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Nightingale Wood by Stella Gibbons

Nightingale Wood

Part of the Virago Modern Classics Series
Family Drama   eBook Favourites   
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One of Veronica Henry's favourite books.

August 2010 Guest Editor Veronica Henry on Nightingale Wood...

Stella is most famous for Cold Comfort Farm and most people are unfamiliar with her other works. This recently reissued oeuvre is a quaint and charming ramble through English society in the 1930s – unrequited love, cads and chauffeurs abound.

If you like Stella Gibbons you might also like to read books by Miranda France.


Nightingale Wood by Stella Gibbons

Life is not quite a fairytale for poor Viola. Left penniless, the young widow is forced to live with her late husband's family in a joyless old house. There's Mr Wither, a tyrannical old miser, Mrs Wither, who thinks Viola is just a common shop girl, and two unlovely sisters-in-law, one of whom is in love with the chauffeur. Only the prospect of the charity ball can raise Viola's spirits - especially as Victor Spring, the local prince charming, will be there. But Victor's intentions towards our Cinderella are, in short, not quite honourable ...


'NIGHTINGALE WOOD is in essence, a sprawling, delightful, eccentric fairy tale ... There is romance galore, a transformative dress, and a ball, much dizzy kissing in hedgerows and beyond, spying, retribution and runaways, fights and a fire, poetry and heartbreak, a few weddings AND funerals, and a fairytale ending with a twist. What luxury to stumble upon this quirky book, and the fascinating modern woman who wrote it. It is a rare unadulterated pleasure and high time for its encore'
Sophie Dahl

About the Author

Stella Dorothea Gibbons was born in London in 1902. She studied journalism at University College, London, and worked for ten years on various papers, including the Evening Standard. Her first novel Cold Comfort Farm (1932) was (and is) hugely successful. She married the actor and singer Allan Webb, who died in 1959. They had one daughter. Stella Gibbons died in 1989.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd April 2009


Stella Gibbons

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Virago Press Ltd an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group


400 pages


Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Classic fiction (pre c 1945)



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