Appius and Virginia
G.E. Trevelyan, Brad Bigelow
Virginia Hutton embarks upon an experiment. She will take an ape and raise it as a human child. She purchases an infant orangutan and names him Appius. She clothes him, feeds him, and puts him to bed in a cot every night. As Appius grows older, she teaches him to dress himself, to speak, to read, to stand and walk up straight, to eat his meals at the dining table with a knife and fork. She teaches him how to be human. The young orangutan is not always a willing student. His relationship with Virginia becomes fraught and flits between that of mother and child, teacher and student, scientist and experiment. But as Appius gains knowledge he moves ever closer to the one discovery Virginia does not want him to make: that of his true origins. Appius and Virginia explores the ongoing conflict between nature and nurture. It is also a chilling and unforgettable portrait of loneliness.
'A work by a new author which is exciting both in promise and achievement. Miss Trevelyan has made a brilliant debut' - The Spectator, 'One lays down the book grieving oddly over this half-man and feeling that in some sense he is symbolic of human destinies' - New Statesman, 'So original is it, indeed, that I have scruples about writing the word "novel" at all. One must feel grateful to anybody with a sufficiently strong mind to break such new ground' - Gerald Gould
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