Knebworth author Ken Follet’s releases Giant of a book

A BEST-SELLING author has released his latest historical epic, the first in a proposed trilogy.

Fall Of Giants is the 20th novel by Ken Follett, husband of former MP for Knebworth and Codicote Barbara Follett, and the first in his so-called “Century” trilogy.

Fall of Giants follows five linked families through the tribulations of the First World War, the Russian Revolution and the Suffragette movement. Over 850 pages, it tells the story of Billy Williams, a 13-year-old coal miner whose first day at work coincides with the coronation of King George V in 1911.

The Williams family is linked to the aristocratic coal mine owners the Fitzherberts. Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with German spy Walter Von Ulrich, and the pair become entangled with Gus Dewar, aide to US President Woodrow Wilson.

Also involved are Grigori and Lev Pushkov, two orphaned Russian brothers who plan to emigrate to America.

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Mr Follett, who lives in Old Knebworth, told the WHT he was hoping his new book would go someway to emulating the success of his last novel, World Without End.

“It was a huge success; it pretty much doubled my readership,” Mr Follett said of his last title.

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“Naturally you ask yourself ‘What did I do right?’

“I decided I wanted to write about a subject that gave me the same sway of historical background.

“I thought about the 20th century, which is the most dramatic and violent in human history.

“It’s also our history, and our parents’ and our grandparents’ history.

“The 20th century is very close to us. It’s something that happened to people who are still alive.

“It [Fall of Giants] is a very ambitious work, I hope people will see it as something quite wonderful.

“The reviews so far have been terrific – I couldn’t have written them better myself!”

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett is out now in hardback, priced �20.

Mr Follett will be signing copies of his new book at Waterstones in Stevenage on Saturday, October 16 at 10.30am.

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