Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo - Julia Stuart (preview)
JULIA Stuart’s new novel, Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo is described as a poignant, magical and completely original novel that you can’t fail to love.
The Tower of London is its own magical world; a maze of ancient buildings and home to a weird and wonderful cast of characters.
Meet Balthazar Jones, Beefeater at the Tower. Married to Hebe, lost property recovery officer for London Underground, he lives and works within the ancient Tower walls. Unfortunately, the confines of the Tower seem to trap the memory of the tragic death of their son Milo, three years ago.
As well as the Jones’s, there is Reverend Septimus Drew, the Ravenmaster, Ruby Dore, landlady of the Tower’s very own tavern the Rack & Ruin, and Mrs Cook, Milo’s historic tortoise.
After an announcement from Buckingham Palace that the Queen’s exotic animals are to be moved from London Zoo to the Tower’s grounds, this eclectic cast is about to become a whole lot more interesting…
You might be interested to know that King John opened the Royal Menagerie in the Tower of London in the thirteenth century. By 1252, there were three leopards and a polar bear amongst the collected animals presented to the Royal Family as thank-you gifts and tokens of appreciation. In the eighteenth century, it was opened to the public but in 1835, it was moved to Regent’s Park for safety reasons.
Julia Stuart was brought up in the West Midlands. She was a features writer for The Independent for eight years and now lives in Bahrain with her husband, who is also a writer.
Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo is published by HarperPress on March 8, 2010, and costs £7.99.
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