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A J West
The Spirit Engineer

A.J. West studied English Literature at University before embarking on a career as a broadcast journalist. He produced the Arts Programme with Claudia Winkleman and the Jeremy Vine Show at BBC Radio 2, before presenting the television news in Northern Ireland.


While working in Belfast, he discovered the true story of William Jackson Crawford, spirit investigator and mysterious professor of engineering. His subsequent debut novel The Spirit Engineer was published by Duckworth Books in hardback in 2021 and paperback in 2022, making the Sunday Times bestseller list and winning the prestigious Historical Writers Debut Crown Award.


His second novel about the secret molly houses of Georgian London will be published in June 2024.


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'Haunted by the past: how a mysterious true story shaped a gothic novel
3.00pm - 4.00pm




A presentation on the true story behind AJ's bestselling debut novel The Spirit Engineer, delving into the murky world of Edwardian spiritualism and the twisted mind of a man who has been largely forgotten to history but in many ways, haunts us still.


With pictures taken during Kathleen Goligher's seances, AJ will explore the clues that led him to his own conclusion that William Jackson Crawford was a deeply flawed man who may well have been the victim of a most egregious fraud.

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