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The Essex Serpent limited edition beer: spot the pumpclip to win a book

Essex Serpent beer pumpclip

We’re delighted to be partnering with Saffron Brewery in Essex to bring you a very special limited edition Essex Serpent beer – have you spotted the Serpent on your travels? 

 

1893: Cora Seaborne, a widow, leaves London for Essex. On arrival, rumours reach her that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming lives, has returned. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist with no patience for superstition, sets out on its trail, and clashes with the local vicar, who has no time for distractions from true faith.

 








See the Serpent, enter to win a book

For a chance to win one of twenty copies of The Essex Serpent, look out for the pump clip in a pub. Simply tag us @serpentstail @saffronbrewery with a picture of the pump clip (telling us where you spotted it) on Twitter before the 30th June 2017. Twenty winners will be selected at random. One winner will win a signed copy. No purchase necessary.


About the Legend

The 17th Century pamphlet about the legendary serpentThe Essex Serpent was inspired by the legend of the Henham Dragon, a mythical winged serpent that was said to prey on humans and beasts around Essex in the 1600s. 

The original 1660s pamphlet announcing the sighting of the Flying Serpent was published by William Winstanley, local poet, journalist, bookseller, historian and novelist. Sarah Perry's novel The Essex Serpent imagines the beast returned to terrorise Victorian Essex and the fictional village of Aldwinter. However, in the 1990s, historian Alison Barnes published a booklet suggesting the Winstanley’s pamphlet was a hoax perpetrated on the citizenry of Henham by creating ‘a hollow nine-foot wood and canvas dragon or "flying serpent" activated by a man which made fleeting appearances in and around Birch Wood, Henham throughout that summer and caused great excitement and mystification in the neighbourhood.’

Although the contents of the pamphlet were verified by a churchwarden, a constable, and five other solid citizens, Barnes asserts that the witnesses were close friends of Winstanley who went along with the hoax. (Excess consumption of local beer may also have played a hand in eyewitness statements!) Barnes also assumes that the pamphlet was probably on sale in William's Walden bookshop adding motivation for the fraud.

Flyer for The Winged Serpent 


About the book

The Essex Serpent book cover1893. Cora Seaborne, a new widow, leaves London for Essex on the death of her husband. On arrival, rumours reach her that the mythical winged Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist with no patience for superstition, sets out on its trail, and clashes with the local vicar, who has no time for distractions from true faith. But their quest to uncover the truth finds them at once drawn together and torn apart. The Essex Serpent is a celebration of love, and the many different shapes it can take.

Out in paperback from all good bookshops on 20th April.



About Saffron Brewery

We are a family run brewery based on a farm in Henham, Essex. We brew real ales using only traditional English Hops and the finest quality floor-malted barley.


If you would like to stock the beer or put your pub on the Essex Serpent Ale Trail, please contact info@saffronbrewery.co.uk.

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