A tale of science and discovery
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.
As the story unfolds, Agnès discovers the old man’s workshop within the grounds of a large manor house, and hears of his dream to build the flying machine. There are numerous twists and turns along the way as she discovers how unpredictable life can be.
This is a story for anyone who dreams big. Agnès is a girl with grit and determination who battles against the odds to achieve something truly great. In doing so, she learns much about life and love, and what really matters. It is a story about life’s contradictions and dilemmas, and despite the setbacks we all encounter, not giving up.
Many of the characters 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.
This First Edition is published by Green Ginger Press in 2019 to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo Da Vinci.