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Voted the winner of the Man Booker Best of Beryl.
A novel about one family's experiences in the Crimean War. When the Battle of Inkerman was over, five survivors were assembled in front of a camera. A sixth figure - Master Georgie - added symmetry to the group. In the distance a young woman circled round and round like a bird above a robbed nest. Combining a breathtaking eye for beauty with a visceral understanding of mortality, Beryl Bainbridge exposes her enigmatic hero as tenderly and unsparingly as she reveals the filth and misery of war, and creates a novel of luminous depth and extraordinary intensity.
Beryl Bainbridge's last novel, The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress will be published posthumously in June 2011.
When Master Georgie - George Hardy, surgeon and photographer - sets off from the cold squalor of Victorian Liverpool for the heat and glitter of the Bosphorus to offer his services in the Crimea, there straggles behind him a small caravan of devoted followers; Myrtle, his adoring adoptive sister; lapsed geologist Dr Potter; and photographer's assistant and sometime fire-eater Pompey Jones, all of them driven onwards through a rising tide of death and disease by a shared and mysterious guilt.
'It is hard to think of anyone now writing who understands the human heart as Beryl Bainbridge does'
'Another masterly exploration by an author at the peak of her form ...She was always good at funny dialogue and acute observation of the oddities of human behaviour, but her recent historical explorations have given full reign to her startling powers of description ... Bainbridge has never written better'
'George Hardy, an affluent doctor living in Liverpool in the 1840s, attracts loyal friends from across the class divide. Myrtle, an orphaned slum-child, worships the ground he walks on. Pompey Jones, a cynical and mischievous street boy, makes the most of George's misplaced affection. George's brother-in-law, Dr Potter, a loquacious geologist, also holds him in high esteem, thinking little of following the doctor and his family to the Crimea weeks before the outbreak of war. This is a superb evocation of an age and a formative period in the history of the British Empire but, like all of Bainbridge's work, it is much more than that. It is one of those books you long to consume in one sitting. Shortlisted for the 1998 Booker prize.' (Kirkus UK)
Publication date: 01/04/1999
Publisher: Abacus an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
|Publication date:||1st April 1999|
|Publisher:||Abacus an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Beryl Bainbridge wrote seventeen novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, she won literary awards including the Whitbread Prize and Author of the Year at the British Book Awards. She died in July 2010.More About Beryl Bainbridge