The debut novel by Jennifer Angus.


In Search of Goliathus Hercules

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Synopsis from Publishers weekly:

While staying with his eccentric great-aunt in America, 10-year-old British boy Henri Bell discovers that he can communicate with insects. He soon parlays this ability into a job as a flea wrangler with a circus, leaving his great-aunt’s home to see the world—and attempt to discover the fate of his father. Three years earlier, George Bell mysteriously vanished in the jungles of British Malaya while hunting the legendary giant beetle known as Goliathus hercules. At every turn, Henri is stalked by the malevolent Agatha Black, who revels in torturing insects; furthermore, Henri appears to be turning into an insect himself.



Publishers weekly

Roald Dahl meets Franz Kafka in this charming and unpredictable debut novel, which is set in the 1890s.
Angus, a visual artist who extensively uses insects in her work, breathes life into her characters (both six- and two-legged) and color into her Victorian-era world, giving the story a sense of wonder and an air of danger. With respect and clever characterization, she makes fleas and other creepy-crawlies downright sympathetic, leaving readers to rethink their relationship with the insect world. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)



School Library Journal

This book is well thought out and a joy to read. Children will find Henri and all of his insect friends to be relatable characters. It is a grand adventure, one full of excitement and plenty of questions to keep readers engaged

.–Wayne R. Cherry, Jr., First Baptist Academy Lib., Houston, TX



Youth Albert Whitman Booklist
Issue: April 1, 2013

In Search of Goliathus Hercules.

In 1890 England, 10-year-old Henri discovers that not only can he communicate with insects but that he,
too, is among their tribe. Debuting author Angus builds this fantastical premise with well-placed scenes in
which Henri’s own deep skepticism cleverly encourages the reader to join willingly in his discoveries,
which include a housefly that can read and members of a flea circus whose performance improves when
Henri translates the ringmaster’s orders. Even as his concerns become increasingly concentrated on the
small world of insects, his world seems to grow. The disappearance of Henri’s father creates a framing
mystery that builds on the themes of identity and metamorphosis and wraps up in a satisfying and original
denouement. Illustrated with period postcards and other historical images, this moving, well-conceived
novel blends the spirit of Franz Kafka and the sly humor of Eva Ibbotson and is accessible for new fantasy
readers while offering something different to established fantasy fans.
— Francisca Goldsmith





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online artist's project


Textile Museum of Canada


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Once upon a time … so begins every good story. “A Terrible Beauty” is a series of episodic exhibitions which unfold the story of an eccentric traveler and collector. In total there have been three venues or chapters which explore ideas of pattern, collecting and display. Digital Threads will present the fourth and final chapter entitled “Till Death Do Us Part”, of the story which cannot take form within a gallery space. It is the story of the death of the collector and what happens to a prized collection



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