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The Widow by Francis King

The Widow

RRP £16.99


The Widow by Francis King

When her husband, an Indian Civil Servant, dies on his way to take up a new and important post, Christine Cornwell is left with a son and daughter, and a small pension on which to support them. She is a woman of unusual toughness and resilience, and she adapts herself quickly to the difficulties of her new life as a widow in England in the mid 1930s; to the war; and, finally, to the mutilation of her son, a bomber pilot. But her resources begin to fail her when, after the war, she feels herself cast aside and isolated. One of the new poor and no longer young, she is wanted less and less by the world in general and her children in particular. With this new and dramatic challenge it is harder to come to terms than with all those that have gone before it; but as Francis King presents her, with a wonderful mixtures of shrewdness and compassion, Christine still has depths of character which, in the end, lead her to a solution. First published in 1957 and set off by a host of minor characters drawn with Francis King's remarkable certainty of touch, the reviewer in The Times thought The Widow 'more accomplished than anything he had written', confirming the author's own view that it was his finest novel.


'Nobody is better than Francis King at handling loving but uncertain relationships, and at illuminating the spaces between people.'
Alan Massie

About the Author

Born in Switzerland, Francis King spent his childhood in India, where his father was a government official. While still an undergraduate at Oxford he published his first three novels. He then joined the British Council, working in Italy, Greece, Egypt, Finland and Japan, before he resigned to devote himself entirely to writing. For some years he was drama critic for the Sunday Telegraph and he reviewed fiction regularly for the Spectator. He won the Somerset Maugham Prize, the Katherine Mansfield Prize and the Yorkshire Post Novel of the Year Award for Act of Darkness (1983). His penultimate book, The Nick of Time, was long-listed for the 2003 Man Booker Prize. Francis King died in 2011. One of our great writers, of the calibre of Graham Greene and Nabokov. Beryl Bainbridge

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Book Info

Publication date

5th December 2013


Francis King

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Macmillan Bello an imprint of Pan Macmillan


320 pages
Interest Age: From 18


Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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