Jacques Rebiere and Thomas Midwinter, both sixteen when this story starts in 1876, come from different countries and contrasting families. They are united by an ambition to understand how the mind works and whether madness is the price we pay for being human. This work explores the question of what kind of beings men and women really are.
As young boys both Jacques Rebiere and Thomas Midwinter become fascinated with trying to understand the human mind. As psychiatrists, their quest takes them from the squalor of the Victorian lunatic asylum to the crowded lecture halls of the renowned Professor Charcot in Paris; from the heights of the Sierra Madre in California to the plains of unexplored Africa. As the concerns of the old century fade and the First World War divides Europe, the two men's volatile relationship develops and changes, but is always tempered by one exceptional woman; Thomas's sister Sonia. Moving and challenging in equal measure, Human Traces explores the question of what kind of beings men and women really are.
was born and brought up in Newbury, Berkshire. He worked in journalism before starting to write books. He is best known for the French trilogy, The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and Charlotte Gray (1989-1997) and is also the author of a triple biography, The Fatal Englishman (1996); a small book of literary parodies, Pistache (2006); and the novels Human Traces (2005) and Engleby (2007). He lives in London with his wife and their three children.