, this woman stood tall and wanted to investigate.

The local vicar, William Ransome, brought in the religious angle and these two made for a very interesting viewpoint on the mythology and beliefs of the time.

Just like the serpent of the title, this novel wraps itself around your gently and gradually as the coils of love, science,politics, Victorian belief systems wrapped around me in varying degrees until I didn’t know where I was and when I got to the end, I felt the full force of the bite.

Right, sorry, enough serpent analogies, this was quite simply a really sumptuous and evocative novel. An exploration of fact and fiction and mythology in the Victorian era.

More please Sarah Perry!

Booktrail Boarding Pass Information:  The Essex Serpent

Author/Guide: Sarah Perry  Destination: London  Departure Time: 1893

Twitter: @SarahGPerry   Web: sarahperry

Back to Results

Featured Book

A Conflict of Interests

1944: Is Josephine’s husband guilty of a crime?

Read more