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Habits of the House by Fay Weldon

Habits of the House

Part of the Love and Inheritance Series
Historical Fiction   Literary Fiction   
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Selected by Sarah Broadhurst

Aimed squarely at fans of Downton Abbey this is a pitch-perfect, witty and fun romp of life above and below stairs and an elegy to the last days of aristocracy and Empire. Set in 1899 this is the first of a trilogy and did you know that Fay Weldon was a writer on the pilot episode of the original Upstairs Downstairs? We think it shows in the research that has been used to great effect. Read a free Opening Extract…Go on, you know you want to.

The Love & Inheritance series:

1. The Habits of the House

2. Long Live the King

3. The New Countess

If you like Fay Weldon you might also like to read books by Beryl Bainbridge, Helen Dunmore and Sarah Waters.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


Habits of the House by Fay Weldon

A love story, a happy end, a lively attack, haute-couture dresses and haute-cuisine meals: some quotable characters, some agreeable sex, some very witty lines - what else can you want from a novel? - unless perhaps a soupcon of Weldon perception and brains. Think fin de siecle and it's all here, in HABITS OF THE HOUSE. Isobel, Countess of Dilberne, is obliged to pair off her handsome, wilful son with a rich and pretty heiress from the Chicago stockyard. He's all the new internal combustion machines: she's all art. It's a clash of cultures and principles. Gold mines fail, bankers plot, bad girls flourish, London fog descends, Royalty intervenes, and your heart's in your mouth, hoping for the best for these unlikely lovers in the first in Weldon's Love and Inheritance trilogy.


'Weldon at her most spellbinding'
The Spectator

. 'A splendidly fun romp
The Times

. 'Hugely enjoyable


About the Author

Fay Weldon

Fay Weldon is one of Britain's best loved and most respected authors. Novelist, playwright and screenwriter Fay Weldon was born on 22 September 1931. She was brought up in New Zealand and returned to the United Kingdom when she was ten. She read Economics and Psychology at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and worked briefly for the Foreign Office in London, then as a journalist, before beginning a successful career as an advertising copywriter. She gave up her career in advertising, and began to write full-time. Her first novel, The Fat Woman's Joke, was published in 1967. Fay Weldon is a former member of both the Arts Council literary panel and the film and video panel of Greater London Arts. She was Chair of the Judges for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1983, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of St Andrews in 1990. She was awarded a CBE in 2001. She lives in Dorset with her husband, the poet Nick Fox.

Author photo © Alex Baker

Fellow novelist SOPHIE KING on FAY WELDON

Fay Weldon got me through my teenage years and my twenties. I don't know what I would have done without her naughty, feisty heroines. I normally prefer the close third person narrative but her authorial voice is so wicked that it has a delicious character in its own right.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st February 2013


Fay Weldon

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Head of Zeus


320 pages


Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction

Historical fiction



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