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From the bestselling author of The Lie, and Exposure


‘The finest novel Dunmore has written.’ Observer
'Superb and poignant.’ Guardian

‘Quietly brilliant … among the best fiction of our time.’ Daily Telegraph

It is 1792 and Europe is seized by political turmoil and violence.

Lizzie Fawkes has grown up in Radical circles where each step of the French Revolution is followed with eager idealism. But she has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a property developer who is heavily invested in Bristol’s housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war.

Diner believes that Lizzie’s independent, questioning spirit must be coerced and subdued. She belongs to him: law and custom confirm it, and she must live as he wants.

But as Diner’s passion for Lizzie darkens, she soon finds herself dangerously alone.


This is the finest novel Helen Dunmore has written ... From the start, Birdcage Walk has the command of a thriller … The novel’s cast is marvellous and vivid … A novel that deserves to be cherished and to last.

Kate Kellaway, Observer

This powerful novel is a fine final flourish from a gifted writer … The power Dunmore gives to lowly female lives is inescapably moving, their stories taking us on a remarkable journey into the visceral heart of the female experience in Georgian Britain … [Dunmore is] one of the bravest and most versatile writers of her generation … This fine, fiery novel will surely be remembered as one of her best.

Melissa Katsoulis, The Times

Like many of Dunmore’s novels, Birdcage Walk defies categorisation ... a blend of beauty and horror evoked with such breath-taking poetry that it haunts me still ... she has an extraordinary gift for taking the ordinary and familiar and rendering them new. When Tredevant’s growing unpredictability once more tightens the narrative, forcing the story back into the ominous and unsettling territory where it first began, it is easy to see why [Dunmore] has earned a place among the finest writers of historical fiction working today.


Helen Dunmore’s quietly brilliant historical novels are among the best fiction of our time.

Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph

A finely wrought psychological thriller … But it’s ultimately a novel about the ways in which we remember and, as such, a fitting contribution to Dunmore’s extraordinary legacy.

Daily Mail

Elegant prose and brilliantly researched historical detail … a devastatingly good novel.

Sunday Express, S Magazine

Part psychological thriller, part poetic exhumation of the past, it’s a fiery, first-rate historical novel from an author who’ll be much missed

Mail on Sunday, Summer Reads

Dunmore is skilled at claiming the huge canvasses of history and painting upon them exquisitely detailed human tragedies … Every scene is saturated with vivid period detail but Dunmore’s touch is feather-light.

Francesca Segal, Financial Times

Dunmore just writes so effortlessly. Birdcage Walk is a joy to read.


Marvellous … Dunmore has the ability to evoke a sense of place and to write passages of thrilling and disturbing action … Dunmore is a remarkable novelist who sets herself very different challenges in each new novel. She meets this one triumphantly. It will surely be a great and thoroughly deserved success.

Allan Massie, Scotsman

All Dunmore’s novels grip the reader through her imaginative power … compelling as ever.

Daily Express

[An] engrossing read … A thrilling novel of loyalty, betrayal and revolution, Dunmore once again fails to put a foot wrong.

Woman & Home

In a tense plot exploring private and public violence, Helen Dunmore has proven why she is regarded as such a masterful storyteller.

Good Housekeeping

[This] page-turner is classic Dunmore: a subtle exhumation of the past in which long-buried passions seem thrillingly immediate.

EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday

Intelligent, precise writing, a sure grip on a historical period; sensuous evocation of inner and outer worlds; delicate symbolism . . . subtle mixture of fiction and fact . . . I have rarely felt so anxious reading a novel that at the same time gave me so much pleasure.

Times Literary Supplement

This novel reminds us we all have something to pass down to the next generation

Evening Standard

Dunmore’s deft skills in summoning up the ordinary life of a woman buffeted by extraordinary events are admirable.

Sunday Times

A chilling drama enclosing a graceful and elegiac meditation on how to love well in turbulent political times

Evening Standard, Summer Reads

With her vivid prose, Dunmore is a writer who can make herself at home in any era … Birdcage Walk is a gripping read. And while it’s set in the past, this novel has a very contemporary message about the consequences of political turmoil.


Helen Dunmore’s delicate prose brings the atmosphere to life, and through Lizzie we see the glimmer of future feminism; Dunmore’s portrayal of grief is painfully honest and raw . . . This is a perfect example of how hidden stories of the past can be brought to life.

Irish Times

Part Gothic romance and part study of 1790s radical politics … There is a precision to Dunmore’s re-enactment of the past … but she also shows the devastating effects of historical events on ordinary people and how they shape them.

Sunday Telegraph

[A] fine novel … In all her fiction Dunmore shows an acute awareness of the interactions between the lives of ordinary individuals and the larger forces of history … It also presents a memorable portrait of a young woman confronting with courage the unforeseen consequences of her choices.

BBC History Magazine

To read Dunmore is to live history rather than to study it ... It’s a wonderful book filled with experiences from [her] writing career

Mariella Frostrup, Open Book Radio 4


Saga Magazine

Another finely wrought historical novel

Radio Times

History from below in a commanding novel of revolution and romance

Boyd Tonkin, Arts Desk

Helen Dunmore’s new novel concerns lives, consequential in their day, that pass away into utter oblivion… The result is a chilling work of domestic horror where no crust, candle nor cabbage goes uncounted

Suzi Feay, The Spectator

Birdcage Walk offers a persuasively grimy period evocation of contemporary domestic peril facing women, not least in an agonising childbirth scene that has traumatic consequences

Anthony Cummins, Metro

Gripping historical drama

Irish Country Magazine

A story of idealism and possessive love, with strong and memorable characters

Choice Magazine

Helen definitely has a deft touch when it comes to history but the vividness of Lizzie and Diner's relationship is what stands out in glorious literary 3D. Speaking as someone raised in Bristol, I'll never be able to gaze down into the Gorge again without seeing that rowing boat. Bleak can be hauntingly beautiful and between these covers Helen demonstrates how

The Bookbag

She vividly brings to live the struggle of women’s lives in late 18th century Bristol, and I recommend the book for an insight into Bristol in another time

Western Daily Press

From the swish of a silk dress, to the whoosh of the guillotine, Dunmore uses words with economic precision to build up the detail and suspense of this novel. Which haunts the reader just as the characters in it are haunted by the dead.

The Tablet

Flawless final historical novel from the late, great Helen Dunmore

Woman & Home

A lively and inventive voice … by all account as brilliant as her other books

Good Housekeeping

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    October 2, 2017

    Windmill Books

    RRP $26.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Hardback


    April 15, 2017


    416 pages

    RRP $45.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Trade Paperback


    April 3, 2017


    416 pages

    RRP $37.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Also by Helen Dunmore

The Lie
The Greatcoat
Fatal Error
The Betrayal
Counting The Stars
Burning Bright
Your Blue-Eyed Boy
With Your Crooked Heart
A Spell Of Winter
House Of Orphans
Mourning Ruby
The Siege


An Uncommon Woman
Beauty in Thorns
The French Perfumer
The 7th Function of Language
The Award
Catch-22: 50th Anniversary Edition
Life After Life
Eureka Run
Fortune's Son
The French Lesson
Suite Francaise
For the Winner
The Shogun's Queen
Saviour of Rome
A Country Road, A Tree
The Cauliflower®
Sudden Death
The Strawberry Girl