The actress’s first novel, we know she can write from her autobiographical work, the award-winning The Two of Us about her life with John Thaw amongst them. This is a chronicle of English society through the second half of the 20th century seen through the life of Marguerite struggling to recover from her experiences with the French Resistance during the Second World War. We go through the lot from her degree from Cambridge (one of the first women to get one) to Aldermaston marches, drugs, hippies, punks, Churchill’s funeral, women’s lib, the permissive society, frozen food, gay liberation, AIDS; you name it, Marguerite was involved. But she must leave all that to find her happiness. I think the author has had great fun remembering it all.
Sheila Hancock will be discussing Miss Carter’s War with Kate Mosse at the Bloomsbury Institute on Thursday 23rd October. Click here to find out more and to book tickets.
It is 1948 and Britain is struggling to recover from the Second World War. Half French, half English, Marguerite Carter, young and beautiful, has lost her parents and survived a terrifying war, working for the SOE behind enemy lines. Leaving her partisan lover she returns to England to be one of the first women to receive a degree from the University of Cambridge. Now she pins back her unruly auburn curls, draws a pencil seam up her legs, ties the laces on her sensible black shoes, belts her grey gabardine mac and sets out towards her future as an English teacher in a girls' grammar school. For Miss Carter has a mission - to fight social injustice, to prevent war and to educate her girls.
Closing date: 06/09/2018
A moving and lyrical evocation of life in post-war Britain seen through the eyes of an impassioned teacher, Sheila Hancock’s debut novel is richly enjoyable and suffused with humanity. In 1948 Britain is still recovering from the ravages of the Second World War and Marguerite Carter, a former SOE operative, has returned to England to become an English teacher. Half French, half English, she is a glamorous but credible figure, intent on combating social injustice wherever she encounters it and educating the girls in her care. From the prism of her perspective, the reader travels through the 1950s peace marches, flower power of the sixties, and on through to the rise of Thatcher and the battle for gay rights. Combining a flair for social statement with a strong narrative flow that also evokes much nostalgia for a bygone era, Hancock has created a likeable heroine and a novel of real distinction.
'Startlingly good . she is remarkably good at evoking period and place.'
- Sunday Times on THE TWO OF US
'An impressive and affecting work of art.'
'Her writing is starkly honest . she is never less than courageous and often desperately moving.'
'Infused with humanity, self-perception and honesty ... It is the stuff of bestsellers.'
-Guardian on JUST ME
'The writing remains so strong that one hopes there is more to come.'
-Daily Telegraph, Books of 2008
'Heartbreakingly moving . wise, funny and deeply touching.'
- Daily Mail
- Times, Book of the Year
Publication date: 09/10/2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
|Publication date:||9th October 2014|
|Publisher:||Bloomsbury Publishing PLC|
|Genres:||Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Historical Fiction,|
Sheila Hancock is one of Britain’s most highly regarded and popular actors, and received an OBE for services to drama in 1974 and a CBE in 2011. Since the 1950s she has enjoyed a career across film, television, theatre and radio. Her first big television role was in the BBC sitcom The Rag Trade in the early 1960s. She has directed and acted for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. Her first book, Ramblings of an Actress, was published in 1987. Following the death of her husband, John Thaw, Sheila Hancock wrote a memoir of their marriage, The Two ...More About Sheila Hancock