Winner of the Vance Palmer Award for Fiction, Victorian Premier's Literary Prize, 1995. Albion Gidley Singer creates his world as a vast collection of facts-facts he uses to support his own power and status. After an awkward childhood, aware that he is a disappointment to his father, he acquires, the trappings of respectability-success in business, a family. But beneath his comically grand exterior, Albion's soul remains a dark place of fear and loathing, driving him to terrifying deeds. Kate Grenville, author of the award-winning The Secret River, takes us inside the mind of one of her most powerful creations: a man who can persuade himself that he has the right, perhaps even the duty, to conquer and subdue the mocking flesh of any woman. Even his daughter Lilian...the unforgettable character Grenville introduced in her brilliant debut Lilian's Story. 'A ventriloqual tour de force of the darkness at the heart of man.' Sydney Morning Herald.