A Perfect Explanation
Eleanor Anstruther

A Perfect Explanation by Eleanor Anstruther


Exploring themes of ownership and abandonment, Eleanor Anstruther’s debut is a fictionalised account of the true story of Enid Campbell (1891-1964), granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Argyll, who sold her son to her sister for £500.
Interweaving one significant day in 1964 with a decade during the interwar period, A Perfect Explanation gets to the heart of what it is to be bound by gender, heritage and tradition, to fight, to lose, to fight again. In a world of privilege, truth remains the same; there are no heroes and villains, only people misunderstood.

Praise from the Desmond Elliott Prize

‘Aptly for this most viscerally inward-looking of texts, we spend a great part of it closeted with Enid, alone. Her mind, pinched between ignorance and incapacity, is not an easy space to share but Anstruther paces this little room precisely, punctuates cerebral intensity with momentous action, the internal monologue with scintillating dialogue, and the dark inroads of this soul with episodic diversion.’

About the Author

Eleanor Anstruther was born in London, educated at Westminster School, and read History of Art at Manchester University. She lives on a farm in Surrey.