Agnes and the Birdman
A tale of science and discovery – 50,000 words – Nine years and over.
Agnès is a twelve-year-old runaway who dreams of her father’s return from across the sea. After a chance encounter with an ageing artist and inventor, she learns of his dream of building a flying machine and resolves to help him achieve it.
The prologue opens with an early attempt at flight on a Florentine hilltop in 1505. An inventor and his apprentice climb to the top of Swan Mountain quarry. On his Master’s command, the young boy leaps from a rocky outcrop with disastrous consequences.
Fourteen years later, in the marketplace at Amboise, Agnès is doing her best to evade Marshall Lupus, the town thief-catcher. After stealing a nobleman’s ruby cloak pin, she hides in an alleyway. From her thief-hole, she watches with intrigue as an old white-bearded stranger and his companion buy a songbird and set it free.
Many of the characters in this story are based on real people, including Leonardo, Melzi, King Francis, Queen Claude, Anne Boleyn and Maturina the housekeeper. There is a section in the back of the book with factual information about them.
Click the cover image to read the first chapters of Agnes and the Birdman.