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Books in the series: Virago Modern Classics

Noel Streatfeild's Holiday Stories

Noel Streatfeild's Holiday Stories

Author: Noel Streatfeild Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/05/2021

A NEW COLLECTION OF HOLIDAY-THEMED STORIES BY THE BELOVED AUTHOR OF BALLET SHOES There are stories for every reader in this delightful collection - exciting crime-solving adventures; nervous young actors in the spotlight for the first time; unforgettable holidays and unlikely friendships. Featuring beautiful illustrations by PETER BAILEY Stories include: The Plain One Devon Mettle Chicken for Supper Flag's Circus The Secret Coralie Ordinary Me Cows Eat Flowers Andrew's Trout The Old Fool Let's Go Coaching Howard The Quiet Holiday Roberta Green Silk Originally written for annuals and magazines from the 1930s-70s, these newly discovered stories will be an exciting discovery for Noel Streatfeild fans of all ages.

Music Upstairs

Music Upstairs

Author: Shena Mackay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/04/2021

The Narrows

The Narrows

Author: Ann Petry Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/03/2021

'Petry is the writer we have been waiting for, hers are the stories we need to fully illuminate the questions of our moment, while also offering a page-turning good time. Ann Petry, the woman, had it all, and so does her insightful, prescient and unputdownable prose . . . The Narrows is the story of a doomed interracial romance that proves that passion and prejudice are not mutually exclusive' Tayari Jones, New York Times Link Williams is a handsome and brilliant Dartmouth graduate who tends bar due to the lack of better opportunities for an African American man in a mid-century Connecticut town. The routine of Link's life is interrupted when he intervenes to save a woman from a late-night attack. Due to the thick fog rolling in from the river, they cannot easily discern each other, so it is only when they enter a bar for a drink that Camillo sees her rescuer is black and Link learns that the woman is white. Camilo (Camilla Treadway Sheffield) is beautiful, wealthy and married: she has crossed the town's racial divide to relieve the tedium of her life. Brought together by chance, Link and Camilo draw each other into furtive encounters that violate the rigid and uncompromising social codes of their times.

Noel Streatfeild's Christmas Stories

Noel Streatfeild's Christmas Stories

Author: Noel Streatfeild Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/10/2020

'The wonderful Noel Streatfeild's Christmas Stories collects, for the first time, nine festive stories originally written for annuals and magazines in the 1940s and 1950s . . . As ever, Streatfeild's children always feel utterly real and relatable. A beautifully produced treat' Anna Carey, Irish Times In this captivating collection of stories by the author of Ballet Shoes, there are auditions on stage and antics on ice, trips to the pantomime, holiday adventures, and laughter shared with family and friends. Charming, heartwarming and funny, this collection will bring joy to readers of all ages. Originally written in 1940s-60s for annuals, magazines and the radio, these stories have never been collected before. With enchanting line drawings by by Peter Bailey. Stories include: The Audition The Bells Keep Twelfth Night The Moss Rose Thimble The Princess The Chain Christmas at Collers The Pantomime Goose Skating to the Stars

Miss Mole

Miss Mole

Author: E.H. Young, Lucy Scholes Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2020

'Who would suspect her sense of fun and irony, of a passionate love for beauty and the power to drag it from its hidden places? Who would imagine that Miss Mole had pictured herself, at different times, as an explorer in strange lands, as a lady wrapped in luxury and delicate garments?' Miss Hannah Mole has for twenty years earned her living precariously as a governess or companion to a succession of difficult old women.Now, aged forty, a thin and shabby figure, she returns to Radstowe, the lovely city of her youth. Here she is, if not exactly welcomed, at least employed as housekeeper by the pompous Reverend Robert Corder, whose daughters are sorely in need of guidance. But even the dreariest situation can be transformed into an adventure by the indomitable Miss Mole. Blessed with imagination, wit and intelligence, she wins the affection of Ethel and her nervous sister Ruth. But her past holds a secret that, if brought to life, would jeopardise everything.

Cheerfulness Breaks In

Cheerfulness Breaks In

Author: Angela Thirkell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/08/2020

'You read her, laughing, and want to do your best to protect her characters from any reality but their own' New York Times It is summer 1939 and the social event of the year is about to take place: Rose Birkett, a flighty beauty with a penchant for breaking engagements and hearts, is finally getting married, and the whole village - especially her parents - breathes a sigh of relief. By autumn, however, summer weddings seem a distant memory as war reaches Barsetshire. While the younger generation throws itself into the war effort with cheerful aplomb, older residents remember the last war keenly, and are fearful. When an entire London school of evacuees arrive, as well as a number of refugees, the village rallies round to accommodate them. Some inhabitants, though, fail to welcome the newcomers with open arms. First published in 1940, this is a humorous and poignant picture of wartime in a rural community.

Peace Breaks Out

Peace Breaks Out

Author: Angela Thirkell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/08/2020

'You read her, laughing, and want to do your best to protect her characters from any reality but their own' New York Times When peace breaks out, it surprises and unsettles familiar wartime routines, and the residents of Barsetshire seem as disconcerted as they are overjoyed. Nevertheless, as the county's eligible young men return home, the social round regains its old momentum. Before long, everyone is spinning in a flurry of misunderstandings and engagements. The older generation, though, sees that the world will never be the same again.

Growing Up

Growing Up

Author: Angela Thirkell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/08/2020

'Charming, very funny indeed. Angela Thirkell is perhaps the most Pym-like of any twentieth-century author, after Pym herself' Alexander McCall Smith It is wartime in Barsetshire, and so much has changed. Belier's Priory is now a hospital for wounded soldiers, and Sir Harry and Lady Waring have moved to the servants' quarters, where they make the best of it - so much more practical than the large, draughty house! Soon, their niece Leslie, who has a hush-hush job with the navy, comes to recuperate: her nerves are frayed from overwork and a close call with a torpedo. When the Warings are then asked to house an intelligence officer and his wife, they reluctantly agree. They cannot know what a much-needed tonic Noel and Lydia Merton will prove to be. With the Priory being both the Waring residence and the army hospital, it becomes the hub of activity for all of Barsetshire.

Five Children and It

Five Children and It

Author: E. Nesbit Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/08/2020

'I love her books - particularly the Five Children and It sequence' - Neil Gaiman Digging in the gravel pit on a hot summer's day, five children discover 'it': a grumpy creature with eyes like a snail's, ears like a bat's, and a tubby body all covered in fur. 'It' is a Psammead, an ancient sand-fairy who has the power to grant the children one wish a day. That, you might think, would be a dream come true! But you need to be very careful what you wish for: whether it's for wings, treasure or beauty, things can - and often will - go wrong. With all the illustrations by H. R. Millar, newly scanned from the original edition. Five Children and It is the first book in the Psammead trilogy: next, discover The Phoenix and the Carpet and The Story of the Amulet. 'The cheerful, child-centred anarchy of Five Children and It is still my inspiration and delight' Kate Saunders, Guardian 'My all-time favourite classic children's author' Jacqueline Wilson 'If Britain is to children's fantasy as Brazil is to football, then Edith Nesbit is our Pele - endlessly surprising and inventive. But she is more than that. There were fantasy writers before Edith Nesbit but she is the one that brought the magical and the mundane together in a moment of nuclear fusion. She opened the door in the magic wardrobe, pointed the way to platform nine and three quarters. She even had a hand in building the Tardis. And these are among her minor achievements. She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had, while being the one who could most easily and sweetly break your heart with a phrase. Just try saying Daddy oh my Daddy without catching your breath. She made the magic worlds feel as near as the Lewisham Road and she bathed the Lewisham Road in magic' Frank Cottrell-Boyce This collection of the best in children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Dust Tracks On A Road

Dust Tracks On A Road

Author: Zora Neale Hurston, Jesmyn Ward Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/02/2020

With a new introduction by JESMYN WARD 'Zora Neale Hurston was a knockout in her life, a wonderful writer and a fabulous person. Devilishly funny and academically solid: delicious mixture' MAYA ANGELOU First published in 1942 at the height of her popularity, Dust Tracks on a Road is Zora Neale Hurston's candid, exuberant account of her rise from childhood poverty in the rural South to a prominent place among the leading artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance. As compelling as her acclaimed fiction, Hurston's literary self-portrait offers a revealing, often audacious glimpse into the life - public and private - of an extraordinary artist, anthropologist, chronicler and champion of the black experience in America. Full of the wit and wisdom of a proud, spirited woman who started off low and climbed high: 'I have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows with a harp and a sword in my hands.' 'One of the greatest writers of our time' TONI MORRISON

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister - Vol.2

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister - Vol.2

Author: Anne Lister Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/01/2020

ANNE LISTER IS THE INSPIRATION FOR GENTLEMAN JACK, THE ACCLAIMED BBC/HBO SERIES BY SALLY WAINWRIGHT, STARRING SURANNE JONES. 'The Lister diaries are the Dead Sea Scrolls of lesbian history; they changed everything. By resurrecting them and editing them with such loving attention and intelligence, Helena Whitbread has earned the gratitude of a whole generation' EMMA DONOGHUE 'Engaging, revealing, at times simply astonishing: Anne Lister's diaries are an indispensable read' SARAH WATERS When Helena Whitbread first published excerpts from Anne Lister's diary, which was written in a complicated, esoteric code, it was hailed as a lost piece of lesbian history. Whitbread has devoted years to researching and transcribing Lister's extensive journals; the 'crypthand' had allowed Lister to record her life in intimate, and at times, explicit, detail. It was the first time her story had been told. This second volume continues the story of one of the most remarkable women of her time: landowner, industrialist, traveller and lesbian. Anne Lister arrives in post-revolutionary Paris in 1824, attempting to recover from a doomed love affair with a married woman. There she becomes emotionally entangled with a young widow. Anne's efforts, firstly to extricate herself from this new 'scrape' and then to make a choice between the two women in her life, provides an absorbing sexual and social drama. We follow Anne Lister to Buxton, Derbyshire, where a husband appears in hot pursuit of his straying wife who has, in turn, followed Anne there; in Halifax, the Yorkshire town of Anne's birth; to London; and to post-revolutionary Paris, a city alive with political intrigue. Anne's descriptive powers bring each scene vividly to life, providing a brilliant, kaleidoscopic background to her story.

The Street

The Street

Author: Ann Petry Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/12/2019

With a new introduction by TAYARI JONES, author of An American Marriage and winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019 * As heard on BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime 'Ann Petry's first novel, The Street, was a literary event in 1946, praised and translated around the world - the first book by a black woman to sell more than a million copies . . . Her work endures not merely because of the strength of its message but its artistry' NEW YORK TIMES 'My favorite type of novel, literary with an astonishing plot . . . insightful, prescient and unputdownable' TAYARI JONES New York City, 1940s. In a crumbling tenement in Harlem, Lutie Johnson is determined to build a new life for herself and her eight-year-old boy, Bub - a life that she can be proud of. Having left her unreliable husband, Lutie believes that with hard work and resolve, she can begin again; she has faith in the American dream. But in her struggle to earn money and raise her son amid the violence, poverty and racial dissonance of her surroundings, Lutie is soon trapped: she is a woman alone, 'too good-looking to be decent', with predators at every turn.

Corregidora

Corregidora

Author: Gayl Jones Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

'No novel about any black woman could ever be the same after this' TONI MORRISON 'Corregidora is the most brutally honest and painful revelation of what has occurred, and is occurring, in the souls of Black men and women' JAMES BALDWIN Upon publication in 1975, Corregidora was hailed as a masterpiece, winning acclaim from writers including James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison and John Updike. Exploring themes such as race, sexuality and the long repercussions of slavery, this powerful novel paved the way for Beloved and The Colour Purple. Now, this lost classic is published for a new generation of readers. Blues singer Ursa is consumed by her hatred of Corregidora, the nineteenth-century slave master who fathered both her mother and grandmother. Charged with 'making generations' to bear witness to the abuse embodied in the family name, Ursa Corregidora finds herself unable to keep alive this legacy when she is made sterile in a violent fight with her husband. Haunted by the ghosts of a Brazilian plantation, pained by a present of lovelessness and despair, Ursa slowly and firmly strikes her own terms with womanhood. AS HEARD ON THE BACKLISTED PODCAST 'A literary giant, and one of my absolute favourite writers' TAYARI JONES, author of AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE Also new to the VMC list: Eva's Man and The Healing by Gayl Jones. 'An American writer with a powerful sense of vital inheritance, of history in the blood' JOHN UPDIKE 'Gayl Jones's first novel, Corregidora (1975), was both shocking and ground-breaking in its probing of the psychological legacy of slavery and sexual ownership through the life of a Kentucky blues singer ... it predated Alice Walker's The Color Purple and Toni Morrison's Beloved, revealing an unfinished emancipation and the power of historical memory to shape lives. It also marked a shift in African-American literature that made women, and relationships between black people, central' MAYA JAGGI, Guardian 'Corregidora's survey of trauma and overcoming has become even better and more relevant with the passage of time. It remains an indispensable point of entry into the tradition of African American writing that Gayl Jones reshaped and enriched' PAUL GILROY

Eva's Man

Eva's Man

Author: Gayl Jones Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

'A literary giant, and one of my absolute favourite writers' TAYARI JONES, author of AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE Eva Medina Canada sits in her psychiatric ward, silent and unremorseful. She has murdered her lover and they want to know why. Her memories weave back and forth over encounters with the men in her life - the schoolboy who played doctors and nurses with a dirty popsicle stick; her mother's boyfriend; her cousin; her husband; a stranger on the bus. She's been propositioned and abused for as long as she can remember. 'Corregidora was a small, fiercely concentrated story, harsh and perfectly told . . . Original, superbly imagined, nothing about the book was simple or easily digested. Out of the worn themes of miscegenation and diminishment, Gayl Jones excavated the disturbingly buried damage of racism. Eva's Man is a deepened exploration of the woman's inner life; of the pressures, the cruelties, the imposed expectations' Darryl Pinckney, The New Republic 'Gayl Jones is one furious, lacerating writer. You don't read her easily, and you can't forget her at all . . . Hyper-real and traumatic as this novel is, it's one that's been waiting to be written since Samuel Richardson gave us the male point of view of Clarissa, that other fallen woman whose only acceptable alternative to ravishment was death. Eva's silence, and her status here as legally insane, are eloquent testimony to the condition of being a woman in this man's world' Kirkus

The Healing

The Healing

Author: Gayl Jones Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 'A literary giant, and one of my absolute favourite writers' TAYARI JONES Harlan Jane Eagleton is a faith healer, travelling to small towns, converting sceptics, restoring minds and bodies. But before that she was a rock star's manager and race-track gambler. She's had a fling with her rock star's ex-husband and along the way she's somehow lost her own husband - a medical anthropologist now travelling with a medicine woman in Africa. Harlan tells her story from the end backwards, drawing us ever deeper into her world and the mystery at the heart of her tale - the story of her first healing. 'An important American writer . . . The Healing examines precisely what its title announces: healing from silence, from physical attacks and treachery, from spiritual and cultural isolation, from the pain of old-fashioned, aching, bluesy love . . . It is also a very funny book . . . A moving affirmation of forgiveness and trust . . . The Healing should be cause for hope, sustenance and even celebration' - Valerie Sayers, New York Times

Wave Me Goodbye

Wave Me Goodbye

Author: Anne Boston, Anne Boston Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/08/2019

This collection of wartime stories includes some of the finest writers of a generation. War had traditionally been seen as a masculine occupation, but these stories show how women were equal if different participants. Here, war is less about progress on the frontline of battle than about the daily struggle to keep homes, families and relationships alive; to snatch pleasure from danger, and strength from shared experience. The stories are about saying goodbye to husbands, lovers, brothers and sons - and sometimes years later trying to remake their lives anew. By turn comical, stoical, compassionate, angry and subversive, these intensely individual voices bring a human dimension to the momentous events that reverberated around them and each opens a window on to a hidden landscape of war. Writers include: Jean Rhys, Beryl Bainbridge, Elizabeth Bowen, Elizabeth Taylor, Stevie Smith, Rosamond Lehmann, Barbara Pym, Angela Thirkell, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Dorothy Parker, Doris Lessing, Olivia Manning, Rose Macaulay and Stevie Smith

The Wedding

The Wedding

Author: Dorothy West, Diana Evans Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/08/2019

With a new introduction by DIANA EVANS 'A writer of huge compassion and acute observation, and also of dazzling style . . . Her work is more relevant than ever' Diana Evans 'Timelessly cinematic, with painterly visual descriptions and pitch-perfect dialogue that ranges across class, region, race, age, and gender' Emma Garman, Paris Review Set on a bucolic Martha's Vineyard in the 1950s, The Wedding tells the story of life in the Oval, a proud, insular community made up of the best and brightest of the East Coast's black bourgeoisie. Within this inner circle of 'blue-vein society', we witness the prominent Coles family gather for the wedding of their loveliest daughter, Shelby, who could have chosen from 'a whole area of eligible men of the right colors and the right professions.' Instead, she has fallen in love with and is about to be married to Mead Wyler, a white jazz musician from New York. A shock wave breaks over the Oval as its longtime members grapple with the changing face of its community. Not just the story of one wedding, but of many, this compelling story offers insights into issues of race, prejudice and identity while maintaining its firm belief in the compensatory power of love. Through a delicate interweaving of past and present, North and South, black and white, The Wedding unfolds outward from a single isolated time and place until it embraces five generations of an extraordinary American family. It is an audacious accomplishment, a monumental history of the rise of a black middle class, written by a writer who lived it. Wise, heartfelt, and shattering, it is Dorothy West's crowning achievement.

The Richer, The Poorer

The Richer, The Poorer

Author: Dorothy West, Diana Evans Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/08/2019

'A writer of huge compassion and acute observation, and also of dazzling style . . . Her work is more relevant than ever' DIANA EVANS An incredible collection of writing - both essays and short stories - spanning the long career of Dorothy West. Includes a new introduction by Diana Evans. 'West's work is timelessly cinematic, with painterly visual descriptions and pitch-perfect dialogue that ranges across class, region, race, age, and gender' Emma Garman, Paris Review The stories contained here are as American as jazz, and as wise and multifaceted as their writer. Dorothy West's metier is the unique crucible in which America places its black middle class, but her themes are universal: the daily misunderstandings between young and old, men and women, rich and poor that can lead to tragedy; and the ways in which bonds of family and community can bring us together, and tear us asunder. Dorothy West's autobiographical essays explore the poles of her remarkable life - from growing up black and middle-class in Boston to her near-mythic trip to Moscow in 1933 with Langston Hughes and other Harlem Renaissance writers to life on her beloved Martha's Vineyard. They cohere into a beautiful and poignant memoir of a singular American life, a memoir that communicates with her short stories in a host of fertile ways. Taken as a whole, The Richer, The Poorer is a triumphant celebration of the long life and work of one of America's genuine treasures.

The Sleeping Beauty

The Sleeping Beauty

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, David Baddiel Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/06/2019

INTRODUCED BY DAVID BADDIEL A subtle love story by one of the most accomplished writers of the 20th century Vinny Tumulty is a quiet, sensible man. When he goes to stay at a seaside town, his task is to comfort a bereaved friend. Vinny is prepared for a solemn few days of tears and consolation. But on the evening of his arrival, he looks out of the window at the sunset and catches sight of a mysterious, romantic figure: a beautiful woman walking by the seashore. Before the week is over Vinny has fallen in love, completely and utterly, for the first time in his middle-aged life. Emily, though, is a sleeping beauty, her secluded life hiding bitter secrets from the past.

The Wedding Group

The Wedding Group

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Charlotte Mendelson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/06/2019

First published in 1968, this quietly ironic exploration of the ways in which the parental mould is not easily broken, is one of Elizabeth Taylor's most ambitious novels. You know,' Midge began, and paused. She was rather taken aback, and could not at once think of anything to say. 'Perhaps there's nothing so dangerous as having led a sheltered life.' Cressy has grown up in a world of women, presided over by her eccentric, artistic grandfather Harry Bretton. Rebelling against the wholesome, organic values of her home life, Cressy decides to leave home in search of more ephemeral pleasures. Taking a job in an antiques shop, she meets David, a self-satisfied journalist, also looking for means of fleeing the family nest. But as Cressy cannot fend for herself and David is securely tied to his mother's apron strings, this act of escape for both of them proves a powerful form of bondage.

I'll Never Be Young Again

I'll Never Be Young Again

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Elaine Dundy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/05/2019

'The iron of the bridge felt hot under my hand. The sun had been upon it all day. Gripping hard with my hands I lifted myself on to the bar and gazed down steadily on the water passing under . . . I thought of places I would never see, and women I should never love' As far as Richard's father, a famous poet, is concerned, his son has no talent as a writer and will never amount to anything. In a moment of crisis, Richard decides to end his life, but is saved by Jake, a passing stranger. The two men, both at turning points in their lives, set out for adventure, jumping aboard a ship to Norway. Their travels take them through Europe and they form a passionate friendship. But in bohemian Paris Richard meets Hesta, a music student who inspires him to follow his artistic dreams. No other popular writer has so triumphantly defied classification . . . She satisfied all the questionable criteria of popular fiction, and yet satisfied the exacting requirements of real literature , something very few novelists ever do - Margaret Forster

Hungry Hill

Hungry Hill

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Nina Auerbach Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/05/2019

A storyteller of cunning and genius - Sally Beauman Hungry Hill' is a passionate story told with du Maurier's unique gift for drama. It follows five generations of an Irish family and the copper mine on Hungry Hill to which their fortunes and fates are bound. 'I tell you your mine will be in ruins and your home destroyed and your children forgotten . . . but this hill will be standing still to confound you.' So curses Morty Donovan when 'Copper John' Brodrick builds his mine at Hungry Hill. The Brodricks of Clonmere gain great wealth by harnessing the power of Hungry Hill and extracting the treasure it holds. The Donovans, the original owners of Clonmere Castle, resent the Brodricks' success, and consider the great house and its surrounding land theirs by rights. For generations the feud between the families has simmered, always threatening to break into violence . . .

Jonah's Gourd Vine

Jonah's Gourd Vine

Author: Zora Neale Hurston, Jesmyn Ward Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2019

With a new introduction by JESMYN WARD Born on the wrong side of the creek, John Buddy Pearson, the son of a slave, has come a long way since his shoeless days. With some schooling, a job and marriage to clever Lucy Potts, his fortunes are looking up. But, unable to resist the lure of women or a fight, he's forced to flee town or face life on the chain gang. John finds himself in Sanford, Florida, and sends for Lucy and the children. There, he discovers a talent for preaching, and, with the support of his wife, becomes pastor of Zion Hope Church, rousing his congregation with his fervent sermons. He is now a pillar of the community, respected and popular. Before long, though, he is praying for his own sins - for his powers of persuasion aren't limited to the pulpit - and the town won't stand for his philandering ways. Originally published in 1934, this is Zora Neale Hurston's first novel.

The Seventh Cross

The Seventh Cross

Author: Anna Seghers, Rachel Seiffert Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/03/2019

'It was [Seghers] who taught my generation and anyone who had an ear to listen after that not-to-be-forgotten war to distinguish right from wrong. The Seventh Cross shaped me; it sharpened my vision' GUNTER GRASS 'A masterpiece. Written in the midst of terror, but with such clarity, such acuity; Seghers is a writer of rare insight' RACHEL SEIFFERT author of A Boy in Winter Seven prisoners escape from Westhofen concentration camp. Seven crosses are erected in the grounds and the commandant vows to capture the fugitives within a week. Six men are caught quickly, but George Heisler slips through his pursuers' fingers. It becomes a matter of pride to track him down, at whatever cost. Who can George trust? Who will betray him? The years of fear have changed those he knew best: his brother is now an SS officer; his lover turns him away. Hunted, injured and desperate, time is running out for George, and whoever is caught aiding in his escape will pay with their life. The Seventh Cross is one of the most powerful and influential novels of the twentieth century, a tense thriller that helped to alert the world to the grim realities of Nazi Germany. 'The Seventh Cross is not only an important novel, but an important historical document. This new, unabridged translation is a genuine publishing event' JOSEPH KANON, author of The Good German and Leaving Berlin 'A fascinating insight into life in pre-war Nazi Germany just as the horrors of the Nazi regime were beginning to unfold. This is an important novel, as much for its picture of German society as for its insight into the psyche of ordinary people confronting their personal fears and mixed loyalties' SIMON MAWER, author of The Glass Room In The Seventh Cross, Seghers's aim was to write, 'A tale that makes it possible to get to know the many layers of fascist Germany through the fortunes of a single man.' She had four copies of the manuscript: one was destroyed in an air raid; a friend lost the second copy while fleeing the Nazis; another was found by the Gestapo; only the fourth copy survived, which, fortunately, she sent to her publisher in America just before she escaped Nazi-occupied France. Published in 1942, The Seventh Cross was an immediate bestseller and was the basis for an MGM film starring Spencer Tracy in 1944. It has been translated into more than 40 languages. Margot Bettauer Dembo's expert new translation makes the complete text of this great political novel available in English for the first time.

Chasm: A Weekend

Chasm: A Weekend

Author: Dorothea Tanning Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/01/2019

'Tanning's fictional debut unquestionably deserves to be recognised as a complete artistic success . . . Tanning has assembled all the ingredients necessary for an extraordinary drama of love and betrayal, jealousy and regret . . . told in confident, fluid prose highlighted by passages of hallucinatory beauty' Guardian In the stark beauty of the desert, a mansion built by a madman rears its impudent architecture like an insult. The estate is called Windcote, 'its very name a masquerade', and its master, the odious Raoul Meridian, has invited a group of guests to spend a weekend, during the course of which they will find themselves driven by obsessions and confusions unlike any they've experienced before. Untouched by the fevers and failures around her is the indomitable child Destina, who will lead them into the heart of a mysterious canyon, where desire and cruelty forge an implacable truth. 'It seems hardly fair that Dorothea Tanning, in a long, passionately inventive career as a painter, should have acquired as well the other harmony of prose, and that her passionate inventions as a writer should be so lovingly, so wisely resolved' Richard Howard

Good Wives

Good Wives

Author: Louisa May Alcott Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/10/2018

'Life and love are very precious when both are in full bloom' With four lively, attractive women in one house and a dashing young bachelor in the neighbouring one, romance can only be a matter of time. As Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy become young women, they take separate paths in life, following their dreams, finding love, becoming wives, and travelling the world. But the tie that binds the sisters brings them together when tragedy strikes, for only with each other can they find the comfort they need. Also in Virago Classic Children's Books: Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys

Little Men

Little Men

Author: Louisa May Alcott Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/10/2018

'It takes so little to make a child happy, that it is a pity in a world full of sunshine and pleasant things, that there should be any wistful faces, empty hands, or lonely little hearts.' Jo March - now Mrs Bhaer - is married, and the couple have set up Plumfield, a boarding school for orphans. With twelve boys to care for, as well as their own two sons, the Bhaers rarely have a minute to themselves, but though they are busy, they are happy and fulfilled, guiding their young charges with wisdom and compassion. With so many lively children, though, it takes the support of the whole March family to prevent the boys' mischievous scrapes from leading to full-scale disasters. Also available in Virago Children's Classics: Little Women, Good Wives and Little Men

Caldicott Place

Caldicott Place

Author: Noel Streatfeild Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/07/2018

When their father is injured in an accident, life changes for the Johnstone family. Unable to afford their home, they have to move to a small London flat. Carol can no longer go to ballet school and Tim is heartbroken as he must leave his beloved dog, Jelly, behind. Then, it seems, their wishes are granted: in an extraordinary twist of fate, Tim inherits a dilapidated country house, Caldicott Place, where the family - including Jelly - can live together. But the house is badly in need of repair and they have no money, so a solution is found - the family start to look after wealthy children in the school holidays. Although they dread the prospect of sharing their newly found home with rich spoiled children, perhaps friendships can be found in the unlikeliest places.

Apple Bough

Apple Bough

Author: Noel Streatfeild Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/07/2018

So your brother's a world-famous violinist? That's amazing! Or is it? The Forums are a musical family, and one child, Sebastian, shines out as a prodigy. He is a brilliant violinist and when his talent is recognised, he is wanted the world over. Myra, Wolfgang (named after Mozart) and Ettie thought it was wonderful at first, but after four years of touring the world with their brilliant brother they've changed their minds. Now, what they long for, is a home of their own, not a hotel in Vienna or Venice or Moscow. But to their mother and father, a life of travel is exciting - all any child could want. How can the children make the grown-ups see sense? Myra makes a plan - 'Operation Home' - and is determined to make it succeed.

Testament Of Youth

Testament Of Youth

Author: Vera Brittain, Shirley Williams Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2018

With a new introduction by her biographer, Mark Bostridge. In 1914 Vera Brittain was eighteen and, as war was declared, she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life - and the life of her whole generation - had changed in a way that was unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era. TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain's account of how she survived the period; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded and how she emerged into an altered world. A passionate record of a lost generation, it made Vera Brittain one of the best-loved writers of her time.

The Seventh Cross

The Seventh Cross

Author: Anna Seghers, Rachel Seiffert Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/05/2018

A rediscovered German classic novel from 1942, The Seventh Cross is both a gripping escape story and a powerful novel of resistance. 'At once a suspenseful manhunt story and a knowing portrait of the perils of ordinary life in Hitler's Germany, The Seventh Cross is not only an important novel, but an important historical document. This new, unabridged translation is a genuine publishing event' JOSEPH KANON, author of The Good German and Leaving Berlin 'It was [Seghers] who taught my generation and anyone who had an ear to listen after that not-to-be-forgotten war to distinguish right from wrong. The Seventh Cross shaped me; it sharpened my vision' Gunter Grass 'A masterpiece. Written in the midst of terror, but with such clarity, such acuity; Seghers is a writer of rare insight' Rachel Seiffert, author of A Boy in Winter Seven prisoners escape from Westhofen concentration camp. Seven crosses are erected in the grounds and the commandant vows to capture the fugitives within a week. Six men are caught quickly, but George Heisler slips through his pursuers' fingers and it becomes a matter of pride to track him down, at whatever cost. Who can George trust? Who will betray him? The years of fear have changed those he knew best: his brother is now an SS officer; his lover turns him away. Hunted, injured and desperate, time is running out for George, and whoever is caught aiding his escape will pay with their life. The Seventh Cross powerfully documents the insidious rise of a fascist regime - the seething paranoia, the sudden arrests, the silence and fear. 'A fascinating insight into life in pre-war Nazi Germany just as the horrors of the Nazi regime were beginning to unfold. This is an important novel, as much for its picture of German society as for its insight into the psyche of ordinary people confronting their personal fears and mixed loyalties' Simon Mawer, author of The Glass Room The Seventh Cross was written by one of the most important German writers of the twentieth century. Her aim was to write, 'A tale that makes it possible to get to know the many layers of fascist Germany through the fortunes of a single man.' She had four copies of the manuscript: one was destroyed in an air raid; a friend lost the second copy while fleeing the Nazis; another was found by the Gestapo; only the fourth copy survived, which, fortunately, she sent to her publisher in America just before she escaped Nazi-occupied France. Published in 1942, The Seventh Cross was an immediate bestseller and was the basis for an MGM film starring Spencer Tracy in 1944. It has been translated into more than 40 languages.

Frost In May

Frost In May

Author: Antonia White, Tessa Hadley, Elizabeth Bowen, Tessa Hadley Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2018

'Frost in May is the unsurpassed novel of convent school life. This story of a clash between a determined young girl and an authoritarian regime is both perceptive and painfully emotional, convincing in every detail' - Hermione Lee, Observer With a new introduction by Tessa Hadley Nanda Gray, the daughter of a Catholic convert, is nine when she is sent to the Convent of Five Wounds. Quick-witted, resilient and eager to please, she accepts this closed world where, with all the enthusiasm of the outsider, her desires and passions become only those the school permits. Her only deviation from total obedience is the passionate friendships she makes. Convent life is perfectly captured - the smell of beeswax and incense; the petty cruelties of the nuns; the eccentricities of Nanda's school friends. Books in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

Heartburn

Heartburn

Author: Nora Ephron, Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2018

'I have bought more copies of this book to give to people, in a frenzy of enthusiasm, than any other . . . Heartburn is the perfect, bittersweet, sobbingly funny, all-too-true confessional novel' Nigella Lawson Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel discovers that her husband is in love with another woman. The fact that this woman has a 'neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb' is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel is a cookery writer, and between trying to win Mark back and wishing him dead, she offers us some of her favourite recipes. Heartburn is a roller coaster of love, betrayal, loss and - most satisfyingly - revenge. This is Nora Ephron's (screenwriter of When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle) roman a clef: 'I always thought during the pain of the marriage that one day it would make a funny book,' she once said - And it is! Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

Faces In The Water

Faces In The Water

Author: Janet Frame, Hilary Mantel Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2018

'Janet Frame's luminous words are the more precious because they were snatched from the jaws of the disaster of her early life . . . and yet to read her is no more difficult than breathing' Hilary Mantel When Janet Frame's doctor suggested that she write about her traumatic experiences in mental institutions in order to free herself from them, the result was Faces in the Water, a powerful and poignant novel. Istina Mavet descends through increasingly desolate wards, with the threat of leucotomy ever present. As she observes her fellow patients, long dismissed by hospital staff, with humour and compassion, she reveals her original and questing mind. This riveting novel became an international classic, translated into nine languages, and has also been used as a medical school text. Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

The Weather In The Streets

The Weather In The Streets

Author: Rosamond Lehmann, Elizabeth Day, Carmen Callil Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2018

'A truly great book. It is beautifully written, shrewdly observed and deftly crafted, but the novel's real concern is what it means for a woman to live an authentic life' Elizabeth Day A chance encounter with the man who enchanted her as a teenager leads Olivia Curtis into to a forbidden love affair. He is now married, and Olivia's life changes to one of secret meetings, brief phone calls and snatched liaisons in anonymous hotel rooms. Years ahead of its time when first published in 1936, this subtle and powerful novel shocked it readers with its searing honesty and passionate portrayal of clandestine love. * Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

Fire from Heaven

Fire from Heaven

Author: Mary Renault, Tom Holland, Tom Holland Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2018

'The Alexander Trilogy contains some of Renault's finest writing. Lyrical, wise, compelling: the novels are a wonderful imaginative feat - Sarah Waters Alexander the Great died at the age of thirty-three, leaving behind an empire that stretched from Greece to India. Fire From Heaven tells the story of the years that shaped him. His mother, Olympias, and his father, King Philip of Macedon, fought each other for their son's loyalty, teaching Alexander politics and vengeance. His love for the youth Hephaistion taught him trust, while Aristotle's tutoring provoked his mind and fuelled his aspirations. Killing his first man in battle at the age of twelve and commanding Macedon's cavalry at eighteen, by the time his father is murdered, Alexander's skills have grown to match his fiery ambition. Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

The Return Of The Soldier

The Return Of The Soldier

Author: Rebecca West, Victoria Glendinning Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2018

'Spellbinding . . . Probably her best fiction' - Sunday Times The soldier returns from the front to the three women who love him. His wife, Kitty, with her cold, moonlight beauty, and his devoted cousin Jenny wait in their exquisite home on the crest of the Harrow-weald. Margaret Allington, his first and long-forgotten love, is nearby in the dreary suburb of Wealdstone. But the soldier is shell-shocked and can only remember the Margaret he loved fifteen years before, when he was a young man and she an inn-keeper's daughter. His cousin he remembers only as a childhood playmate; his wife he remembers not at all. The women have a choice - to leave him where he wishes to be, or to 'cure' him. It is Margaret who reveals a love so great that she can make the final sacrifice. Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

The Collected Stories of Grace Paley

The Collected Stories of Grace Paley

Author: Grace Paley, George Saunders Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2018

'This is a collection full of energy and stunning, quiet innovation ... it spills over with contempt, raucous humour, sadness and generosity. In it, life and language are synonymous, and there is no higher praise. What a wonderful book' Ali Smith Here are all Grace Paley's classic stories in one volume. Paley's quirky, boisterous characters and rich use of language won her readers' hearts and secured her place as one of America's most accomplished short-story writers. Her stories are united by her signature interweaving of personal and political truths, her extraordinary capacity for empathy and her pointed depiction of the small and large events that make up daily life. 'A writer like Paley comes along and brightens up language again, takes it aside and gives it a pep talk, sends it back renewed, so it can do its job, which is to wake us up' George Saunders 'Grace Paley makes me weep and laugh - and admire. She is that rare kind of writer, a natural, with a voice like no one else's: funny, sad, lean, modest, energetic, acute' Susan Sontag 'Grace Paley is the most intelligent, generous, incorruptible writer I ever knew' Ursula K. Le Guin

Memento Mori

Memento Mori

Author: Muriel Spark, A.L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2018

Remember you must die. Dame Lettie Colston is the first of her circle to receive insinuating anonymous phone calls. Neither she, nor her friends, wish to be reminded of their mortality, and their geriatric feathers are thoroughly ruffled. As the caller's activities become more widespread, old secrets are dusted off, exposing post and present duplicities, self-deception and blackmail. Nobody is above suspicion. Witty, poignant and wickedly hilarious, Memento Mori may ostensibly concern death, but it is a book which leaves one relishing life all the more. Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

The Magic Toyshop

The Magic Toyshop

Author: Angela Carter, Carmen Callil, Carmen Callil Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2018

This crazy world whirled around her, men and women dwarfed by toys and puppets, where even the birds are mechanical and the few human figures went masked . . . She was in the night once again, and the doll was herself. One night Melanie walks through the garden in her mother's wedding dress. The next morning her world is shattered. Forced to leave the home of her childhood, she is sent to live with relatives she has never met: gentle Aunt Margaret, mute since her wedding day; and her brothers, Francie and Finn. Brooding over all is Uncle Philip, who loves only the toys he makes in his workshop: clockwork roses and puppets that are life-size - and uncannily life-like. Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

Crewe Train

Crewe Train

Author: Rose Macaulay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/02/2018

Denham Dobie has been brought up in Andorra by her father, a retired clergyman. On his death, she is snatched from this reclusive life and thrown into the social whirl of London by her sophisticated relatives. Denham, however, provides a candid response to the niceties of 'civilised' behaviour. CREWE TRAIN is one of Macaulay's wittiest satires. The reactions of Denham to the manners and modes of the highbrow circle in which she finds herself provide a devastating - and very funny - social commentary as well as a moving story. This bitingly funny, elegantly written comedy of manners is as absorbing and entertaining today as on the book's first publication in 1967.

The World My Wilderness

The World My Wilderness

Author: Rose Macaulay, Penelope Fitzgerald Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/02/2018

It is 1946 and the people of France and England are facing the aftermath of the war. Banished by her beautiful, indolent mother to England, Barbary Deniston is thrown into the care of her distinguished father and conventional stepmother. Having grown up in the sunshine of Provence, allowed to run wild with the Maquis, experienced collaboration, betrayal and death, Barbary finds it hard to adjust to the drab austerity of postwar London life. Confused and unhappy, she discovers one day the flowering wastes around St Paul's. Here, in the bombed heart of London, she finds an echo of the wilderness of Provence and is forced to confront the wilderness within herself.

The Observing Eye

The Observing Eye

Author: Muriel Spark, Penelope Jardine Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/01/2018

The Observing Eye is a collection of Muriel Spark's brilliant asides, sayings, and aphorisms. No other writer can hold a candle to her wry, puckish observations: 'Neurotics are awfully quick to notice other people's mentalities.' 'It is impossible to persuade a man who does not disagree, but smiles.' 'The sacrifice of pleasure is of course itself a pleasure.' 'Be on the alert to recognize your prime at whatever time in your life it may occur.' 'Ridicule is the only honourable weapon we have left.' Spark's striking insights are precise and unforgettable - they will make you laugh and nod in agreement, with a wicked smile on your face. Her wise words never fail to hit exactly the right note.

Marriage

Marriage

Author: Susan Ferrier, Val McDermid Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/12/2017

Susan Ferrier sold more copies of her novels than her contemporary, Jane Austen. Sir Walter Scott declared her his equal. Why, then has she been lost to history? On the 200th anniversary of this sharply observed, comic novel, it is time to rediscover her brilliance. 'What have you to do with a heart? What has anybody to do with a heart when their establishment in life is at stake? Keep your heart for your romances, child, and don't bring such nonsense into real life - heart, indeed!' Understanding that the purpose of marriage is to further her family, Lady Juliana nevertheless rejects the ageing and unattractive - though appropriately wealthy - suitor of her father's choice. She elopes, instead, with a handsome, penniless soldier and goes to Scotland to live at Glenfarn Castle, his paternal home. But Lady Juliana finds life in the Scottish highlands dreary and bleak, hastily repenting of following her heart. After giving birth to twin daughters, Lady Juliana leaves Mary to the care of her sister-in-law, while she returns to England with Adelaide. Sixteen years later, Mary is thoughtful, wise and kind, in comparison to her foolish mother and vain sister. Following two generations of women, Marriage, first published in 1818, is a shrewdly observant and humorous novel by one of Scotland's greatest writers.

New Treasure Seekers

New Treasure Seekers

Author: E. Nesbit Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/12/2017

'Endlessly surprising and inventive ... She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had' Frank Cottrell-Boyce 'Nesbit belongs with those writers of children's books who are successful because of their skills as storytellers. Indeed, she was one of the first. She speaks to the reader, and it's almost as though you can hear her voice' Quentin Blake No matter how hard the Bastable children try to be good, they almost always fail spectacularly. Whether making a disastrous Christmas pudding for charity, spending a dark night in an empty windmill or fortune-telling at a fete, the Bastables cannot help getting into all sorts of mischief. Edith Nesbit was one of the most influential children's writers ever to have lived, and her timeless books include The Railway Children and Five Children and It. A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

The Peppermint Pig

The Peppermint Pig

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/11/2017

'Warm and funny, this tale of a pint-size pig and the family he saves will take up a giant space in your heart' KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE 'What a consummate storymaker Nina Bawden is' MICHAEL MORPURGO WINNER OF THE GUARDIAN AWARD FOR CHILDREN'S FICTION 'D'ya want a peppermint pig, Mrs Greengrass?' Poll looked at the milkman, thinking of sweets, but there was a real pig poking its snout out of the milkman's coat pocket. It was the tiniest pig she had ever seen. 'What's a peppermint pig?' 'Runt of the litter. Too small for the sow to raise. He'd only get trampled in in the rush.' Mother took the pig from him and held it firmly while it kicked and squealed. 'Well, he seems strong enough. And even runts grow.' 'Oh,' Poll said. 'Oh, Mother.' She stroked the small, wriggling body. 'Theo,' she shouted, 'Look what we've got!' It is a difficult year for the Greengrasses. Poll's father has lost his job and gone overseas, the family are living off the charity of two aunts, and Poll and her brother Theo just can't seem to keep out of trouble. It takes a tiny, mischievous pig to bring laughter back into their lives. This is a collection of the best children's literature, curated by Virago, and will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Carrie's War

Carrie's War

Author: Nina Bawden, Michael Morpurgo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/11/2017

One of the most loved and enduring wartime novels, Carrie's War is a modern classic. WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY MICHAEL MORPURGO AND ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALAN MARKS 'A touching, utterly convincing book' Jacqueline Wilson 'Poignant and realistic . . . Carrie's War captures the true reality of war for a child, and it doesn't sentimentalise war' Shirley Hughes, Guardian 'I did a dreadful thing, the worst thing of my life, when I was twelve and a half years old, and nothing can change it' It is wartime and Carrie and her little brother Nick have been evacuated from their London home to the Welsh hills. In an unfamiliar place, among strangers, the children feel alone and find little comfort with the family they are billeted with: Mr Evans, a bullying shopkeeper and Auntie Lou, his kind but timid sister. When Carrie and Nick visit Albert, another evacuee, they are welcomed into Hepzibah Green's warm kitchen. Hepzibah is rumoured to be a witch, but her cooking is delicious, her stories are enthralling and the children cannot keep away. With Albert, Hepzibah and Mister Johnny, they begin to settle into their new surroundings. But before long, their loyalties are tested: will they be persuaded to betray their new friends? This collection of the best children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

What Katy Did Next

What Katy Did Next

Author: Susan Coolidge Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2017

Europe beckoned more brilliantly now that they were fairly embarked on their journey. The sun shone, the lake was a beautiful, dazzling blue, and Katy said to herself, After all, a year is not very long, and how happy I am going to be! ' When Mrs Ashe discovers that her visiting nephew has scarlet fever, she sends her young daughter Amy to stay with the Carr family. There, Amy develops a strong attachment to Katy, who treats her like a little sister. Mrs Ashe, grateful for the kindness Katy has shown, invites her to join them on a year-long trip around Europe. Katy is at first reluctant - a year is a long time to be away from her family - but soon she gets swept up in the adventure, which takes her from the historic (but rainy) London streets to the beautiful cities of Nice, Paris and Naples. And perhaps Katy, now a young woman, will discover love. A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/10/2017

'She put her hand in her pocket, drew out the key, and found it fitted the keyhole . . . she held back the swinging curtain of ivy and pushed back the door which opened slowly. Then she slipped through it, looking about her and breathing quite fast with excitement and wonder and delight. She was standing inside the secret garden' Everybody at Misselthwaite Manor agrees that Mary Lennox is the most disagreeable child they have ever met. Pale, selfish and spoilt, the ten-year-old orphan has been sent from India to her uncle's estate and she is determined to hate everything about it. But the isolated house on the Yorkshire moors holds secrets that Mary cannot resist exploring: pitiful crying that echoes down the corridors at night and a hidden walled garden. When a robin leads Mary to the buried key, not only is the garden unlocked, but also her heart. And as the garden blooms, for the first time in her life, Mary discovers friendship. This is where the magic begins... 'The mystery element kept me turning the pages but it was the superb characterisation that made the story stay with me. It taught me that it's never too late to remake yourself into someone better' Malorie Blackman 'There is an old-fashioned tenderness and joy to it; the sense that magic happens if you are observant and quiet and know it will' Sophie Dahl A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

A Little Princess

A Little Princess

Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/10/2017

A timeless Cinderella story, A Little Princess is one of the best-loved children's classics of all time. A heartwarming tale that champions the power of imagination. 'I'd read Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden and loved it - so I tried A Little Princess and liked it even more!' Jacqueline Wilson 'Sara Crewe is a Cinderella figure... She is intelligent and good humoured with an infectious warmth that embraces the lowliest of her new acquaintances. The sunshine continues when impoverishment and drudgery befall her and she relies on her private fantasies to preserve her natural zest for life' Guardian 'It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.' When Sara Crewe is sent to Miss Minchin's school for young ladies, her indulgent father provides for her as if she were a little princess. But although her toys and clothes are the envy of the other girls, Sara's kindness and gift for storytelling soon win her lots of friends. Then, the tragic news arrives that her father has died penniless and, without wealth or a guardian, Sara is at the mercy of Miss Minchin. Forced to work from dawn until dusk as the school's unpaid servant, she looks over the rooftops from her damp attic room and dreams of a better life. All is not lost: she has friends, courage and imagination - maybe that's all she really needs. A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

The Story of the Amulet

The Story of the Amulet

Author: E. Nesbit Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/10/2017

THE THIRD BOOK IN THE PSAMMEAD TRILOGY, FOLLOWING FIVE CHILDREN AND IT AND THE PHOENIX AND THE CARPET 'I love her books, particularly the Five Children and It sequence' Neil Gaiman At a pet shop near the British Museum, the children discover their old friend the Psammead, caged and miserable. The children pool their pocket money together to rescue it, and in gratitude, the Psammead tells them to buy an amulet - or rather, half an amulet. Incomplete, the magic charm can take them to any place and time to search for its other half; but when the amulet is whole, it will have the power to give the children their hearts' desire. In their quest, the children visit ancient Egypt, Atlantis and Babylon - they even meet Julius Caesar. But their adventures are not without danger: if they lose the amulet on their travels they will be lost in time, unable to ever return home. 'Endlessly surprising and inventive ... Edith Nesbit opened the door in the magic wardrobe, pointed the way to platform nine and three quarters. She even had a hand in building the Tardis. And these are among her minor achievements. She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had' Frank Cottrell-Boyce With all the original illustrations by H. R. Millar, beautifully reproduced. This collection of the best children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

The Railway Children

The Railway Children

Author: E. Nesbit Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/10/2017

'By turns sweet and serious, this much-loved classic is above all a celebration of kindness and hope' KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE 'Edith Nesbit was endlessly surprising and inventive . . . She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had, while being the one who could most easily and sweetly break your heart with a phrase ... Just try saying Daddy, oh my Daddy without catching your breath' FRANK COTTRELL_BOYCE WITH ALL THE ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATIONS BY C. E. BROCK, REPRODUCED FROM THE ORIGINAL EDITION When their father is suddenly taken away, the children's lives change overnight. Unable to afford their London home, the family must move to a small cottage in the Yorkshire countryside. Hiding their sadness from their mother, Roberta, Peter and Phyllis roam the fields all day. Every morning they can be seen waving as the 9.15 train roars past, imagining that it will can carry their love to their father, wherever he may be. The trio become a familiar sight and their bravery and quick-thinking avert a railway disaster. There is a kind old gentleman passenger never fails to wave back - little do the children realise how much his friendship will mean to them, especially in solving the mystery to their father's disappearance. This collection of the best in children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

What Katy Did at School

What Katy Did at School

Author: Susan Coolidge Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2017

When Katy Carr and her sister Clover leave for boarding school, they are weighed down by worry. How will their father manage without their help? Can they ever hope to fit in and make new friends? When the Carr girls arrive, they meet the principal, Mrs Florence, who is tall, dignified and very strict: there are no less than thirty-two rules that students must adhere to! And with Miss Jane always on the prowl to discover the slightest fault, Katy fears that it might be more difficult to stay out of trouble than she'd hoped. But then she meets Rose Red - irrepressible, unconventional, and always full of fun. With the right friends, Katy can't help but get into all sorts of scrapes. A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

The Phoenix and the Carpet

The Phoenix and the Carpet

Author: E. Nesbit Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2017

'I love her books - particularly the Five Children and It sequence' - Neil Gaiman THIS IS THE SECOND BOOK IN THE PSAMMEAD TRILOGY, FOLLOWING FIVE CHILDREN AND IT Contains all of the original illustrations by H. R. Millar, beautifully reproduced. 'For the egg was now red-hot, and inside it something was moving. Next moment there was a soft cracking sound; the egg burst in two, and out of it came a flame-coloured bird...' When a stone egg rolls out of the old rug that has been bought for the nursery, the children think nothing of it. A lovely glowing yellow, they place it on the mantelpiece to brighten up the room. But when the egg accidentally drops into the fire, a strange thing happens: out hatches a phoenix, resplendent in golden feathers - and very vain. If that weren't enough of a surprise, it tells them that their carpet is magic: it will take them to any place that they wish to visit - over their dusty London streets to the French coast, to tropical islands and an Indian bazaar. Guiding them throughout their adventures - though he's often more a hindrance than a help - is their new friend, the phoenix. 'The cheerful, child-centred anarchy of Five Children and It is still my inspiration and delight' Kate Saunders, Guardian 'My all-time favourite classic children's author' Jacqueline Wilson 'If Britain is to children's fantasy as Brazil is to football, then Edith Nesbit is our Pele - endlessly surprising and inventive. But she is more than that. There were fantasy writers before Edith Nesbit but she is the one that brought the magical and the mundane together in a moment of nuclear fusion. She opened the door in the magic wardrobe, pointed the way to platform nine and three quarters. She even had a hand in building the Tardis. And these are among her minor achievements. She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had, while being the one who could most easily and sweetly break your heart with a phrase. Just try saying Daddy oh my Daddy without catching your breath. She made the magic worlds feel as near as the Lewisham Road and she bathed the Lewisham Road in magic' Frank Cottrell-Boyce This collection of the best in children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

The Wouldbegoods

The Wouldbegoods

Author: E. Nesbit Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2017

'Nesbit opened the door in the magic wardrobe, pointed the way to platform nine and three quarters. She even had a hand in building the Tardis. And these are among her minor achievements. She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had' Frank Cottrell-Boyce 'This is the story of one of the most far-reaching and influentially naughty things we ever did in our lives. We did not mean to do such a deed. And yet we did do it.' After being banished to the countryside for creating even more mayhem than usual, the Bastable children vow to mend their ways. Establishing 'The Society of the Wouldbegoods', their first rule is: 'every member is to be as good as possible'. But sometimes it's just not possible to be good - no matter how hard you try. A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

The Story of the Treasure Seekers

The Story of the Treasure Seekers

Author: E. Nesbit Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/07/2017

When their widowed father's business fails, the Bastable children decide to restore the family fortunes themselves. No longer able to afford school, the children have all the time in the world to devise ingenious money-making schemes: from digging for treasure in their Lewisham garden to becoming highwaymen on Blackheath Common. All too often their efforts lead to trouble rather than treasure, until one adventure finally pays off... Published with illustrations by Gordon Browne, newly scanned from the original edition. The Story of the Treasure Seekers is the first book in the Bastable trilogy, which continues with The Wouldbegoods and New Treasure Seekers. 'She's the children's writer with whom I most identify. [Nesbit] said, By some lucky chance, I remember exactly how I felt and thought at 11. That struck a chord with me. The Story of the Treasure Seekers was a breakthrough children's book. Oswald is such a very real narrator, at a time when most people were writing morality plays for children' J. K. Rowling 'I loved the direct first-person narrative in the clear, forthright tones of Oswald Bastable' Jacqueline Wilson 'Endlessly surprising and inventive. But she is more than that ... She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had, while being the one who could most easily and sweetly break your heart with a phrase. Just try saying Daddy oh my Daddy without catching your breath. She made the magic worlds feel as near as the Lewisham Road and she bathed the Lewisham Road in magic' Frank Cottrell-Boyce A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

What Katy Did

What Katy Did

Author: Susan Coolidge Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/07/2017

'One of my all-time favourite books. It's a very lively, funny story' Jacqueline Wilson Katy has grand plans to be beautiful, graceful and ladylike ... one day! But for now she has hair that is always tangled, bootlaces undone, a torn dress and she doesn't care about being 'good'. With a wild imagination and high spirits, she is always up to mischief, but there never has been a heroine as lovable as Katy. Then a terrible accident happens and it takes all her courage - and hard-learned patience - to keep her dreams alive. 'Katy speaks with a charm and directness that remains as fresh as when it was written' Amanda Craig 'This was one of my favourite books as a child. The children felt real enough to touch, and I fell head over heels in love with Katy. It's a book with an unstoppable heart' Katherine Rundell This collection of the best in children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Keeping Henry

Keeping Henry

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2017

'The hay stirred. There was a small nibbling sound. A furry head poked out. I saw its dark, beady eyes, its sharp, pointed ears ... his eyes seemed alert and inquisitive, as if he were as interested in us as we were in him' Henry is only three inches long when naughty Charlie catapults him out of his nest - a poor baby red squirrel, all ragged and skinny. He is too young to survive being released into the wild, but can a squirrel be a pet? Henry's new human family has also had to adapt to a different way of life. Evacuated from London during the Blitz, to a farm in Wales, they were upturned from their old life just as Henry was 'tipped out' of his nest. Can this mischievous little creature, who makes nests out of their clothes and runs up the children like they are trees, help them to settle into their new life? A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Anne's House of Dreams

Anne's House of Dreams

Author: L. M. Montgomery Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/2017

The fifth book in the Anne Shirley series. 'They belonged to each other; and, no matter what life might hold for them, it could never alter that. Their happiness was in each other's keeping and both were unafraid' There has never been a wedding at Green Gables - that is, until now. In the old orchard, on a perfect sunny day, surrounded by their dearest friends, Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe are married at last. The couple begin their new life together far from Avonlea, at Four Winds Harbour, where Gilbert has found the perfect home - a little white house on the shore, overlooking the sea. Before long, they have made new friends: Captain Jim, the lighthouse keeper; indomitable Miss Cornelia Bryant, who always speaks her mind; the writer Owen Ford; and beautiful Leslie Moore, whose sad life has led her to bitterness. When Anne and Gilbert face their own tragedy, they will need all their courage, and the support of their friends, to help them through. This collection of the best books in children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Rainbow Valley

Rainbow Valley

Author: L. M. Montgomery Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/2017

The seventh book in the Anne Shirley series. 'There was a little unfailing spring, always icy cold and crystal pure, in a certain birch-screened hollow of Rainbow Valley in the lower corner near the marsh. Not a great many people knew of its existence. The manse and Ingleside children knew, of course . . .' When the new minister, Reverend John Meredith, arrives at the manse, the village is scandalised by his children's behaviour. He is the best preacher they've ever had, but since his wife died the youngsters have run wild. Anne recognises their kindness, though, and before long the four young Merediths are firm friends with her own six children at Ingleside - and up to all sorts of schemes. They meet at a private hideout - a hollow they call Rainbow Valley - and their adventures range from boisterous escapades to saving the life of a young orphan. A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

My Cousin Rachel Film Tie in

My Cousin Rachel Film Tie in

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Roger Michell Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/05/2017

Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in making Philip his heir, knowing he will treasure his beautiful Cornish estate. But Philip's world is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and then dies suddenly in suspicious circumstances. Before long, the new widow - Philip's cousin Rachel - arrives in England. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, mysterious woman. But could she have caused Ambrose's death?

Anne of Avonlea

Anne of Avonlea

Author: L. M. Montgomery Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/03/2017

The second book in the Anne Shirley series. 'Having adventures comes natural to some people,' said Anne serenely. 'You just have a gift for them or you haven't.' Five years ago, Anne arrived at Avonlea a skinny orphan without a friend in the world; now it would be impossible to imagine Green Gables without her. Anne's high spirits and warm heart have won her a family and friends who love her. But when she starts a job as a teacher at her old school, the real test of her character begins: at 'half past sixteen', she's not much older than her pupils and has a lot to prove. How can she inspire a love of learning in young minds - especially when some of her students are even naughtier than she ever was? This is a collection of the best children's literature, curated by Virago, which will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

The Headmistress

The Headmistress

Author: Angela Thirkell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2016

Barsetshire in the latter years of the Second World War is a peaceful and gossipy place, but there has been one lively change. A girls' school, evacuated from London, has taken over Harefield Park. Miss Sparling seems to be the perfect headmistress: she dresses as a headmistress should and is an easy and erudite conversationalist. Her new neighbours like her and her pupils respect her, but there is something missing from her life; something which - though she never dreamt it when she arrived - perhaps Barsetshire can provide...

Miss Bunting

Miss Bunting

Author: Angela Thirkell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2016

Barsetshire in the war years. Miss Bunting, governess of choice to generations of Barsetshire aristocracy, has been coaxed out of retirement by Sir Robert and Lady Fielding to tutor their daughter Anne, delicate, sixteen years old, and totally lacking in confidence. When Anne makes friends with Heather Adams, the gauche daughter of a nouveau riche entrepreneur, her mother is appalled. Miss Bunting, however, shows an instinctive understanding of the younger generation - perhaps, having lost so many of her former pupils to the war, she is more sympathetic to their needs. She may be a part of the old social order, where everyone knows their place, but is wise enough to realise that the war has turned everything on its head and nothing will ever be the same again - even in rural Barsetshire. First published in 1945, Miss Bunting is a charming social comedy of village life during the Second World War.

Marling Hall

Marling Hall

Author: Angela Thirkell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2016

'You read her, laughing, and want to do your best to protect her characters from any reality but their own' New York Times Mr Marling, of Marling Hall, has begun to accept - albeit reluctantly - that he will probably never be able to pass his wonderful old estate on to his children. The Second World War is bringing an end to so many things, but the Marlings carry on as best they can in the face of rationing and a shortage of domestic help. Into their world arrive Geoffrey Harvey and his sister Frances, who have been bombed out of their London home. Bohemian and sophisticated, they rent a local house, and it is not long before they begin to have an effect on their neighbours. Geoffrey begins to court Lettice, the Marlings' widowed daughter, but he finds he has rivals for her affections in dashing David Leslie and Captain Barclay. Observing everything and quietly keeping events on an even keel is the Marlings' sage old governess, Miss Bunting. 'The novels are a delight, with touches of E. F. Benson, E. M. Delafield and P. G. Wodehouse' Independent on Sunday

The Gift Giving: Favourite Stories

The Gift Giving: Favourite Stories

Author: Joan, MBE Aiken Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2016

'Joan Aiken's invention seemed inexhaustible, her high spirits a blessing, her sheer storytelling zest a phenomenon. She was a literary treasure, and her books will continue to delight for many years to come' PHILLIP PULLMAN 'Favourite stories, like unexpected presents, are things that you can keep and cherish all your life, carry with you, in memory, in your mind's ear, and bring out, at any time, when you are feeling lonely, or need cheering up, or, like friends, just because you are fond of them.' Joan Aiken is justly famous for her Wolves of Willoughby Chase series, but her greatest love was for short stories, which she wrote prolifically throughout her long career From a princess turned into a pirate parrot to a procession of Father Christmases chased down Fifth Avenue by a rackety horse and cart; from the ghost of a crusader's dog, to a captured mermaid in a flying machine, there is something for everybody in this enthralling collection. These stories showcase Aiken's unique talents - the way she mixed magic and myth with humour to create a kind of modern fairytale. Her stories will appeal to readers of all ages for many years to come. WITH BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS BY PETER BAILEY

Angela Carter's Book Of Wayward Girls And Wicked Women

Angela Carter's Book Of Wayward Girls And Wicked Women

Author: Angela Carter Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/07/2016

This bestselling collection of stories extols the female virtues of discontent, sexual disruptiveness and bad manners Here are subversive tales - by Ama Ata Aidoo, Jane Bowles, Angela Carter, Colette, Bessie Head, Jamaica Kincaid and Katherine Mansfield among others - all have one thing in common: the wish to restore adventuresses and revolutionaries to their rightful position as models for all women Reflecting the wide-ranging intelligence and deliciously anarchic taste of Angela Carter, some of these stories celebrate toughness and resilience, some of them low cunning: all of them are about not being nice.

Valley of the Dolls

Valley of the Dolls

Author: Jacqueline Susann Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/06/2016

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of this era-defining, record-breaking bestseller. Dolls - red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight. For Anne, Neely and Jennifer, it doesn't matter, as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach. These three beautiful women become best friends when they are young and in New York, struggling to make their names in the entertainment industry. Only when they reach the peak of their careers do they find there's nowhere left to go but down - to the Valley of the Dolls.

ebook of the month
This Sweet Sickness

This Sweet Sickness

Author: Patricia Highsmith, Sarah Hilary Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/06/2016

David Kelsey has an invincible conviction that life is going to work out just as he has planned it - if he can just fix 'the situation'. His one true love, the brilliant, beautiful Annabelle, has married another man. But that doesn't mean they can't still be friends. And even though she is pregnant with her husband Gerald's baby, that surely doesn't mean she won't one day get back together with David. She still loves him, of that he is certain. David is sure she'll take him back, and, under an alias, is setting up a wonderful home for the two of them in a town close by. And everything is just about going to plan until things take a murderous turn, leaving David a desperate man on the run.

The Two Faces of January

The Two Faces of January

Author: Patricia Highsmith, Sarah Hilary Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/06/2016

Now a major motion picture starring Viggo Mortenson and Kirsten Dunst. 'Highsmith is a giant of the genre. The original, the best, the gloriously twisted Queen of Suspense' Mark Billingham Two men meet in the picturesque backstreets of Athens. Chester MacFarlane is a conman with multiple false identities, near the end of his rope and on the run with his young wife Colette. Rydal Keener is a young drifter looking for adventure: he finds it in one evening as the law catches up to Chester and Colette, and their fates become fatally entwined. Patricia Highsmith draws us deep into a cross-European game of cat and mouse in this masterpiece of suspense from the author of The Talented Mr Ripley.

People Who Knock on the Door

People Who Knock on the Door

Author: Patricia Highsmith, Sarah Hilary Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/06/2016

People Who Knock on the Door, is a tale about blind faith and the slippery notion of justice that lies beneath the peculiarly American veneer of righteousness. 'A border zone of the macabre, the disturbing, the not quite accidental . . . Highsmith achieves the effect of the occult without any resources to supernatural machinery' New York Times Book Review In a pitiless story of prying suburban self-righteousness, Patricia Highsmith introduces the Alderman family as they descend into moral crisis. When small-town insurance salesman Richard Alderman becomes a born-again Christian, his once tight-knit family quickly begins to rip apart at the seams. He and his youngest son, Robbie, embrace their newfound faith, while his elder son Arthur rejects it. Caught in the middle of the ensuing web of lies, his wife, Lois, tries to keep the family together, but when the church elders start to interfere in Arthur's love life, events spiral toward violence. In this masterful late work, Highsmith weaves a powerful tale about blind faith and the peculiar ideas of justice that lie underneath the veneer of respectability.

Northbridge Rectory

Northbridge Rectory

Author: Angela Thirkell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/05/2016

As the war continues it brings its own set of trials to the the village of Northbridge. Eight officers of the Barsetshire Regiment have been billeted at the rectory, and Mrs Villars, the Rector's wife, is finding the attentions of Lieutenant Holden (who doesn't seem to mind that she is married to his host) quite exhausting. The middle-aged ladies and gentlemen who undertake roof-spotting from the church tower are more concerned with their own lives than with any possible parachutist raids. There is the love triangle of Mr Downing, his redoubtable hostess Miss Pemberton and the hospitable Mrs Turner at the Hollies. And, to add to Mrs Villar's woes, egocentric, imperious Mrs Spender, the Major's wife, is foisted on the rectory when she is bombed out of her London home. First published in 1941, Northbridge Rectory is a captivating comedy of an English village in the War years.

Before Lunch

Before Lunch

Author: Angela Thirkell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/05/2016

Jack Middleton likes to imagine himself a country squire. At weekends he retires to Laverings Estate with his wife, Catherine. He may be pompous, and they may seem ill-matched, but the couple are devoted to each other. When Jack's widowed sister, Lilian, and her two stepchildren arrive to spend the summer in the neighbouring house, he dreads the intrusion to his idyll: Daphne, capable and ambitious, is too lively for his taste, whereas her brother Denis, a composer, he finds a crashing bore. But their wit and good sense charm the residents of Barchester, and they win over Lord Bond with an impromptu Gilbert and Sullivan evening. Even Jack begins to thaw. Before long, Daphne and Lord Bond's son become attracted to each other, but each believes the other is attached to someone else. Can disaster be averted before she marries the wrong man? First published in 1939, Before Lunch is a sparkling comedy from Angela Thirkell's much-loved classic series.

The Orchard on Fire

The Orchard on Fire

Author: Shena Mackay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/04/2016

'What made the orchard miraculous was an abandoned railway carriage, set down as if by magic, its wheels gone, anchored by long grass and nettles. Ruby and I stared at it and each other . . . dark-windowed, out of place in a thicket of thorns, it was the perfect hide-out, house, the camp of our dreams' When April's parents move from London to rural Kent she makes her first best friend. With flame-haired, fearless Ruby, April shares secrets, dares and laughter. But Ruby has secrets of her own -bruises that she hides. Also seeking April's friendship is old Mr Greenidge, immaculate in his linen suit, with eyes like blue glass. He follows her around the village with his beguiling dachshund, and wants to learn everything about her.

Dunedin

Dunedin

Author: Shena Mackay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/04/2016

New Zealand, 1909. After weeks at sea the new minister, Jack Mackenzie, arrives from Scotland with his unhappy wife and children in tow. A keen naturalist, he is more enthralled by the botanical - and carnal - delights of Dunedin than in the wellbeing of his flock. In London, eighty years later, Jack Mackenzie's descendants are middle-aged, searching for a way out of their loneliness. Olive, embittered with her loveless life, steals a baby from a crowded tube; William, distraught at the death of a pupil, abandons his job as headmaster and struggles to fill his empty days. Jay Pascal, a young New Zealand vagrant of mysterious parentage arrives in London, looking for a place where he might belong.

A Game for the Living

A Game for the Living

Author: Patricia Highsmith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/01/2016

'I love Highsmith so much . . . What a revelation her writing is' Gillian Flynn 'Ramon had done it. Obviously! He thought about Ramon, his Catholic soul trapped in his passion for Lelia. He'd find Ramon and see that he paid with his life for what he had done.' In A Game for the Living threads of sexual jealousy and guilt are shot through with all Patricia Highsmith's uncanny talent for the unexpected. Mild-mannered Theo is a wealthy German expatriate; hot-tempered Ramon was born into poverty in Mexico City. The two men are unlikely friends - especially as they are in love with the same woman. When Lelia is found brutally murdered, both lovers are suspects - and each suspects the other. But then they discover that a thief was seen at Lelia's apartment, and their hunt leads them on a frantic chase to sun-drenched Acapulco. Theo begins to get the uneasy feeling that his every move is being watched.

Found in the Street

Found in the Street

Author: Patricia Highsmith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/01/2016

'Uncomfortable, frightening, compulsive and, worst of all, terribly believable. It's vintage Highsmith' Time Out On a stroll through Greenwich Village, security guard Ralph Linderman finds a wallet on the sidewalk. It belongs to Jack Sutherland, a wealthy aspiring artist, and it is his misfortune to have it returned to him - with all $263 and credit cards untouched. Because now Ralph knows where Jack lives. Elsie Tyler is a beautiful young waitress - an innocent in New York - and Ralph feels he must protect her from 'bad company'. When he sees Elsie leaving Jack's apartment, he is not pleased. Not pleased at all. By the author of The Talented Mr Ripley, Found in the Street is an unsettling thriller that explores the bleakest alleyways of human desire.

A Dog's Ransom

A Dog's Ransom

Author: Patricia Highsmith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/01/2016

'Highsmith is a giant of the genre. The original, the best, the gloriously twisted Queen of Suspense' Mark Billingham 'Dear Sir, I suppose you are pretty pleased with yourself? Superior to everyone, you think. A fancy apartment and a snob dog. You are a disgusting little machine, nothing else. Your days are numbered.' Ed Reynolds, an editor at a prestigious publishing house, has received a number of anonymous poison pen letters. He has no idea who could bear him such a grudge. Returning home one night, he finds a ransom note for his wife's beloved French poodle: 'I have your dog Lisa. She is well and happy . . . I gather the dog is important to you? We'll see!' The criminal has hit the Manhattan couple where it hurts most. And so, with this bizarre event, their nightmare begins. A Dog's Ransom captures the fragility of middle-class life in this riveting, scathing tale.

Small g: A Summer Idyll

Small g: A Summer Idyll

Author: Patricia Highsmith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/01/2016

Completed just months before Patricia Highsmith's death in 1995, Small g explores the labyrinthine intricacies of passion, sexuality, and jealousy in a charming tale of love misdirected. 'What is most remarkable in this novel is the empathy . . . with which Highsmith writes about gay men . . . one can imagine the small g existing, a piquant mixture of bohemianism and respectability, exactly as Highsmith describes it' Francis King, Spectator At the 'small g', a Zurich bar known for its not exclusively gay clientele, the lives of a small community are played out one summer. Rickie Markwalder is a designer whose lover Petey was brutally murdered. Rickie and his performing dog Lulu are regulars at the bar, as are vindictive Renate, a seamstress, and her teenage apprentice Luisa. Into their lives comes Teddie, impressionable and beautiful, and a catalyst for the series of events that will change everything. Patricia Highsmith's final novel is an intricate exploration of love and sexuality, the depths of spite and the triumph of human kindness. It is a work that, in the tradition of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, shows us how bizarre and unpredictable love can be. Small g, in the words of her biographer Andrew Wilson, is an 'extended fairy tale suggesting that...happiness is precarious and...romance should be embraced.'

Owls Do Cry

Owls Do Cry

Author: Janet Frame, Margaret Drabble Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/01/2016

Owls Do Cry is the story of the Withers family: Francie, soon to leave school to start work at the woollen mills; Toby, whose days are marred by the velvet cloak of epilepsy; Chicks, the baby of the family; and Daphne, whose rich, poetic imagination condemns her to a life in institutions. 'Janet Frame's first full-length work of fiction, Owls Do Cry, is an exhilarating and dazzling prelude to her long and successful career. She was to write in several modes, publishing poems, short stories, fables and volumes of autobiography, as well as other novels of varied degrees of formal complexity, but Owls Do Cry remains unique in her oeuvre. It has the freshness and fierceness of a mingled cry of joy and pain. Its evocation of childhood recalls Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience, as well as the otherworldly Shakespearean lyric of her title and epigraph, but her handling of her dark material is wholly original' Margaret Drabble

The Kingdom and the Cave

The Kingdom and the Cave

Author: Joan, MBE Aiken Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/11/2015

'The Under People. They live in a huge Cave. They are thought to be boring upwards. Giant worms and flying ants. Underground magic.' Mickle, the palace cat, knows the kingdom is in danger. He can feel it in his whiskers and he has found a mysterious note in the royal library... (Yes, of course he can read, and speak - if he chooses to!) Mickle can't trust the King and Queen with his mission, so he and Prince Michael, with the help of their animal friends (and quite a bit of magic!), set out on a perilous quest to find the sinister Under People, discover their secret power and save the Kingdom of Astalon. In her first novel, written when she was only a teenager, Joan Aiken showcases the imagination, wit and storytelling zest that would lead to classics like Arabel's Raven and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

The Serial Garden

The Serial Garden

Author: Joan, MBE Aiken Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2015

'I wish we'll have two children called Mark and Harriet. And I hope lots of interesting and unusual things will happen to them. It would be nice if they had a fairy godmother, for instance. And a phoenix or something out of the ordinary for a pet. We could have a special day for interesting and unusual things to happen - say, Mondays. But not always Mondays, and not only Mondays, or that would get a bit dull' As a result of their mother's honeymoon wish, Mark and Harriet Armitage have a fairy godmother, a pet unicorn, and are prepared for anything life can throw at them (especially, but not always, on a Monday): hatching griffins in the airing cupboard, Latin lessons with a ghost, furious Furies on the doorstep, and an enchanted garden locked inside a cereal packet. Life with the Armitages can be magical, funny, terrifying - but never, ever dull.

The Praise Singer

The Praise Singer

Author: Mary Renault, Charlotte Mendelson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2015

'Mary Renault's portraits of the ancient world are fierce, complex and eloquent, infused at every turn with her life-long passion for the Classics. Her characters live vividly both in their own time, and in ours' MADELINE MILLER Mary Renault is a shining light to both historical novelists and their readers. She does not pretend the past is like the present, or that the people of ancient Greece were just like us. She shows us their strangeness; discerning, sure-footed, challenging our values, piquing our curiosity, she leads us through an alien landscape that moves and delights us' HILARY MANTEL In the story of the great lyric poet Simonides, Mary Renault brings alive a time in Greece when tyrants kept an unsteady rule and poetry, music, and royal patronage combined to produce a flowering of the arts. Born into a stern farming family on the island of Keos, Simonides escapes his harsh childhood through a lucky apprenticeship with a renowned Ionian singer. As they travel through 5th century B.C. Greece, Simonides learns not only how to play the kithara and compose poetry, but also how to navigate the shifting alliances surrounding his rich patrons. He is witness to the Persian invasion of Ionia, to the decadent reign of the Samian pirate king Polykrates, and to the fall of the Pisistratids in the Athenian court. Along the way, he encounters artists, statesmen, athletes, thinkers, and lovers, including the likes of Pythagoras and Aischylos. Using the singer's unique perspective, Renault combines her vibrant imagination and her formidable knowledge of history to establish a sweeping, resilient vision of a golden century. 'There's much to say about her interweaving of myth and history and, just as interestingly, there's much to wonder at in the way she fills in the large dark spaces where we know next to nothing about the times she describes . . . an important and wonderful writer . . . she set a course into serious-minded, psychologically intense historical fiction that today seems more important than ever' - Sam Jordison, Guardian

The Mask of Apollo

The Mask of Apollo

Author: Mary Renault, Charlotte Mendelson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2015

'Mary Renault is a shining light to both historical novelists and their readers. She does not pretend the past is like the present, or that the people of ancient Greece were just like us. She shows us their strangeness; discerning, sure-footed, challenging our values, piquing our curiosity, she leads us through an alien landscape that moves and delights us' HILARY MANTEL 'Mary Renault's portraits of the ancient world are fierce, complex and eloquent, infused at every turn with her life-long passion for the Classics. Her characters live vividly both in their own time, and in ours' MADELINE MILLER Combining the scholarship of a historian with the imagination of a novelist, Mary Renault brings the ancient Greek stage thrillingly to life. Set in fourth-century B.C. Greece, The Mask of Apollo is narrated by Nikeratos, a tragic actor who takes with him on all his travels a gold mask of Apollo, a relic of the theatre's golden age, which is now past. At first his mascot, the mask gradually becomes his conscience, and he refers to it his gravest decisions, when he finds himself at the centre of a political crisis in which the philosopher Plato is also involved. Much of the action is set in Syracuse, where Plato's friend Dion is trying to persuade the young tyrant Dionysios the Younger to accept the rule of law. Through Nikeratos' eyes, the reader watches as the clash between the two unleashes all the pent-up violence in the city. 'All my sense of the ancient world - its values, its style, the scent of its wars and passions - comes from Mary Renault. I turned to writing historical fiction because of something I learned from Renault: that it lets you shake off the mental shackles of your own era, all the categories and labels, and write freely about what really matters to you' EMMA DONOGHUE 'There's much to wonder at in the way she fills in the large dark spaces where we know next to nothing about the times she describes . . . an important and wonderful writer . . . she set a course into serious-minded, psychologically intense historical fiction that today seems more important than ever' - Sam Jordison, Guardian

The Last of the Wine

The Last of the Wine

Author: Mary Renault, Charlotte Mendelson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2015

'All my sense of the ancient world - its values, its style, the scent of its wars and passions - comes from Mary Renault. Her Theseus novels are perhaps the most exciting of her Greek fictions, and The Last of the Wine the most moving. I turned to writing historical fiction because of something I learned from Renault: that it lets you shake off the mental shackles of your own era, all the categories and labels, and write freely about what really matters to you' EMMA DONOGHUE 'Mary Renault's portraits of the ancient world are fierce, complex and eloquent, infused at every turn with her life-long passion for the Classics. Her characters live vividly both in their own time, and in ours' MADELINE MILLER Combining the scholarship of a historian with the imagination of a novelist, Mary Renault masterfully brings the ancient world to life in this page-turning drama of the Peloponnesian War. Alexias, a young Athenian of good family, comes of age during the last phases of the Peloponnesian War. The adult world he enters is one in which the power and influence of his class have been undermined by the forces of war. Alexias finds himself drawn to the controversial teachings of Socrates, following him even though it at times endangers both his own life and his family's place in society. Among the great teacher's followers Alexias meets Lysis, and the two youths become inseparable - together they wrestle in the palaestra, journey to the Olympic Games, and fight in the wars against Sparta. As their relationship develops against the background of famine, siege and civil conflict, Mary Renault expertly conveys the intricacies of classical Greek culture. 'Mary Renault is a shining light to both historical novelists and their readers. She does not pretend the past is like the present, or that the people of ancient Greece were just like us. She shows us their strangeness; discerning, sure-footed, challenging our values, piquing our curiosity, she leads us through an alien landscape that moves and delights us' HILARY MANTEL 'The most vivid and convincing reconstruction of ancient Greek life that I have ever seen' Sunday Times

Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn

Author: Daphne du Maurier Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/07/2015

In the bitter November wind, Mary Yellan crosses Bodmin Moor to Jamaica Inn. Her mother's dying wish was that she take refuge there, with her Aunt Patience. But when Mary arrives, the warning of the coachman echoes in her mind: Jamaica Inn has a desolate power, and behind it's crumbling walls Patience is a changed woman, cowering before her brooding, violent husband. When Mary discovers the inn's dark secrets, the truth is more terrifying than anything she could possibly imagine, and she is forced to collude in her uncle's murderous schemes. Against her will, she finds herself powerfully attracted to her uncle's brother, a man she dares not trust.

Frenchman's Creek

Frenchman's Creek

Author: Daphne du Maurier Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/07/2015

The Restoration Court knows Lady Dona St Columb to be ripe for any folly, any outrage that will alter the tedium of her days. But there is another, secret Dona who longs for freedom, honest love - and sweetness, even if it is spiced with danger. To escape the shallowness of court life, Dona retreats to Navron, her husband's remote Cornish estate. There, she seeks peace in its solitary woods and hidden creeks. But she finds instead a daring pirate, hunted by all Cornwall, a Frenchman who, like Dona, would gamble his life for a moment's joy. Together, they embark upon a quest rife with danger and glory, one which bestows upon Dona the ultimate choice: sacrifice her lover to certain death or risk her own life to save him.

Rebecca

Rebecca

Author: Daphne du Maurier Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/07/2015

On a trip to the South of France, the shy heroine of Rebecca falls in love with Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower. Although his proposal comes as a surprise, she happily agrees to marry him. But as they arrive at her husband's home, Manderley, a change comes over Maxim, and the young bride is filled with dread. Friendless in the isolated mansion, she realises that she barely knows him. In every corner of every room is the phantom of his beautiful first wife, Rebecca, and the new Mrs de Winter walks in her shadow.

The Boy Who Followed Ripley

The Boy Who Followed Ripley

Author: Patricia Highsmith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/06/2015

The continuing adventures of Ripley, played by Matt Damon in The Talented Mr Ripley. When a troubled young runaway arrives on Tom Ripley's French estate, he is drawn into a world he thought he'd left behind: the seedy underworld of Berlin, involving kidnapping plots, lies and deception. Ripley becomes the boy's protector as friendship develops between the young man with a guilty conscience and the older one with no conscience at all. The Boy Who Followed Ripley is followed by Ripley Under Water.

The Tremor of Forgery

The Tremor of Forgery

Author: Patricia Highsmith, Denise Mina Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2015

A gripping novel that explores the shifting sands of moral values - is murder still murder when committed in a lawless place? 'Highsmith is the poet of apprehension rather than fear . . . Highsmith's finest novel to my mind is The Tremor of Forgery, and if I were asked what it is about I would reply, apprehension ' Graham Greene Howard Ingham finds it strange that no one has written to him since he arrived in Tunisia - neither the film director that he is supposed to be meeting in Tunis, nor his lover in New York who is, he hopes, missing him. While he waits around at a beach resort, unable to progress on the film script he is there to write, he starts work on a new novel, about a man living an amoral double life. Howard also befriends a fellow American who has a taste for Scotch and a suspicious interest in the Soviet Union, and a Dane who appears to distrust Arabs intensely. When bad news finally arrives from home, Howard thinks he may as well stay and continue writing, despite the tremors in the air of violence, tensions and ambiguous morals.

Edith's Diary

Edith's Diary

Author: Patricia Highsmith, Denise Mina Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2015

'Edith's fall takes the form of a psychological chiller, but there is also something larger, the poignancy of her struggle not to go under. She is betrayed by such ordinary dreams' New York Times Edith Howland's diary is her most precious possession, and as she is moving house she is making sure it's safe. A suburban housewife in fifties America, she is moving to Brunswick with her husband Brett and her beloved son, Cliffie, to start a new life for them all. She is optimistic, but most of all she has high hopes for her new venture with Brett, a local newspaper, the Brunswick Corner Bugle. Life seems full of promise, and indeed, to read her diary, filled with her most intimate feelings and revelations, you would never think otherwise. Strange, then, that reality is so dangerously different . . .

The Blunderer

The Blunderer

Author: Patricia Highsmith, Denise Mina Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2015

'My suspicion is that when the dust has settled and when the chronicle of 20th-century American literature comes to be written, history will place Highsmith at the top of the pyramid, as we should place Dostoevsky at the top of the Russian hierarchy of novelists' A. N. Wilson, Daily Telegraph The Blunderer was written by Highsmith in between Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr Ripley. The novel follows the young, successful and handsome, Walter Stackhouse who seems to have it all, that is, until the day his wife's body is found at the bottom of a cliff. Under the intense scrutiny of the investigation he commits one mistake, then another, until - in true Highsmithian fashion - Walter finds his perfect life derailed. Now Walter is running from the obsessions of the murderer, and the suspicions of the lead cop, not to mention his own increasingly life-threatening blunders.

Mossy Trotter

Mossy Trotter

Author: Elizabeth Taylor Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2015

'It's always a treat to read Elizabeth Taylor. Mossy Trotter is a real gem. A delightfully mischievous boy living in those long-ago halcyon days when children played out all day, roaming commons, scavenging on rubbish tips and stamping in newly-laid tar' JACQUELINE WILSON 'We - that is, Herbert and I - want you, Mossy, to be our page-boy,' Miss Silkin said, staring hard at Mossy again, as if she were trying to imagine him dressed up, and with his hair combed. Mossy went very red, and nearly choked on a piece of cake, and Selwyn laughed, and went on laughing, as if he had just heard the funniest joke of all his life. They both knew what being a page-boy meant. One of the boys at school - one of the very youngest ones - had had to be one, wearing velvet trousers and a frilled blouse.' When Mossy moves to the country, life is full of delights - trees to climb, woods to explore and, best of all, the marvellous dump to rummage through. But every now and then his happiness is disturbed - chiefly by his mother's meddling friend, Miss Silkin. And a dreaded event casts a shadow over even the sunniest of days - being a page-boy at her wedding. In her only children's book, Elizabeth Taylor perfectly captures the temptations, confusion and terrors of a mischievous boy, and just how illogical, frustrating and inconsistent adults are!

I Go by Sea, I Go by Land

I Go by Sea, I Go by Land

Author: P. L. Travers OBE Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2015

'James and I stayed on at home and everything was quiet and sunny and we got to thinking the war would never come after all . . . Just when we were so sure nothing would happen, the German plane came over. It came over one night at one o'clock in the morning and the sound was quite different from an English plane and we all woke up. You could hear it drumming and drumming like a big bee in a flower, buroom, buroom, buroom, round and round in the air above the house. Then suddenly there were five loud explosions. After that there was a terrible silence and I knew that Father and Mother were looking at each other in the darkness and I felt myself getting small and tight inside. Then Father said quietly, Meg, they must go! ' Now I am going to write a Diary because we are going to America because of the War. It has just been decided. I will write down everything about it because we shall be so much older when we come back that I will never remember it if I do not. So this is the beginning. Oh, please let us come back soon, please.' This is the fictional diary of Sabrina Lind, an eleven-year-old English girl who, with her little brother James, is sent on the long voyage across the sea to her aunt in America.

The King Must Die

The King Must Die

Author: Mary Renault, Bettany Hughes Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2015

This brilliant retelling of the story of Theseus, the king of Athens, brings Greek mythology vividly to life and remains 'one of the truly fine historical novels of modern times' (The New York Times) Theseus is the grandson of the King of Troizen, but his paternity is shrouded in mystery - can he really be the son of the god Poseidon? When he discovers his father's sword beneath a rock, his mother must reveal his true identity: Theseus is the son of Aegeus, King of Athens, and is his only heir. So begins Theseus's perilous journey to his father's palace to claim his birthright, escaping bandits and ritual king sacrifice in Eleusis, to slaying the Minotaur in Crete. Renault reimagines the Theseus myth, creating an original, exciting story. 'Mary Renault's portraits of the ancient world are fierce, complex and eloquent, infused at every turn with her life-long passion for the Classics. Her characters live vividly both in their own time, and in ours' (Madeline Miller, bestselling author of Circe) 'Mary Renault is a shining light to both historical novelists and their readers' (Hilary Mantel, bestselling author of Wolf Hall)

The Bull from the Sea

The Bull from the Sea

Author: Mary Renault, Bettany Hughes Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2015

'Mary Renault is a shining light to both historical novelists and their readers. She does not pretend the past is like the present, or that the people of ancient Greece were just like us. She shows us their strangeness; discerning, sure-footed, challenging our values, piquing our curiosity, she leads us through an alien landscape that moves and delights us' HILARY MANTEL 'Mary Renault's portraits of the ancient world are fierce, complex and eloquent, infused at every turn with her life-long passion for the Classics. Her characters live vividly both in their own time, and in ours' MADELINE MILLER The sequel to The King Must Die. The Bull from the Sea continues the story of the hero Theseus after his return from Crete. Having freed the city of Athens from the onerous tribute demanded by the ruler of Knossos - the sacrifice of noble youths and maidens to the appetite of the Labyrinth's monster - Theseus has returned home to find his father dead and himself the new king. But his adventures have only just begun: he still must confront the Amazons, capture their queen, Hippolyta, and face the tragic results of Phaedra's jealous rage. Piecing together the fragments of myth and using her deep understanding of the cultures reflected in these legends, Mary Renault has constructed an enthralling narrative of a time when heroes battled monsters and gods strode the earth. 'There's much to say about her interweaving of myth and history and, just as interestingly, there's much to wonder at in the way she fills in the large dark spaces where we know next to nothing about the times she describes . . . an important and wonderful writer . . . she set a course into serious-minded, psychologically intense historical fiction that today seems more important than ever' Sam Jordison, Guardian

The Battle of the Villa Fiorita

The Battle of the Villa Fiorita

Author: Rumer Godden, Anita Desai Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/02/2015

When their mother leaves the country to be with her lover, Hugh and Caddie Clavering's seemingly perfect life falls apart. Devestated, and desperate for her to come back, the children travel alone to the Villa Fiorita on Lake Garda, determined not to leave without her. On arrival, they can tell Fanny and Rob are deeply in love, and their mother is happier than they've ever seen her, but the scheme lives on and Rob's young daughter is only too glad to help destroy their relationship. Will Hugh and Caddie realise that their actions have consequences before it is too late?

The River

The River

Author: Rumer Godden, Anita Desai Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/02/2015

Harriet is caught between two worlds: her older sister is no longer a playmate, her brother is still a little boy. And the comforting rhythm of her Indian childhood - the sounds of the jute factory, the colourful festivals that accompany each season and the eternal ebb and flow of the river on its journey to the Bay of Bengal - is about to be shattered by a tragic event. Intense, vivid, and with a dark undertow, The River is a poignant portrait of the loss of a young girl's innocence.

Little Tales of Misogyny

Little Tales of Misogyny

Author: Patricia Highsmith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/01/2015

'These little tales are tremendous fun, glorious hand grenades lobbed at the reader by a gleeful, cackling Patricia Highsmith' Dan Rhodes Little Tales of Misogyny is Highsmith's legendary, cultish short-story collection. With an eerie simplicity of style, Highsmith turns our next-door neighbours into sadistic psychopaths, lying in wait among white picket fences and manicured lawns. In these darkly satirical, often hilarious, sketches you'll meet seemingly familiar women with the power to destroy both themselves and the men around them. 'The No.1 Greatest Crime Writer' The Times

Kind Are Her Answers

Kind Are Her Answers

Author: Mary Renault, Sarah Dunant Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/10/2014

Kit Anderson is married to Janet, a beautiful but narcissistic woman who seems more shallow to him as time goes by. Their relationship has become strained and cold. Immersing himself in his work as a doctor, Anderson takes consolation in his career. Then, one night he is called out to a dying patient, and meets Christie, who is taking care of her aunt. Warm and vivacious, Christie stands in stark contrast to Janet, providing the passion and intimacy that has been missing from his life. How long can their affair be kept secret and does Kit want what is best for Christie, or only for himself? In this assured, vivid novel, Mary Renault showcases the talents that would make her one of the twentieth century's most beloved novelists.

The Friendly Young Ladies

The Friendly Young Ladies

Author: Mary Renault, Sarah Dunant Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/10/2014

Elsie, sheltered and naive, is seventeen and unhappy. Stifled by life with her bickering parents in a bleak Cornish village, she falls in love with the first presentable young man she meets - Peter, an ambitious London doctor. On his advice she runs away from home and goes to live with her sister Leonora, who escaped eight years earlier. But there are surprises in store for conventional Elsie as her sister has a rather bohemian lifestyle: not only does Leo live in a houseboat on the Thames where she writes Westerns for a living, she shares her boat - and her bed - with Helen. When Peter pays a visit, turning his attention from one 'friendly young lady' to the next, he disturbs the calm for each of them - with results unforeseen by all . . . Mary Renault wrote this delightfully provocative novel in 1943 partly in answer to the despair characteristic of Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness. The result is this witty and stylish social comedy.

North Face

North Face

Author: Mary Renault, Sarah Dunant Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/10/2014

On holiday in the North Devon countryside, Neil Langton looks back on the wreckage of his past. He has come to believe that all happiness is behind him; the wounds from his former marriage - in which his wife cheated on him and his young daughter died - are still raw. While rock-climbing, he meets Ellen, a young woman whom he saves from a mountainside accident. Ellen, too, is looking to escape her painful past, struggling to deal with her feelings for the man she loved - a pilot who died in service. Set in postwar Britain, and filled with a memorable cast of characters, North Face is a love story rich in atmosphere and tension.

Funeral Games

Funeral Games

Author: Mary Renault, Tom Holland Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/08/2014

'The Alexander Trilogy contains some of Renault's finest writing. Lyrical, wise, compelling: the novels are a wonderful imaginative feat' SARAH WATERS In the final novel of her stunning trilogy, Mary Renault vividly imagines the life of Alexander the Great, the charismatic leader whose drive and ambition created a legend. Alexander the Great died at the age of thirty-three, leaving behind an empire that stretched from Greece and Egypt to India. After Alexander's death in 323 B.C. his only direct heirs were two unborn sons and a simpleton half-brother. Every long-simmering faction exploded into the vacuum of power. Wives, distant relatives and generals all vied for the loyalty of the increasingly undisciplined Macedonian army. Most failed and were killed in the attempt. For no one possessed the leadership to keep the great empire from crumbling. But Alexander's legend endured to spread into worlds he had seen only in dreams. 'Mary Renault is a shining light to both historical novelists and their readers. She does not pretend the past is like the present, or that the people of ancient Greece were just like us. She shows us their strangeness; discerning, sure-footed, challenging our values, piquing our curiosity, she leads us through an alien landscape that moves and delights us' - HILARY MANTEL 'The Alexander Trilogy stands as one of the most important works of fiction in the 20th century . . . it represents the pinnacle of [Renault's] career . . . Renault's skill is in immersing us in their world, drawing us into its strangeness, its violence and beauty. It's a literary conjuring trick like all historical fiction - it can only ever be an approximation of the truth. But in Renault's hands, the trick is so convincing and passionately conjured' Antonia Senior, The Times

The Persian Boy

The Persian Boy

Author: Mary Renault, Tom Holland Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/08/2014

'Renault's masterpiece. One of the greatest historical novels ever written' SARAH WATERS In the second novel of her stunning trilogy, Mary Renault vividly imagines the life of Alexander the Great, the charismatic leader whose drive and ambition created a legend. The Persian Boy traces the last years of Alexander's life through the eyes of his lover, Bagoas. Abducted and gelded as a boy, Bagoas is sold as a courtesan to King Darius of Persia, but finds freedom with Alexander the Great after the Macedon army conquers his homeland. Their relationship sustains Alexander as he weathers assassination plots, the demands of two foreign wives, a sometimes mutinous army, and his own ferocious temper. After Alexander's mysterious death, we are left wondering if this Persian boy understood the great warrior and his ambitions better than anyone. 'Mary Renault is a shining light to both historical novelists and their readers. She does not pretend the past is like the present, or that the people of ancient Greece were just like us. She shows us their strangeness; discerning, sure-footed, challenging our values, piquing our curiosity, she leads us through an alien landscape that moves and delights us' Hilary Mantel 'The Alexander Trilogy stands as one of the most important works of fiction in the 20th century . . . it represents the pinnacle of [Renault's] career . . . Renault's skill is in immersing us in their world, drawing us into its strangeness, its violence and beauty. It's a literary conjuring trick like all historical fiction - it can only ever be an approximation of the truth. But in Renault's hands, the trick is so convincing and passionately conjured. Nowhere is this more evident than in The Persian Boy . . . Bagoas is a brilliant narrator. Rendered unreliable by his passion, he is always believeable and sympathetic . . . His Persian background allows him to see the king and his Macedonians through the questioning eyes of an alien' - Antonia Senior, The Times

Fire from Heaven

Fire from Heaven

Author: Mary Renault, Tom Holland, Tom Holland Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/08/2014

'The Alexander Trilogy contains some of Renault's finest writing. Lyrical, wise, compelling: the novels are a wonderful imaginative feat' SARAH WATERS 'The Alexandriad is one of the twentieth century's most unexpectedly original works of art' GORE VIDAL In the first novel of her stunning trilogy, Mary Renault vividly imagines the life of Alexander the Great, the charismatic leader whose drive and ambition created a legend. Alexander's beauty, strength and defiance were apparent from birth, but his boyhood honed those gifts into the makings of a king. His mother, Olympias, and his father, King Philip of Macedon, fought each other for their son's loyalty, teaching Alexander politics and vengeance from the cradle. His love for the youth Hephaistion taught him trust, while Aristotle's tutoring provoked his mind and Homer's Iliad fuelled his aspirations. Killing his first man in battle at the age of twelve, he became regent at sixteen and commander of Macedon's cavalry at eighteen, so that by the time his father was murdered, Alexander's skills had grown to match his fiery ambition. Shortlisted for the 1970 Lost Booker Prize 'This is not just a novel: it's also the best imagining we are ever likely to have of a man who tore up history. The language may seem a bit florid at first - a little too historical novel - but set all snobbery aside: this is wonderful, scholarly, top-flight stuff' - Emily Wilson, Guardian 'The Alexander Trilogy stands as one of the most important works of fiction in the 20th century . . . it represents the pinnacle of [Renault's] career . . . Renault's skill is in immersing us in their world, drawing us into its strangeness, its violence and beauty. It's a literary conjuring trick like all historical fiction - it can only ever be an approximation of the truth. But in Renault's hands, the trick is so convincing and passionately conjured' - Antonia Senior, The Times

Jane of Lantern Hill

Jane of Lantern Hill

Author: L. M. Montgomery Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/06/2014

Jane and her mother live in a gloomy old mansion, where their lives are ruled by her ovebearing grandmother. For most of her life Jane has believed that her father is dead. Then, one dull April morning, a letter comes. Not only is her father alive and well, but he wants Jane to spend the summer with him on Prince Edward Island. For a blissful summer she lives at her father's cottage on Lantern Hill, making friends, having adventures and discovering that life can be wonderful after all. And she dares to dream that there could be such a house where she, Mother and Father could live together without Grandmother's disapproval - a house that could be called home.

Purposes of Love

Purposes of Love

Author: Mary Renault, Sarah Dunant Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/06/2014

Vivian, a student nurse, chose her profession as a challenge, both to her spirit and to her permanently exhausted body; Mic immerses himself in his work at the hospital to ward off the emotional wounds of an unhappy childhood. Through Jan, Viv's beloved older brother, they meet, and their friendship turns into a secret romance. Secret because, if discovered, it would cost them their jobs. Despite the discipline and rigid hierarchy imposed by the hospital, their passion takes root, but between them hangs the tantalising and enigmatic shadow of Jan.

Return to Night

Return to Night

Author: Mary Renault, Sarah Dunant Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/06/2014

Losing out on a promotion to her ex lover, Hilary Mansell, a talented doctor, moves to a rural hospital. She is bored and unchallenged, but the routine and long hours dull her disappointment. When Julian Fleming is admitted with a serious head injury, Hilary's skill and quick thinking save his life, and after his recovery he seeks her out. Julian is handsome, intelligent and a decade younger than Hilary, and although at first she resists his advances, she cannot help falling in love with him. Julian is a gifted actor but denies himself the career he longs for, and she senses that beneath his charm and humour something is holding him back. Before long, it becomes clear that his overbearing mother makes all the decisions in his life, and she doesn't approve of his ambitions - or of Hilary.

August Folly

August Folly

Author: Angela Thirkell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2014

It's August in the Barsetshire village of Worsted, and Richard Tebben, just down from Oxford, is contemplating the gloomy prospect of a long summer in the parental home. But the numerous and impossibly glamorous Dean family - exquisite Rachel, her capable husband and six of their nine brilliant children - have come for the holidays, and their hostess Mrs Palmer plans to rope everyone into performing in her disastrous annual play. Surrounded by the irrepressible Deans, Richard and his sister Margaret cannot help but have their minds broadened, spirits raised and hearts smitten.

The Brandons

The Brandons

Author: Angela Thirkell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2014

Lavinia Brandon is quite the loveliest widow in Barsetshire, blessed with beauty and grace, as well as two handsome grown-up children, Delia and Francis. So thinks their cousin Hilary Grant when he comes to stay and - like many before him - promptly falls for his fragrant hostess. Meanwhile, the Brandons' ill-tempered dowager aunt is stirring up controversy over her legacy, and Lavinia's attention is further occupied by the challenges of making a match between the vicar and gifted village helpmeet Miss Morris, and elegantly deterring her love-struck suitors. Angela Thirkell's 1930s comedy is bright, witty and winning.

Summer Half

Summer Half

Author: Angela Thirkell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2014

To his parents' dismay, Colin Keith - out of the noble but misplaced sense of duty peculiar to high-minded young university graduates - chooses to quit his training for the Bar and take a teaching job at Southbridge School. Little does Colin imagine that he will count among his pupils the demon in human form known as Tony Morland; or that the master's ravishing, feather-brained daughter Rose will, with her flights of fancy and many admirers, spread chaos throughout school and village. Humorous, high-spirited and cleverly observed, Summer Half is a comic delight.

An Episode of Sparrows

An Episode of Sparrows

Author: Rumer Godden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/04/2014

With a foreword by JACQUELINE WILSON 'A masterpiece of construction and utterly realistically convincing...Rumer Godden's writing is admired for many qualities...but I think her greatest strength is her accurate, unsentimental portrayal of children. Lovejoy, Tip and Sparkey were so real to me that they have stayed alive in my head for more than fifty years' Jacqueline Wilson A captivating classic novel of a poor girl striving to create beauty among the bombsites of post-war London. Someone has been digging up the private garden in the Square. Miss Angela Chesney of the Garden Committee is sure that a gang of local boys is to blame, but her sister, Olivia, isn't so sure. She wonders why the neighbourhood children - 'sparrows', she calls them - have to be locked out: don't they have a right to enjoy the garden too? Nobody has any idea what sends Lovejoy Mason and her few friends in search of 'good garden earth'. Still less do they imagine where their investigation will lead them - to a struggling restaurant, a bombed-out church, and, at the heart of it all, a hidden garden.

The Dark Horse

The Dark Horse

Author: Rumer Godden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/04/2014

'All horses can walk - some badly, some well, but to a few is given a gift of movement feline in its grace, a slouching, flowing continuous movement that is a joy to watch. Dark Invader strode in glorious rhythm, his great shoulders rolling, muscles rippling along his flanks under the satin skin.' Dark Invader is a beautifully bred racehorse, but after a disappointing first season he is sold in disgrace and shipped from England to Calcutta. With love and gentle handling 'Darkie' wins the hearts of the people and becomes the firm favourite for India's most famous race, the Viceroy Cup. But three days before the race Dark Invader disappears. Can he be found before it is too late?

In Diamond Square

In Diamond Square

Author: Merce Rodoreda Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2014

'A small masterpiece' Colm Toibin, Daily Telegraph 'I don't know how many times I have reread the book, including several times in Catalan, with such effort that speaks volumes to my devotion to the novel' Gabriel Garcia Marquez 'The fierce beauty of Rodoreda's writing makes it one of the masterpieces of modern European literature' Independent First published in 1962 as 'La Placa del Diamant', this is considered the most important Catalan novel of all time. This is a new English translation. It has previously been published in English as The Time of the Doves. Barcelona, early 1930s: Natalia, a pretty shop-girl from the working-class quarter of Gracia, is hesitant when a stranger asks her to dance at the fiesta in Diamond Square. But Joe is charming and forceful, and she takes his hand. They marry and soon have two children; for Natalia it is an awakening, both good and bad. When Joe decides to breed pigeons, the birds delight his son and daughter - and infuriate his wife. Then the Spanish Civil War erupts, and lays waste to the city and to their simple existence. Natalia remains in Barcelona, struggling to feed her family, while Joe goes to fight the fascists, and one by one his beloved birds fly away. A highly acclaimed classic that has been translated into more twenty-eight languages, In Diamond Square is the moving, vivid and powerful story of a woman caught up in a convulsive period of history. 'An extremely moving love story translated from the Catalan, which reveals much about the Spanish civil war as ordinary, non-political people had to live it' Diana Athill 'Go along with Natalia on her night out and you'll soon find you'd follow her anywhere. Rodoreda's writing pays such fierce and tender attention to the experience of being alive, and the tempest that ordinary life can be' Helen Oyeyemi

Territorial Rights

Territorial Rights

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2014

Robert wants nothing more than to become a serious art historian. But his hopes for an academic life are put on hold when he's driven from London to Venice to escape one lover and seek out another: the enigmatic Bulgarian refugee Lina Pancev. In Venice, Robert encounters a grand carnival of lust, lies, blackmail, cocktail parties and regicide. As he chases Lina, his heart's desire, the city itself provides a priceless education in love, art and beauty.

The Public Image

The Public Image

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2014

Annabel Christopher is every inch the star: a glamorous actress with a devoted, handsome husband. To keep the paparazzi and her adoring public under her spell, her perfect image must be carefully cultivated, whatever the cost. Beneath the facade, though, her husband cannot bear her or their vapid existence. Envious of her success, he plots his revenge and stages a scandal even Annabel will find a challenge to recover from.

One Pair of Feet

One Pair of Feet

Author: Monica Dickens, Marina Lewycka Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/12/2013

As the effects of the war raging in Europe begin to be felt at home in London, Monica Dickens decides to do her bit and to pursue a new career, and so enrols as a student nurse at a hospital in rural Hertfordshire. By nature clever and spirited, she struggles to submit to the iron rule of the Matron and Sisters, and is alternately infuriated and charmed by her patients. That's not to mention the mountains of menial work that are a trainee's lot. But there are friends among the staff and patients, night-time escapades to dances with dashing army men, and her secret writing project to keep her going.

Christmas at High Rising

Christmas at High Rising

Author: Angela Thirkell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/11/2013

Originally published in the 1930s and 1940s and never before collected, these stories by the incomparable Angela Thirkell relate merry scenes of a trip to the pantomime, escapades on ice, a Christmas Day gone awry, and an electrifying afternoon for Laura Morland and friends at Low Rising, not to mention the chatter of the arty set at a London private view. Charming, irreverent and full of mischievous humour, they offer the utmost entertainment in any season of the year.

Pomfret Towers

Pomfret Towers

Author: Angela Thirkell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/11/2013

Pomfret Towers, Barsetshire seat of the earls of Pomfret, was constructed, with great pomp and want of concern for creature comforts, in the once-fashionable style of Sir Gilbert Scott's St Pancras station. It makes a grand setting for a house party at which gamine Alice Barton and her brother Guy are honoured guests, mixing with the headstrong Rivers family, the tally-ho Wicklows and, most charming of all, Giles Foster, nephew and heir of the present Lord Pomfret. But whose hand will Mr Foster seek in marriage, and who will win Alice's tender heart? Angela Thirkell's classic 1930s comedy is lively, witty and deliciously diverting.

Emily Climbs

Emily Climbs

Author: L. M. Montgomery Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/11/2013

Emily never imagined Aunt Elizabeth would allow her to go to high school in Shrewsbury, and she's thrilled, especially as her close friends Ilse, Teddy and Perry will be there. But there are certain conditions: for the whole three years Emily must board with hateful Aunt Ruth, and she must promise to stop writing stories. To Emily, this is unthinkable, but she wants an education, and reluctantly agrees. With the move from her beloved home at New Moon to Aunt Ruth's house, Emily's world is turned upside down. Not only must she prove herself at school, despite rejection and jealousy, but she can no longer count on her friends. Her happy childhood friendships - especially with Teddy and Perry - start to turn into something more complicated and in a small-town, the merest hint of gossip can cause scandal.

The Charioteer A Virago Modern Classic

The Charioteer A Virago Modern Classic

Author: Mary Renault, Beale Simon Russell Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/11/2013

Injured at Dunkirk, Laurie Odell, a young corporal, is recovering at a rural veterans' hospital. There he meets Andrew, a conscientious objector serving as an orderly, and the men find solace in their covert friendship. Then Ralph Lanyon appears, a mentor from Laurie's schooldays. Through him, Laurie is drawn into a tight-knit circle of gay men for whom liaisons are fleeting and he is forced to choose between the ideals of a perfect friendship and the pleasures of experience. First published in 1953, The Charioteer is a a tender, intelligent coming-of-age novel and a bold, unapologetic portrayal of homosexuality that stands with Gore Vidal's The City and the Pillar and James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room as a landmark work in gay literature.

ebook of the month
Losing the Dead

Losing the Dead

Author: Lisa Appignanesi Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/11/2013

As her mother slipped into the darkness of old age, Lisa Appignanesi began to realise how little she knew of the reality behind the tales she had heard since childhood. She had shunned her parents' stories of war-time Poland, but now she set out to find the truth. In her quest she flew to Warsaw - imagining and revisiting a past she never knew. This is the moving story of the Jews who survived outside the camps, but it is also the author's own voyage of self-discovery - a family memoir of the rites of passage of emigration, childhood, and growing up an outsider in a closed community

Emily's Quest

Emily's Quest

Author: L. M. Montgomery Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/11/2013

There are two things in life Emily Starr is certain of - that she will be a great writer and that she and Teddy Kent were destined to be together. School is over and one by one her friends leave to follow their dreams, including Teddy, who goes to art school in Montreal. Emily chooses to stay at New Moon, and though she misses her friends, she knows the path of a writer is a solitary one. With each visit home Emily's friends seem more distant, especially Teddy. Desolate, but determined to hide her feelings, she throws herself into finishing her novel. When it is rejected, though, her confidence is shattered. To banish all thoughts of Teddy, Emily agrees to marry a man she doesn't love and give up on her dreams forever. But can she really have been so wrong about everything?

Up The Junction

Up The Junction

Author: Nell Dunn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2013

The girls - Rube, Lily and Sylvie - work at McCrindle's sweet factory during the week and on Saturday they go up the Junction in their clattering stilettos, think about new frocks on H.P., drink tea in the cafe, and talk about their boyfriends. In these uninhibited, spirited vignettes of young women's lives in the shabby parts of South London in the sixties, money is scarce and enjoyment to be grabbed while it can.

Poor Cow

Poor Cow

Author: Nell Dunn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2013

Joy - also called Blossom, Sunshine and Blondie by the men in her life - walks down Fulham Broadway carrying her week-old baby, Jonny. She is twenty-one, with bleached hair, high suede shoes, and a head full of dreams. Her husband Tom is a thief and on the proceeds of a job they move to a luxury flat - 'the world was our oyster and we chose Ruislip'. Then Tom is sent to prison, leaving Joy and Jonny to move in with Auntie Emm. This is Joy's story: an exuberant, pink-lipsticked, tale of London life, love and young motherhood in the sixties...

Sisters By A River

Sisters By A River

Author: Barbara Comyns, Barbara Trapido Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/07/2013

On the banks of the River Avon, five sisters are born. The seasons come and go, the girls take their lessons under the ash tree, and always there is the sound of water swirling through the weir. Then, unexpectedly, an air of decay descends upon the house: ivy grows unchecked over the windows, angry shouts split the summer air, the milk sours in the larder and their father takes out his gun. Tragedy strikes the family, and before long the furniture is being auctioned off and the sisters dispersed among relatives. In her daring first novel, originally published in 1947, Barbara Comyns' unique young heroine relates the vivid, funny and bittersweet story of a childhood.

Our Spoons Came From Woolworths

Our Spoons Came From Woolworths

Author: Barbara Comyns, Maggie O'Farrell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/07/2013

Pretty, unworldly Sophia is twenty-one years old and hastily married to a young painter called Charles. An artist's model with an eccentric collection of pets, she is ill-equipped to cope with the bohemian London of the 1930s, where poverty, babies (however much loved) and husband conspire to torment her. Hoping to add some spice to her life, Sophia takes up with Peregrine, a dismal, ageing critic, and comes to regret her marriage - and her affair. But in this case virtue is more than its own reward, for repentance brings an abrupt end to the cycle of unsold pictures, unpaid bills and unwashed dishes ...

The Vet's Daughter

The Vet's Daughter

Author: Barbara Comyns, Jane Gardam, Jane Gardam Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/07/2013

Growing up in Edwardian south London, Alice Rowlands longs for romance and excitement, for a release from a life that is dreary, restrictive and lonely. Her father, a vet, is harsh and domineering; his new girlfriend brash and lascivious. Alice seeks refuge in memories and fantasies, in her rapturous longing for Nicholas, a handsome young sailor, and in the blossoming of what she perceives as her occult powers. A series of strange events unfolds that leads her, dressed in bridal white, to a scene of ecstatic triumph and disaster among the crowds on Clapham Common. The Vet's Daughter is a uniquely vivid, witty and touching story of love and mystery.

Seventh Heaven

Seventh Heaven

Author: Alice Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/04/1992

In the summer of 1959 Nora Silk moves into a quiet suburb on Long Island with her two, young sons, a collection of Elvis records and a marked absence of husband. Her glamour and cheerfully chaotic ways immediately arouse the suspicions of the neighbourhood where life runs according to two rules - 'mind your own business and keep up your lawn'. Seventh Heaven is a lyrical, optimistic novel of yearning and desire, 'this writer can cut through to the true magic and true grit beneath' (Financial Times).

ebook of the month
The Mandelbaum Gate

The Mandelbaum Gate

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2013

When Barbara Vaughan's fiance joins an archaeological excursion to the Dead Sea Scrolls, she takes the opportunity to explore the Holy Land. It is 1961, and the nation of Israel is still in its infancy. For Barbara, a half-Jewish Catholic convert, this is a journey of faith, and she ignores warnings not to cross the Mandelbaum Gate from Israel into Jordan. An adventure of espionage and abduction, from pilgrimage to flight, The Mandelbaum Gate is one of Spark's most compelling novels, and won the James Tait Memorial Prize.

Thursday's Children

Thursday's Children

Author: Rumer Godden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2013

Doone Penny is a child with a gift - he was born to dance. But though others recognise his talent, there is little encouragement from his family. His mother preens over his pretty sister, Crystal, also a dancer, but fiercely competitive and vain. Doone's father would never allow a son of his to have ballet lessons, and his brothers think he's a sissy. But Doone has passion and ambition beyond his years, and knows he can succeed, if only he is given the chance. If he can make it into Queen's Chase, Her Majesty's Junior Ballet School, he'll show them all . ..

Listen to the Nightingale

Listen to the Nightingale

Author: Rumer Godden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2013

'Never forget, Charlotte, you were born to be a dancer . . . Never forget. Promise.' Before her ballet teacher died, Lottie promised Madame Holbein to be the dancer her mother never lived to become. Orphaned at birth, Lottie has been brought up by her aunt, and though she is loved, she is lonely. Then she finds Prince, a spaniel puppy, and discovers a love and loyalty that is boundless. When Lottie passes the tough audition for Queen's Chase, Her Majesty's Junior Ballet School, everybody is thrilled - except, surprisingly, Lottie. She will have to board at school, and what will happen to her beloved dog? To choose between the two is breaking her heart.

Sweet William

Sweet William

Author: Beryl Bainbridge, Alex Clark Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2013

'People came in and out, chairs were moved, dishes gathered up on trays, but it was happening at a great distance; she concentrated entirely on his pink face crowned with foppish curls.' Genteel, passive Ann works for the BBC in London and is engaged to a successful academic, fulfilling her snobbish mother's ambitions - more or less - while the Swinging Sixties happen elsewhere, to other people. Then she meets William: snub-nosed and generous, cunning and protean. She is first seduced, then transfixed, as William's past, present and future swirl around her kaleidoscopically, overwhelmingly, and Ann is herself irrevocably, and irreparably, changed.

A Quiet Life

A Quiet Life

Author: Beryl Bainbridge, Alex Clark Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2013

Seventeen-year-old Alan can't stand rows. But, though the Second World War has ended, peace hangs by a fine thread at home: his troublesome sister Madge creeps off for night-time liaisons with a German POW; their ineffectual father - broken by the hardships of war and an unhappy marriage - can't put food on the table despite the family's middle-class manners. Meanwhile, his mother pursues her escapist fantasies in romantic novels and love affairs. Obedient, faithful Alan is trapped among them all, the focus of their jibes and resentment, as inexorably the family heads towards disaster. Beryl Bainbridge's classic early novel is a vintage story of English domestic life, laced with sadness, irony and wicked black humour. 'One of the best novelists of her generation' - Guardian.

In this House of Brede

In this House of Brede

Author: Rumer Godden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2013

'The motto was Pax but the word was set in a circle of thorns. Peace, but what a strange peace, made of unremitting toil and effort.' Bruised by tragedy, Philippa Talbot leaves behind a successful career with the civil service for a new calling: to join an enclosed order of Benedictine nuns. In this small community of fewer than one hundred women, she soon discovers all the human frailties: jealousy, love, despair. But each crisis of heart and conscience is guided by the compassion and intelligence of the Abbess and by the Sisters' shared bond of faith and ritual. Away from the world, and yet at one with it, Philippa must learn to forgive and forget her past . . .

A Fugue in Time

A Fugue in Time

Author: Rumer Godden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2013

Grizel Dane, a bold young servicewoman in the US army, arrives at the London home of her great-uncle Sir Rollo Dane seeking refuge from the chaos of wartime. Through the old man, Grizel learns the surprising history of the Dane family and Lark Ingoldsby. Orphaned by a train crash, Lark was taken in by the Danes as an adoptive daughter but soon found herself caught in a web of sibling rivalry, love and attrition. Selina Dane, racked with jealousy, set out to destroy Lark's dreams of love. When Grizel falls for Pax Masterson, a wounded airman, Rollo urges her to seize her chance for happiness, as he was not able to. Rumer Godden's dramatic story of romance and tragedy was the basis for the classic film Enchantment starring David Niven.

China Court

China Court

Author: Rumer Godden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2013

Tracy Quinn, daughter of a screen star and raised on film sets around the world, returns to her adored family home, a country house named China Court. Her grandmother's recent death has set in motion events that threaten Tracy's future and the very existence of China Court. As Tracy fights to save the old house, inhabited by five generations of Quinns, the ancestors who created it are evoked: profligate, faithless Jared; Eliza, the embittered spinster; and Ripsie, an outcast orphan who rose to become the powerful matriarch.

Kingfishers Catch Fire

Kingfishers Catch Fire

Author: Rumer Godden, Rosie Thomas Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2013

Sophie, an English ingenue with two children, arrives in Himalayan Kashmir to set up home in a tumbledown cottage surrounded by flowers and herbs. Settling down to live quietly, frugally and peacefully with her new neighbours, she is unaware of the turmoil her arrival provokes as the villagers compete fiercely for her patronage. Sophie's cook makes a drastic bid to secure his position, and the unwanted consequences are catastrophic . . .

Cromartie vs The God Shiva

Cromartie vs The God Shiva

Author: Rumer Godden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2013

A revered effigy of the god Shiva is missing from the Patna Hall Hotel on south India's exquisite Coromandel coast. Was it stolen, and to whom does it belong? Young lawyer Michael Dean, sent from London to argue the case for the defence, falls under the spell of Artemis, a graceful archaeologist who is staying at the hotel; but she proves as elusive as the mystery of the theft he is working on. Rumer Godden's classic novel is a magical, evocative exploration of art, love, class and greed in her beloved India.

Black Narcissus

Black Narcissus

Author: Rumer Godden, Rosie Thomas Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2013

High in the Himalayas near Darjeeling, the old mountaintop palace shines like a jewel. When it was the General's 'harem' palace, richly dressed ladies wandered the windswept terraces; at night, music floated out over the villages and gorges. Now, the General's son has bestowed it on an order of nuns, the Sisters of Mary. Well-intentioned yet misguided, the nuns set about taming the gardens and opening a school and dispensary for the villagers. They are dependent on the local English agent of Empire, Mr Dean; but his charm and insolent candour are disconcerting. And the implacable emptiness of the mountain, the ceaseless winds, exact a toll on the Sisters.When Mr Dean says bluntly, 'This is no place for a nunnery,' it is as if he foresees their destiny...

Breakfast with the Nikolides

Breakfast with the Nikolides

Author: Rumer Godden, Rosie Thomas Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2013

For Emily Pool, India is a magical place where she has the freedom to escape her mother's suffocating influence. Her days are spent exploring the canals and gardens of East Bengal, and admiringly observing her glamorous, dignified neighbours, the Nikolides. But just as the cracks in Emily's family home are papered over, so do the Pools strive to maintain an outward impression of respectability, and it is through the Nikolides that Emily is exposed to a world of adult deceit and attrition. And when her beloved dog dies, the event forces a confrontation and reveals to Emily that nothing in the town is quite as it seems . . .

Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy

Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy

Author: Rumer Godden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2013

The Sisters of Bethanie, a French order of Dominican nuns, dedicate themselves to caring for the outcasts of society - criminals, prostitutes and drug addicts. Lise, an English girl who after the liberation of Paris was employed in one of the city's smartest brothels and rose to become a successful madame, finds herself joining the Sisters. Master storyteller Rumer Godden weaves a deeply moving tale of Lise's prison sentence, her conversion and the agonising work among women whose traumatic experiences often outstrip even her own.

Tin Toys Trilogy

Tin Toys Trilogy

Author: Ursula Holden, Lisa (Review Editor) Allardice Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/01/2013

Born into an affluent family, Bonnie, Tor and Ula have been left to the feckless embrace of the cook and their nanny. Their father is dead. Their glamorous mother is away entertaining the troops. When their infant brother falls ill and dies, the household disintegrates. In Tin Toys, Ula escapes with Cook, barely out of girlhood herself, and lands at the mansion of an enigmatic matriarch. In Unicorn Sisters, the three sisters are sent to a shabby English boarding school where the pupils are pitted against an anarchic gang of East End evacuees. A Bubble Garden finds the girls in Ireland, where they scrape a life in a crumbling, once-grand farmhouse, while their mother and her new husband are mired in their private traumas. A uniquely compelling and powerful coming-of-age classic.

A Weekend With Claude

A Weekend With Claude

Author: Beryl Bainbridge, Linda Grant Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/12/2012

An old snapshot shows a group of friends lounging in the sunshine, on a weekend in the country at the invitation of bearded, satyric Claude and his wife Julia. The girl in the centre is dreamy Lily, whose latest failed love affair forms the purpose of the weekend, as Lily's friends set out to help her ensnare an unwitting father for her unborn child. Next to her is Norman, a Marxist romantic hell-bent on seducing his milk-white hostess; behind them is old, persecuted Shebah; and, slightly apart, the young man on whom all hopes are pinned: quiet, pleasant Edward. Told through the fractured narratives of Claude, Lily, Shebah and Norman, in Beryl Bainbridge's first published novel a darkly comic weekend of friendship and failure unravels.

Harriet Said...

Harriet Said...

Author: Beryl Bainbridge, Linda Grant Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/12/2012

'An extremely original and disconcerting story' - Daily Telegraph A girl returns from boarding school to her sleepy Merseyside hometown and waits to be reunited with her childhood friend, Harriet, chief architect of all their past mischief. She roams listlessly along the shoreline and the woods still pitted with wartime trenches, and encounters 'the Tsar' - almost old, unhappily married, both dangerously fascinating and repulsive. Pretty, malevolent Harriet finally arrives - and over the course of the long holidays draws her friend into a scheme to beguile then humiliate the Tsar, with disastrous, shocking consequences. A gripping portrayal of adolescent transgression, Beryl Bainbridge's classic first novel remains as subversive today as when it was written.

Wild Strawberries

Wild Strawberries

Author: Angela Thirkell, Alexander McCall Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/11/2012

Pretty, impecunious Mary Preston, newly arrived as a guest of her Aunt Agnes at the magnificent wooded estate of Rushwater, falls head over heels for handsome playboy David Leslie. Meanwhile, Agnes and her mother, the eccentric matriarch Lady Emily, have hopes of a different, more suitable match for Mary. At the lavish Rushwater dance party, her future happiness hangs in the balance . . .

High Rising

High Rising

Author: Angela Thirkell, Alexander McCall Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/11/2012

Successful lady novelist Laura Morland and her boisterous young son Tony set off to spend Christmas at her country home in the sleepy surrounds of High Rising. But Laura's wealthy friend and neighbour George Knox has taken on a scheming secretary whose designs on marriage to her employer threaten the delicate social fabric of the village. Can clever, practical Laura rescue George from Miss Grey's clutches and, what's more, help his daughter Miss Sibyl Knox to secure her longed-for engagement? Utterly charming and very funny, High Rising is irresistible comic entertainment.

Tea By The Nursery Fire

Tea By The Nursery Fire

Author: Noel Streatfeild Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/09/2012

Emily Huckwell spent almost her entire life working for one family. Born in a tiny Sussex village in the 1870s, she went into domestic service in the Burton household before she was twelve, earning GBP5 a year. She began as a nursery maid, progressing to under nurse and then head nanny, looking after two generations of children. One of the children in her care was the father of Noel Streatfeild, the author of Ballet Shoes and one of the best-loved children's writers of the 20th century. Basing her story on fact and family legend, Noel Streatfeild here tells Emily's story, and with her characteristic warmth and intimacy creates a fascinating portrait of Victorian and Edwardian life above and below stairs.

Crampton Hodnet

Crampton Hodnet

Author: Barbara Pym, Louis de Bernieres Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/08/2012

Formidable Miss Doggett fills her life by giving tea parties to young academics and acting as watchdog of the morals of North Oxford. Anthea, her great-niece, is in love with a dashing upper-class undergraduate with political ambitions. Of this, Miss Doggett thoroughly approves. Anthea's father, however, an Oxford don, is tired of his marriage and carrying on in the most unseemly fashion with his student Barbara Bird - they have been spotted together at the British Museum! Miss Doggett isn't aware, though, that under her very own roof the lodging curate has proposed to her paid companion Miss Morrow. She wouldn't approve of that at all.

No One But a Woman Knows

No One But a Woman Knows

Author: Margaret Llewelyn Davies Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/07/2012

'I was married at twenty and a mother of three by twenty-three . . . When I look back at the first three years of my marriage, I wonder how I lived through it.' When it was published in 1915 No One But a Mother Knows provoked a sensation - for the first time, working women were able to put across their view of maternity. These humbling autobiographical portraits are as valuable today as they were almost 100 years ago: in their own words these women tell of the horrors of bringing ten children into the world in as many years; of not being able to afford a doctor or nurse; of the physical and emotional strain of bringing up large families with very little help. These extraordinary and inspiring stories of poverty and hardship remind us of the astounding endurance of woman and of the strength of a mother's love.

Life As We Have Known It

Life As We Have Known It

Author: Margaret Llewelyn Davies Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/07/2012

'I was born in Bethnal Green . . . a tiny scrap of humanity. I was my mother's seventh, and seven more were born after me . . . When I was ten years old I began to earn my own living.' Told in the distinctive and memorable voices of working class women, Life as We Have Known It is a remarkable first-hand account of working lives at the turn of the last century. First published in association with the Women's Co-operative Guild in 1931, Life as We Have Known it is a unique evocation of a lost age, and a humbling testament to what Virginia Woolf called 'that inborn energy which no amount of childbirth and washing up can quench'. Here is domestic service; toiling in factories and in the fields, and of husbands - often old and ill before their time, some drinkers or gamblers. Despite telling of the hardship of a poverty-stricken marriage, the horrors of childbirth and of lives spent in search of jobs, these are spirited and inspiring voices.

Complete Short Stories

Complete Short Stories

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Joanna Kingham, Joanna Kingham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/06/2012

Elizabeth Taylor is finally being recognised as an important British author: one of great subtlety, great compassion and great depth - Sarah Waters Elizabeth Taylor, highly acclaimed author of classic novels such as Angel, A Game of Hide and Seek and Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont, is also renowned for her powerful, acutely observed stories. Here for the first time, the stories - including some only recently rediscovered - are collected in one volume. From the awkward passions of lonely holiday-makers to the anticipation of three school friends preparing for their first dance, from the minor jealousies and triumphs of marriage to tales of outsiders struggling to adapt to the genteel English countryside, with a delicate, witty touch Elizabeth Taylor illuminates the nuances of ordinary lives. Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

An Academic Question

An Academic Question

Author: Barbara Pym, Kate Saunders Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2012

A delightful comedy of manners with a touch of mystery, An Academic Question is prime Barbara Pym territory. In a provincial university town Caro Grimstone, a dissatisfied faculty wife, becomes the unwilling accomplice to her husband Alan's ambitions. When she volunteers as a reader to a blind, esteemed anthropologist, Alan seizes the opportunity to steal his papers - research that could both advance his reputation while refuting the findings of a respected colleague.

The True Heart

The True Heart

Author: Sylvia Townsend Warner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2012

This is the love story of Sukey Bond and Eric Seaborn. Sukey is an orphan, in service, the lowest of the low. It is 1873, and in her first position as a servant girl on a farm in the Essex Marshes, she meets Eric- gentle, simple, a 'holy fool.' The lovers are parted by Eric's rich mother, ashamed of her idiot son. But nothing can deter Sukey. Only Queen Victoria, she feels, can help, so she sets off to see her. Extraordinary things happen on this heroic journey, but Sukey's simple love and courage carry her to final victory- reunion with her beloved Eric and love triumphant. For it is love itself which is the subject of this deceptively simple novel, and it appears in many guises, transforming THE TRUE HEART into a sophisticated exploration- and more, a celebration- of the human heart. First published in 1929, it shows Sylvia Townsend Warner, a novelist of extraordinary freshness, sensitivity and imagination, at the peak of her powers.

The Flint Anchor

The Flint Anchor

Author: Sylvia Townsend Warner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2012

John Barnard, leading merchant at a Norfolk port, is a pillar of nineteenth-century rectitude. Though stern and aloof with his indolent, tippling wife and watchful children, he is undermined by helpless love for his pretty, cold-hearted daughter Mary. THE FLINT ANCHOR subverts the rules of the historical novel and shows how family history is made- which stories can be trusted, whose voices hold influence and whose are forgotten. Wit, charm and intelligence illuminate several decades of family life and the events of small town society in this tragi-comedy of manners, the last of the author's seven novels.

Testament of Friendship

Testament of Friendship

Author: Vera Brittain, Mark Bostridge Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/03/2012

In her bestselling first volume of autobiography, Testament of Youth, Vera Brittain passionately recorded the agonising years of the First World War, lamenting the destruction of a generation which for her included those she most dearly loved - her lover, her brother, her closest friends. In Testament of Friendship Brittain tells the story of the woman who helped her survive those tragic years - the writer Winifred Holtby. They met at Somerville College, Oxford, immediately after the war and their friendship continued through Vera's marriage and their separate but parallel writing careers until Winifred's untimely death at the age of thirty-seven.When she died her fame as a writer was about to reach its peak with the publication of her greatest novel, South Riding. A moving record of a friendship between two women of courage, determination and intelligence, and a wonderful portrait of a lifelong love, Testament of Friendship now takes its rightful place as a Virago Modern Classic, with a new introduction by Mark Bostridge.

Vanishing Cornwall

Vanishing Cornwall

Author: Daphne du Maurier Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/03/2012

An eloquent elegy on the past of a county she loved so much - The Times 'There was a smell in the air of tar and rope and rusted chain, a smell of tidal water. Down harbour, around the point, was the open sea. Here was the freedom I desired, long sought-for, not yet known. Freedom to write, to walk, to wander, freedom to climb hills, to pull a boat, to be alone . . . I for this, and this for me.' Daphne du Maurier lived in Cornwall for most of her life. Its rugged coastline, wild terrain and tumultuous weather inspired her imagination, and many of her works are set there, including Rebecca, Jamaica Inn and Frenchman's Creek. In Vanishing Cornwall she celebrates the land she loved, exploring its legends, its history and its people, eloquently making a powerful plea for Cornwall's preservation.

The Corner That Held Them

The Corner That Held Them

Author: Sylvia Townsend Warner, Philip Hensher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2012

'One of the great British novels of the twentieth century: a narrative of extraordinary reach, power and beauty' SARAH WATERS In memory of the wife who had once dishonoured and always despised him, Brian de Retteville founded Oby - a twelfth-century convent in a hidden corner of Norfolk. Two centuries later the Benedictine community is well established there and, as befits a convent whose origin had such chequered motives, the inhabitants are prey to the ambitions, squabbles, jealousies and pleasures of less spiritual environments. An outbreak of the Black Death, the collapse of the convent spire, the Bishop's visitation and a nun's disappearance are interwoven with the everyday life of the nuns, novices, successive Prioresses and the nun's priest, in this affectionate and ironic observation of the more wordly history of a religious order.

Lolly Willowes

Lolly Willowes

Author: Sylvia Townsend Warner, Sarah Waters Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2012

Lolly Willowes is a twenty-eight-year-old spinster when her adored father dies, leaving her dependent upon her brothers and their wives. After twenty years of self-effacement as a maiden aunt, she decides to break free and moves to a small Bedfordshire village. Here, happy and unfettered, she enjoys her new existence nagged only by the sense of a secret she has yet to discover. That secret - and her vocation - is witchcraft, and with her cat and a pact with the Devil, Lolly Willowes is finally free. An instant success on its publication in 1926, LOLLY WILLOWES is Sylvia Townsend Warner's first and most magical novel. Deliciously wry and inviting, it was her piquant plea that single women find liberty and civility, a theme that would later be explored by Virginia Woolf in 'A Room of One's Own'.

Damage

Damage

Author: Josephine Hart Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/12/2011

A 2013 World Book Night selection. Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.' Damage, Josephine Hart's debut novel, an international bestseller, filmed with Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche, now takes its proper place as a Virago Modern Classic. Here is one of the most chilling explorations of physical passion and dark, obsessive love ever written.

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Sin

Sin

Author: Josephine Hart Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/12/2011

Though she wounded me beyond pain, I too inflicted deep hurt. Not born to murder her, still I sought to break her . . . Her name was Elizabeth Ashbridge. And I even envied her that.' Sin is about a woman possessed by an obsessive envy, a woman who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Sin, from the author of the bestselling Damage, now takes its proper place as a Virago Modern Classic. 'Stripped down to a single, inexorable storyline that centres on the destructive power of passion. As in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, innocence and virtue are cruelly and deliberately betrayed, as the reader looks on with mingled shock and fascination . . . a tour de force' New York Times

The Company She Keeps

The Company She Keeps

Author: Mary McCarthy, Paula McLain Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2011

These six brilliantly written episodes, brought together in Mary McCarthy's first novel, create a fascinating portrait of a 1930s New York social circle. Based loosely on the author's own life, the book follows a young bohemian woman, Margaret Sargent, through her experiences and lost loves in a time of coming war. On publication in 1942, its bold insight, sly wit and virtuoso style won Mary McCarthy immediate recogntion as one of the most accomplished, versatile and penetrating writers in America.

A Woman In Berlin

A Woman In Berlin

Author: Anonymous, Antony Beevor Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2011

This is a devastating book. It is matter-of-fact, makes no attempt to score political points, does not attempt to solicit sympathy for its protagonist and yet is among the most chilling indictments of war I have ever read. Everybody, in particular every woman ought to read it' - Arundhati Roy 'One of the most important personal accounts ever written about the effects of war and defeat' - Antony Beevor Between April 20th and June 22nd 1945 the anonymous author of A Woman in Berlin wrote about life within the falling city as it was sacked by the Russian Army. Fending off the boredom and deprivation of hiding, the author records her experiences, observations and meditations in this stark and vivid diary. Accounts of the bombing, the rapes, the rationing of food, and the overwhelming terror of death are rendered in the dispassionate, though determinedly optimistic prose of a woman fighting for survival amidst the horror and inhumanity of war. This diary was first published in America in 1954 in an English translation and in Britain in 1955. A German language edition was published five years later in Geneva and was met with tremendous controversy. In 2003, over forty years later, it was republished in Germany to critical acclaim - and more controversy. This diary has been unavailable since the 1960s and this is a new English translation. A Woman in Berlin is an astonishing and deeply affecting account.

Palladian

Palladian

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Neel Mukherjee Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/08/2011

An amusing, wry homage to Jane Eyre by one of the best novelists of the twentieth century. When newly orphaned Cassandra Dashwood arrives as governess to little Sophy, the scene seems set for the archetypal romance between young girl and austere widowed employer. Strange secrets abound in the ramshackle house. But conventions are subverted in this atmospheric novel: one of its worlds is suffused with classical scholarship and literary romance, but the other is chaotic, quarrelsome and even farcical. Cassandra is to discover that in real life, tragedy, comedy and acute embarrassment are never far apart.

Civil To Strangers

Civil To Strangers

Author: Barbara Pym, Hazel Holt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/07/2011

When Barbara Pym died in 1980 she left a considerable amount of unpublished material. This volume contains an early novel, CIVIL TO STRANGERS, three novellas and an autobiographical essay, 'Finding a Voice', Pym's only written comment on her writing career. In CIVIL TO STRANGERS the lives of a young couple, Cassandra Marsh-Gibbon and her self-absorbed writer husband Adam, are thrown into upheaval when a mysterious Hungarian arrives in their village.

A Wreath Of Roses

A Wreath Of Roses

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2011

Spending the holiday with friends, as she has for many years, Camilla finds that their private absorptions - Frances with her painting and Liz with her baby - seem to exclude her from the gossipy intimacies of previous summers. Anxious that she will remain encased in her solitary life as a school secretary, Camilla steps into an unlikesly liaison with Richard Elton, a handsome, assured - and dangerous - liar.

The Doll: Short Stories

The Doll: Short Stories

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Polly Samson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/05/2011

'I want to know if men realise when they are insane. Sometimes I think that my brain cannot hold together, it is filled with too much horror - too much despair . . . I cannot sleep, I cannot close my eyes without seeing his damned face. If only it had been a dream.' In 'The Doll', a waterlogged notebook is washed ashore. Its pages tell a dark story of obsession and jealousy. But the fate of its narrator is a mystery. Most of the stories in this haunting collection were written early in Daphne du Maurier's career - when she was still in her early twenties - yet they display her mastery of atmosphere, tension and intrigue and reveal a cynicism far beyond her years. She wrote exciting plots, she was highly skilled at arousing suspense, and she was, too, a writer of fearless originality - Guardian

Challenge

Challenge

Author: Vita Sackville-West, Stella Duffy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/05/2011

CHALLENGE was Vita Sackville-West's second novel. It was ready to go to print in 1920, but the aughor suddenly changed her mind. This was not because she lacked confidence in her work,but because of the scandal it would have caused. CHALLENGE remained unpublished for over fifty years. Vita's love affair with Violet Trefusis had reached its peak, and, eloping to France, they decided to abandon everything and everyone - children and husbands included - to spend the rest of their lives together. Although they returned to their families eventually, CHALLENGE remains a testament of their love, and was written during that period. The hero, Julian, might be a Byronic young Englishman, and Eve the woman he adores; it may be an adventure tale about a revolt on a Greek island. But really, this is a love story, written in the presence of the beloved, and inspired by her. And, as its title implies, the novel is a challenge to the society that condemned Vita and her lover.

The Land Of Green Ginger

The Land Of Green Ginger

Author: Winifred Holtby Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/04/2011

Joanna Burton was born in South Africa but sent by her missionary father to be raised in Yorkshire. There she dreams of the far-off lands she will visit and adventures to come. At eighteen, tall and flaxen-haired, she meets Teddy Leigh, a young man on his way to the trenches of the First World War. Joanna has been in love before - with Sir Walter Raleigh, with the Scarlet Pimpernel, with Coriolanus - but this is different. Teddy tells her he's been given the world to wear as a golden ball. Joanna believes him and marries him, but the fabled shores recede into the distance when, after the war, Teddy returns in ill health. The magic land turns out to be the harsh reality of motherhood and life on a Yorkshire farm. Yet still she dares to dream.

Anderby Wold

Anderby Wold

Author: Winifred Holtby Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/04/2011

Mary Robson is a young Yorkshire woman, married to her solid, unromantic cousin, John. Together they battle to preserve Mary's neglected inheritance, her beloved farm, Anderby Wold. This labour of love - and the benevolent tyranny of traditional Yorkshire ways - have made Mary old before her time. Then into her purposeful life comes David Rossitur, red-haired, charming, eloquent: how can she help but love him? But David is a young man from a different England, radical and committed to social change. As their confrontation and its consequences inevitably unfold, Mary's life and that of the calm village of Anderby are changed forever.

Poor Caroline

Poor Caroline

Author: Winifred Holtby Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/04/2011

Caroline Denton-Smyth is an eccentric, dressed in trailing feathers and jangling beads, peering out from behind her lorgnette. Sitting alone in her West Kensington bedsitter, she dreams of the Christian Cinema Company - her vehicle for reform. For Caroline sees herself as a pioneer, one who must risk everything for the 'Cause of the Right'. Her Board of Directors is a motley crew including Basil St Denis, upper crust but impecunious; Joseph Isenbaum, aspiring to Society and Eton for his son; Eleanor de la Roux, Caroline's independent cousin from South Africa; Hugh Macafee, a curt Scottish film technician; young Father Mortimer, scarred from the First World War; and Clifton Johnson, a seedy American scenario writer on the make. Winifred Holtby affectionately observes the foibles of human nature in this sparkling satire, first published in 1931.

The Fountain Overflows

The Fountain Overflows

Author: Rebecca West, Amanda Craig Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2011

Rose Aubrey is one of a family of four children. Their father, Piers, is the disgraced son of an Irish landowning family, a violent, noble and quite unscrupulous leader of popular causes. His Scottish wife, Clare, is an artist, a tower of strength, fanatically devoted to a musical future for her daughters. This is the story of their life in south London, a life threatened by Piers's streak of tragic folly which keeps them on the verge of financial ruin and social disgrace . . . 'A book bursting with love and vitality' DAILY EXPRESS

The Return Of The Soldier

The Return Of The Soldier

Author: Rebecca West, Victoria Glendinning Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/12/2010

The soldier returns from the front to the three women who love him. His wife, Kitty, with her cold, moonlight beauty, and his devoted cousin Jenny wait in their exquisite home on the crest of the Harrow-weald. Margaret Allington, his first and long-forgotten love, is nearby in the dreary suburb of Wealdstone. But the soldier is shell-shocked and can only remember the Margaret he loved fifteen years before, when he was a young man and she an inn-keeper's daughter. His cousin he remembers only as a childhood playmate; his wife he remembers not at all. The women have a choice - to leave him where he wishes to be, or to 'cure' him. It is Margaret who reveals a love so great that she can make the final sacrifice.

117 Days

117 Days

Author: Ruth First, Gillian Slovo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/12/2010

In prison you see only the moves of the enemy. Prison is the hardest place to fight a battle.' 117 Days is Ruth First's personal account of her detention under the iniquitous '90-day' law of 1963. There was no warrant, no charge and no trial - only suspicion. This sparsely written and unique record tells of her experiences of solitary confinement, constant interrogation and instantaneous re-arrest on release - lightened by humorous portraits of governors, matrons, wardresses and interrogators, seen as the tools of the police state.

The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister: Vol. 1

The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister: Vol. 1

Author: Anne Lister Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/10/2010

ANNE LISTER IS THE INSPIRATION FOR GENTLEMAN JACK, A NEW BBC/HBO SERIES BY SALLY WAINWRIGHT, STARRING SURANNE JONES. 'Engaging, revealing, at times simply astonishing: Anne Lister's diaries are an indispensable read for anyone interested in the history of gender, sexuality, and the intimate lives of women' SARAH WATERS 'The Lister diaries are the Dead Sea Scrolls of lesbian history; they changed everything. By resurrecting them and editing them with such loving attention and intelligence, Helena Whitbread has earned the gratitude of a whole generation' EMMA DONOGHUE When this volume of Anne Lister's diaries was first published in 1988, it was hailed as a vital piece of lost lesbian history. The editor, Helena Whitbread, had spent years painstakingly researching and transcribing Lister's extensive journals, much of which were written in an elaborate code - what Lister called her 'crypthand', which allowed her to record her life in intimate, and at times, explicit, detail. Until then, Anne Lister's lesbianism had been supressed or hinted at; this was the first time her story had been told. Anne Lister defied the role of nineteenth-century womanhood: she was bold, fiercely independent, a landowner, industrialist, traveller and lesbian - a woman who lived her life on her own terms. '[Anne Lister's] sense of self, and self-awareness, is what makes her modern to us. She was a woman exercising conscious choice. She controlled her cash and her body. At a time when women had to marry, or be looked after by a male relative, and when all their property on marriage passed to their husband, Anne Lister not only dodged the traps of being female, she set up a liaison with another woman that enhanced her own wealth and left both of them free to live as they wished . . . The diaries gave me courage' JEANETTE WINTERSON These diaries include the years 1816-1824. The second volume, NO PRIEST BUT LOVE, is available in ebook.

Desert Of The Heart

Desert Of The Heart

Author: Jane Rule, Jackie Kay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/10/2010

Set in the late 1950s, this is the story of Evelyn Hall, an English Professor, who goes to Reno to obtain a divorce and put an end to her disastrous 16-year marriage. While staying at a boarding house to establish her six-week residency requirement she meets Ann Childs, a casino worker and fifteen years her junior. Physically, they are remarkably alike and eventually have an affair and begin the struggle to figure out just how a relationship between two women can last. Desert of the Heart examines the conflict between convention and freedom and the ways in which the characters try to resolve the conflict

When Rain Clouds Gather And Maru

When Rain Clouds Gather And Maru

Author: Bessie Head, Helen Oyeyemi Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/08/2010

When Rainclouds Gather: Escaping South Africa and his troubled past, Makehaya crosses the border to Botswana, in the hope of leading a peaceful, purposeful life. In the village of Golema Mmidi he meets Gilbert, a charismatic Englishman who is trying to modernise farming methods to benefit the community. The two outsiders join forces, but their task is fraught with hazards: opposition from the corrupt chief, the pressures of tradition, and the unrelenting climate ever threaten to bring tragedy. Maru: Margaret, an orphan from a despised tribe, has lived her life under the loving protection of a missionary's wife. She has only to open her mouth to cause confusion, for her education and English accent do not fit her looks. When she accepts her first teaching post, in a remote village, Margaret is befriended by Dikeledi, sister of Maru the chief-in-waiting. Despite making influential friends, Margaret faces prejudice even from the children she teaches, and her presence causes Maru and his best friend - also Dikeledi's lover - to become sworn enemies.

The Daylight And The Dust: Selected Short Stories

The Daylight And The Dust: Selected Short Stories

Author: Janet Frame, Michele Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2010

I'm a short story addict, both reading and writing them, and I always keep hoping for the perfect story.' (Janet Frame to Tim Curnow, January 1984) THE DAYLIGHT AND THE DUST is the most comprehensive selection of Janet Frame's stories ever published, taken from the four different collections released during her lifetime and featuring many of her best stories. Written over four decades, they come from her classic prize-winning collection THE LAGOON AND OTHER STORIES, first published in 1952, right up to the volume YOU ARE NOW ENTERING THE HUMAN HEART, published in the 1980s. This new selection also includes five works that have not been collected before. Janet Frame's versatility dazzles. Her themes range from childhood to old age to death and beyond. Within the pages of one book the reader is transported from small town New Zealand to inner-city London, and from realism to fantasy. This volume offers the most comprehensive collection of Janet Frame's unique and powerful writing.

The Soul Of Kindness

The Soul Of Kindness

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Philip Hensher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2010

INTRODUCED BY PHILIP HENSHER 'Elizabeth Taylor is finally being recognised as an important British author: an author of great subtlety, great compassion and great depth. As a reader, I have found huge pleasure in returning to Taylor's novels and short stories many times over. As a writer I've returned to her too - in awe of her achievements, and trying to work out how she does it' SARAH WATERS A brilliant novel about the damage caused by relentless 'niceness'. Uncritical, encouraging, 'the soul of kindness', Flora's help is the cruelest hindrance to those who love her most. 'Here I am!' Flora called to Richard as she went downstairs. For a second, Meg felt disloyalty. It occurred to her of a sudden that Flora was always saying that, and that it was in the tone of one giving a lovely present. Elegant, blonde and beautiful, Flora has everything under control: her perfect home, her husband Richard, her friend Meg, adoring Kit, and the writer Patrick. Flora entrances everyone, dangling visions of happiness and success before their spellbound eyes. All are bewitched by this golden tyrant. Except, that is, for the clear-eyed painter, Liz, who can see that Flora's kindness is the sweetest poison of them all.

An Angel At My Table

An Angel At My Table

Author: Janet Frame, Jane Campion Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/03/2010

One of the great autobiographies of the twentieth century ... A journey from luminous childhood, through the dark experiences of supposed madness, to the renewal of her life through writing fiction. It is a heroic story, and told with such engaging tone, humorous perspective and imaginative power' Michael Holroyd, Sunday Times After being misdiagnosed with schizophrenia as a young woman, Janet Frame spent several years in psychiatric institutions. She escaped undergoing a lobotomy when it was discovered that she had just won a national literary prize. She then went on to become New Zealand's most acclaimed writer. As she says more than once in this autobiography: 'My writing saved me.' This edition contains all three volumes of Frame's autobiography: To the Is-Land, An Angel at My Table and An Envoy from Mirror City. 'One of the most beautiful and moving books I have ever read . . . A masterpiece . . . Janet's autobiography had an enormous effect on me. She struck a blow right to my heart' Jane Campion

Memento Mori

Memento Mori

Author: Muriel Spark, A.L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/02/2010

Unforgettably astounding and a joy to read, Memento Mori is considered by many to be the greatest novel by the wizardly Dame Muriel Spark. In late 1950s London, something uncanny besets a group of elderly friends: an insinuating voice on the telephone informs each, Remember you must die. Their geriatric feathers are soon thoroughly ruffled by these seemingly supernatural phone calls, and in the resulting flurry many old secrets are dusted off. Beneath the once decorous surface of their lives, unsavories like blackmail and adultery are now to be glimpsed. As spooky as it is witty, poignant and wickedly hilarious, Memento Mori may ostensibly concern death, but it is a book which leaves one relishing life all the more.

The Group

The Group

Author: Mary McCarthy, Candace Bushnell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/12/2009

'I consider it a masterpiece' HILARY MANTEL 'A brilliant novel: honest, engaging and sharp as a tack' SARAH WATERS 'One of my favourite books ever' INDIA KNIGHT When first published in 1963, The Group was on a bestseller for almost two years. This groundbreaking novel, with its frank depiction of friendship, sex, and women's lives, was a revelation, and continues to inspire today. Mary McCarthy's most celebrated novel portrays the lives and aspirations of eight Vassar graduates. 'The group' meet in New York following graduation to attend the wedding of one of their members - and reconvene seven years later at her funeral. The women, fresh from college, vowed not to become stuffy and frightened like their parents, but to lead fulfilling, emancipated lives; who really achieved this - and what sacrifices and compromises had to be made?

A Glass Of Blessings

A Glass Of Blessings

Author: Barbara Pym, John Bayley Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/12/2009

Wilmet Forsyth is well dressed, well looked after, suitably husbanded, good looking and fairly young - but very bored. Her husband Rodney, a handsome army major, is slightly balder and fatter than he once was. Wilmet would like to think she has changed rather less. Her interest wanders to the nearby Anglo-catholic church, where at last she can neglect her comfortable household in the more serious-minded company of three unmarried priests, and, of course, Piers Longridge, a man of an unfathomably different character altogether.

Living In The Maniototo

Living In The Maniototo

Author: Janet Frame, Linda Grant Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/11/2009

All I had experienced, all the stories I had read or dreamed came to me the moment I, a stranger, turned the key in the lock of the unknown house.' In a sweltering basement in downtown Baltimore, Mavis Halleton, writer, ventriloquist and gossip, is struggling to write her novel when an unexpected invitation arrives. The Garretts, a couple Mavis has never heard of but who admire her work, are to spend time in Italy, and offer the use of their airy home in the Berkeley hills. During her stay, an earthquake hits northern Italy, and Mavis, to her surprise, inherits the house. But, surrounded by museum replicas and tasteful imitations, she finds reality itself is on shaky ground. In this highly inventive novel, reality, fiction and dreams are woven together as Janet Frame playfully explores the process of writing fiction.

A Far Cry From Kensington

A Far Cry From Kensington

Author: Muriel Spark, Ali Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/11/2009

'Mercurially funny, playful and mischievous' Ali Smith 'I was in heaven reading this book. I think she writes like an angel . . . just blissful' Stephen Fry A novel of 'pure delight' (Claire Tomalin) by the author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. When Mrs Hawkins tells Hector Bartlett he 'urinates frightful prose', little does she realise the repercussions. Holding that 'no life can be carried on satisfactorily unless people are honest' Mrs Hawkins refuses to retract her judgement, and as a consequence, loses not one, but two much-sought-after jobs in publishing. Now, years older, successful, and happily a far cry from Kensington, she looks back over the dark days that followed, in which she was embroiled in a mystery involving anonymous letters, quack remedies, blackmail and suicide. With an introduction by Ali Smith. 'Wonderfully entertaining.' Sunday Telegraph 'An outstanding novel ... A Far Cry From Kensington has an effortless, translucent grasp of the spirit of the period.' Observer

A Game Of Hide And Seek

A Game Of Hide And Seek

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth Jane Howard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2009

'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' - Elizabeth Bowen, author of The Heat of the Day Intelligent and haunting, with echoes of Brief Encounter, this is a love story by one of the best British writers of the 20th century. During summer games of hide and seek Harriet falls in love with Vesey and his elusive, teasing ways. When he goes to Oxford she cherishes his photograph and waits for a letter that never comes. Years pass and Harriet stifles her dreams; with a husband and daughter, she excels at respectability. But then Vesey reappears and her marriage seems to melt away. Harriet is older, it is much too late, but she is still in love with him.

The Comforters

The Comforters

Author: Muriel Spark, Ali Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2009

'The greatest Scottish novelist of modern times.' Ian Rankin In this first novel by Muriel Spark - author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - the only things that aren't ambiguous are Spark's matchless originality and glittering wit. With an introduction by Ali Smith. Caroline Rose is plagued by the tapping of typewriter keys and the strange, detached narration of her every thought and action. She has an unusual problem - she realises she is in a novel. Her fellow characters are also possibly deluded: Laurence, her former lover, finds diamonds in a loaf of bread - could his elderly grandmother really be a smuggler? And Baron Stock, her bookseller friend, believes he is on the trail of England's leading Satanist. 'A master of malice and mayhem.' Michiko Kakutani, New York Times 'Brilliantly original and fascinating.' Evelyn Waugh 'A light, clever, mirthful tour de force ... It disrupts and charms its readers with its combination of wit, precision, intelligence and hilarity. As vibrant as ever, more than fifty years after its first appearance.' Ali Smith

Towards Another Summer

Towards Another Summer

Author: Janet Frame Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/07/2009

A deeply rewarding and beautiful novel' Hilary Mantel, Guardian Life in England seems transitory for Grace Cleave as the pull of her native New Zealand grows stronger. She begins to feel increasingly like a migratory bird. Grace longs to find her own place in the world, if only she can decide where that is. But first she must learn to feel comfortable in her own skin, feathers and all. Written in 1963, Janet Frame considered this novel too personal to be published in her lifetime. 'In this deeply personal novel of exile and loneliness, Janet Frame proves the master of nostalgia, beauty and loss. Frame is, and will remain, divine' Alice Sebold 'Exceptional . . . comic, melancholy and piercingly observant' Sunday Telegraph

The Breaking Point

The Breaking Point

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Sally Beauman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2009

The apathy of Sunday lay upon the streets. Houses were closed, withdrawn. They don't know, he thought, those people inside, how one gesture of mine, now, at this minute, might alter their world. A knock on the door, and someone answers - a woman yawning, an old man in carpet slippers, a child sent by its parents in irritation; and according to what I will, what I decide, their whole future will be decided . . . Sudden murder. Theft. Fire. It was as simple as that.' In this collection of suspenseful tales in which fantasies, murderous dreams and half-forgotten worlds are exposed, Daphne du Maurier explores the boundaries of reality and imagination. Her characters are caught at those moments when the delicate link between reason and emotion has been stretched to the breaking point. Often chilling, sometimes poignant, these stories display the full range of Daphne du Maurier's considerable talent.

Some Tame Gazelle

Some Tame Gazelle

Author: Barbara Pym, Mavis Cheek Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2009

It was odd that Harriet should always have been so fond of curates. They were so immature and always made the same kind of conversation. Now the Archdeacon was altogether different . . . ' Together yet alone, the Misses Bede occupy the central crossroads of parish life. Harriet, plump, elegant and jolly, likes nothing better than to make a fuss of new curates, secure in the knowledge that elderly Italian Count Ricardo Bianco will propose to her yet again this year. Belinda, meanwhile has harboured sober feelings of devotion towards Archdeacon Hochleve for thirty years. Then into their quiet, comfortable lives comes a famous librarian, Nathaniel Mold, and a bishop from Africa, Theodore Grote - who each take to calling on the sisters for rather more unsettling reasons.

Faces In The Water

Faces In The Water

Author: Janet Frame, Hilary Mantel Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2009

I was now an established citizen with little hope of returning across the frontier; I was in the crazy world, separated now by more than locked doors and barred windows from the people who called themselves sane.' When Janet Frame's doctor suggested that she write about her traumatic experiences in mental institutions in order to free herself from them, the result was Faces in the Water, a powerful and poignant novel. Istina Mavet descends through increasingly desolate wards, with the threat of leucotomy ever present. As she observes her fellow patients, long dismissed by hospital staff, with humour and compassion, she reveals her original and questing mind. This riveting novel became an international classic, translated into nine languages, and has also been used as a medical school text.

No Fond Return Of Love

No Fond Return Of Love

Author: Barbara Pym, Paul Binding Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/01/2009

Dulcie Mainwearing is always helping others, but never looks out for herself - especially in the realm of love. Her friend Viola is besotted by the alluring Dr Aylwin Forbes, so surely it isn't prying if Dulcie helps things along? Aylwin, however, is smitten by Dulcie's pretty young niece. And perhaps Dulcie herself, however ridiculous it may be, is falling, just a little, for Aylwin. Once life's little humiliations are played out, maybe love will be returned, and fondly, after all . . .

The Yellow Wallpaper And Selected Writings

The Yellow Wallpaper And Selected Writings

Author: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Maggie O'Farrell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/01/2009

It is stripped off - the paper - in great patches ...The colour is repellent ...In the places where it isn't faded and where the sun is just so - I can see a strange, provoking, formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about ...' Based on the author's own experiences, 'The Yellow Wallpaper' is the chilling tale of a woman driven to the brink of insanity by the 'rest cure' prescribed after the birth of her child. Isolated in a crumbling colonial mansion, in a room with bars on the windows, the tortuous pattern of the yellow wallpaper winds its way into the recesses of her mind. Charlotte Perkins Gilman was America's leading feminist intellectual of the early twentieth century. In addition to her masterpiece 'The Yellow Wallpaper', this new edition includes a selection of her best short fiction and extracts from her autobiography.

The Holiday

The Holiday

Author: Stevie Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/06/2008

Celia works at the Ministry in the post-war England of 1949 and lives in a London suburb with her beloved Aunt. Witty, fragile, quixotic, Celia is preoccupied with love -- for her friends, her colleagues, her relations, and especially for her adored cousin Casmilus, with whom she goes on holiday to visit Uncle Heber, the vicar. Here they talk endlessly, argue, eat, tell stories, love and hate -- moments of wild humour alternating with waves of melancholy as Celia ponders obsessively on the inevitable pain of love. In everything she wrote, Stevie Smith's poetic, special eye captured the paradox of pain in all human affections -- nowhere more so than in this wry, strongly autobiographical tale.

Sunflower

Sunflower

Author: Rebecca West Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/06/2008

Suppressed by the author during her lifetime, this is Rebecca West's fictionalized account of her obsessive love for Lord Beaverbrook and the disintegration of her relationship with H.G.Wells. It is a study of the irresistible eroticism of power.

The Judge

The Judge

Author: Rebecca West Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/06/2008

Ellen Melville is a beautiful suffragette who, at seventeen, wants passionately to experience all that life can give her. From her abandoned, impoverished mother she inherits only a capacity for love and this she freely gives when she meets Richard Yaverland, charming, experienced, a man of the world. But Richard is the illegitamate son of a powerful and frustrated woman. Marion Yaverland uses her own betrayal by Richard's father to imprison her son, creating a murderous bond which destroys everything it touches. The strugges of Ellen and Richard to survive the sins of their fathers takes its inevitable course: giving freely to her passionate lover, Ellen commences a re-enactment of all that has gone before.

The Harsh Voice

The Harsh Voice

Author: Rebecca West Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/06/2008

In these four brilliant short novels set in America, England and Paris, Rebecca West explores the lives and relationships of rich women and men who are ruled by 'the harsh voice we hear when money talks, or hate'. There is Josie, a flower of American girlhood whose boundless ambition for wealth fatally loosens the bonds of her marriage to Corrie. There is Etienne de Sevenac, a dilettante French aristocrat whose courtly stratagems are no match for Nancy Sarle - a plain but powerful American businesswoman. There is Alice Pemberton, a sensible Englishwoman - the very salt of the earth - but a petty tyrant in her gracious Georgian home. And lastly there is Sam Hartley, an American businessman who has fought his way to riches with his wife at his side, but whose life is now haunted by an abiding vision of beautiful young women.

Harriet Hume

Harriet Hume

Author: Rebecca West Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/06/2008

Of all the women he had ever known she was the most ethereal. Loving her was like swathing oneself with a long scarf of spirit.' Harriet Hume, musical, mystical and whimsical, is the very essence of femininity- both princess and trollop. Her beautiful room in a dilapidated Kensington House is the setting for this love story, she herself an extension of the beauty which surrounds her. Here amidst trees and lilacs, Arnold Condorex comes to be loved. And love him Harriet does, beyond reason. But Condorex is a man bent on power and Harriet is a woman with powers of quite another kind. In ruthlessly pursuing his ambition, Harriet- his better self- must be cast aside... How Harriet slowly triumphs over Condorex is gradually revealed in this beautifully imagined fantasy, HARRIET HUME, Rebecca West's third novel, recounts the victory of love and the love of beauty over man's eternal quest for dominance and destruction. Written in a style as elegaic as the London it also celebrates, Rebecca West's wisdom, imagination and wit are triumphantly brought together in this, her third novel.

Tell Me A Riddle And Yonnondio

Tell Me A Riddle And Yonnondio

Author: Tillie Olsen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/06/2008

Tillie Olsen carved a permanent place in American literature on the strength of a single book, TELL ME A RIDDLE in 1962. This collection was widely hailed as a work of genius, in which the voices of ordinary Americans, black and white, male and female, were given their own rhythms and forms of expression. YONNONDIO, Olsen's only novel, was begun during the depression and completed in 1974. It tells the story of the Hollbrooks, an itinerant working-class family in middle-America during the thirties. Brutalised by poverty, they struggle to find a space to breathe, to dream and to create a bettter life for their children. Told in compelling, haunting prose, it is a profound and timeless story of the human will to survive.

A Wreath For The Enemy

A Wreath For The Enemy

Author: Pamela Frankau Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/06/2008

In my youth...I had an overwhelming passion to be like other people. Other people were a whole romantic race, miles beyond my reach. Not now. I don't really thnk that they exist, except in the eye of the beholder.' When Penelope Wells, precocious daughter of a poet, meets the well-behaved middle-class Bradley children, it is love at first sight. But their parents are horrified by the Wells' establishment- a distinctly bohemian hotel on the French Riviera- and the friendship ends in tears. Out of these childhood betrayals grow Penelope, in love with an elusive ideal of order and calm, and Don Bradley, in rebellion against the phillistine values of his parents. Compellingly told in a series of first-person narratives, their stories involve them with the Duchess, painted and outre; the crippled genius Crusoe; Crusoe's brother Livesey, and the eccentric Cara, whose brittle and chaotic life collides explosively with Penelope's.

The Diary Of 'Helena Morley'

The Diary Of 'Helena Morley'

Author: Elizabeth Bishop Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/06/2008

From Elizabeth Bishop's introduction: 'When I first came to Brazil, in 1952, I asked my Brazilian friends which Brazilian books I should begin reading ... They frequently recommended this little book, Minha Vida de Menina ... In English the title means My Life as a Little Girl or Young Girl , and that is exactly what the book is about, but it is not reminiscences; it is a diary, the diary actually kept by a little girl between the ages of 12 and 15, in the far-off town of Diamantina, in 1893-1895 ... The more I read the book the better I liked it. The scenes and events it described were odd, remote, and long ago, and yet fresh, sad, funny and eternally true. The longer I stayed on in Brazil the more Brazilian the book seemed, yet much of it could have happened in any small provincial town or village, and at almost any period of history - at least before the arrival of the automobile and the moving-picture theatre

Jane And Prudence

Jane And Prudence

Author: Barbara Pym, Jilly Cooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/12/2007

Over the years, as Barbara Pym replaced Nancy Mitford, Georgette Heyer, even Jane Austen, as my most loved author, I devoured all her books, but JANE AND PRUDENCE remains my favourite. Even an umpteenth reading this weekend was punctuated by gasps of joy, laughter and wonder that this lovely book should remain so fresh, funny and true to life' Jilly Cooper 'The setting of this very funny novel, one of Barbara Pym's earliest, is an English village where Jane's husband is the newly appointed vicar, and where Prudence will pay Jane a visit and find herself courted by a fatuous young widower. Prudence, at twenty-nine, has achieved nothing in life but a dull research job in London and a string of dud affairs; Jane, now in her forties, was Prudence's tutor at Oxford. Jane cheerfully concedes that she is an incompetent housewife, but she hopes that the move to a rural parish may transform her into a Trollopean vicar's wife, as well as a crafty matchmaker. There are many comic complications here, as Jane learns that matchmaking has as many pitfalls as does housewifery' The New Yorker

Shadows On The Rock

Shadows On The Rock

Author: Willa Cather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2007

At the end of the seventeenth century, on that grey rock in the Canadian wilderness known as Quebec, a French family, the Auclairs, begin a life very different from the one they knew in Paris. On her mother's death ten-year-old Cecile is entrusted with the care of the household and of her father, Euclid, the town's apothecary. Two years later, in 1697, as the red-gold autumn sunlight pours over the rock like a heavy southern wine , Cecile and her father prepare for the long, difficult winter ahead with no word from home - news of the world they have left behind must wait until spring, when the annual boats from France are able to make their way up the St Lawrence. For her father, it will be a painful exile, but for the young Cecile life holds innumerable joys as old ties are relinquished and new ones are formed ...

One Of Ours

One Of Ours

Author: Willa Cather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2007

Since childhood, Claude Wheeler has believed that 'something splendid' would restore the faith he had lost in modern life and the personal compromises and materialism that it brings. The calls of the First World War offers escape from his prosperous farm in Nebraska and marriage of convenience and brings the opportunity to fight for a worthy cause. In action in France he discovers the faith and happiness he has yearned, but not without the heavy cost that war inevitably brings. Willa Cather looks back at the pioneering myth and forward to a new kind of modern heroism through One of Ours, a novel championing democracy.

The Song Of The Lark

The Song Of The Lark

Author: Willa Cather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2007

Thea Kronborg is born into poverty in a small desert town in the American Midwest. One of seven children, she is somehow set apart, a fact recognised by the discerning few, including Ray Kennedy, who longs to marry her but whose fate it is to set her free. With her rugged will and pioneer spirit, Thea carves her way from Moonstone, Colorado, to windy Chicago, from Dresden to New York and a triumphant debut at the Metropolitan Opera. She becomes a great opera singer but learns that as a true artist, she must make the most bitter sacrifices of all . . .

As Once In May

As Once In May

Author: Antonia White Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2007

Throughout her life, Antonia White struggled with a formidable writer's block: the FROST IN MAY quartet was thought to be her final achievement. Yet on her death, this extraordinary work - her autobiography up to the age of six - was discovered among her papers. The freshness and vitality with which Antonia White recorded her much younger self is breathtaking. A writer with the phenomenal power of almost total recall, she recreates her capricious and extravagant mother and the indomitable father she both feared and adored, who taught Antonia the first line of the Iliad when she was three. Here, too, are perfect vignettes: the glorious bridesmaid's hat which her mother later appropriated; love at first sight in Kensington Gardens and games of Mr and Mrs John Barker in the nursery. Much more than an evocation of childhood, AS ONCE IN MAY illuminates the woman and writer Antonia White was to become. It is an essential and enthralling companion to her fiction.

Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome

Author: Edith Wharton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2007

The setting for this piercing New England novel is the aptly named Starkfield, where, despite violently blue skies, the chill of cold and snow seems also to settle inside the hearts of the people who live there. Tethered to his farm, first by helpless parents, later by his querulous, hypochondriac wife Zeena, Ethan Frome ekes out a bare subsistence. Then Zeena's cousin, the impoverished, enchanting Mattie Silver comes to work for them, and, in Mattie, Ethan's hopes and dreams are rekindled. Yet theirs is a forbidden love, hemmed in by Zeena's presence. The impossible intensity in which the three exist has devastating consequences...

The Custom Of The Country

The Custom Of The Country

Author: Edith Wharton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2007

If only I were sure of knowing what to expect!' he caught up at her joke, tossing it back at her across the fascinating silence of their listeners. 'Why everything!' she announced With the intention of making a suitable match, Undine Spragg and her parents move to New York where her youthful, radiant beauty and ruthless ambition prove an irrestible force. Here Edith Wharton dissects the traditions, pretensions and prohibitions of American and European society - both the ostentacious glitter of the 'nouveau riche' and the faded grandeur of the upper classes - with an eye on all the more exacting for its dispassionate gaze. And in Undine Spragg she has created an unforgettable heroine - a woman taught to dazzle and enslave, but to know nothing of the financial and social cost of the status she so passionately craves.

The Short Stories Of Willa Cather

The Short Stories Of Willa Cather

Author: Willa Cather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2007

This rich selection of Willa Cather's short fiction is drawn from every period of her writing life, and mixes the little known with the much anthologised. Here we have a range of stories from short, vivid sketches to novellas. They tell of the bitter lives of Nebraskan immigrants, and of the pull between provincial America and the cosmopolitan world of art; some of the most poignant deal with the challenges and dilemmas for the American artist. Her marvellous late stories are charged with beautifully controlled feeling, and eloquently describe the tensions and complications of family life. Cather also let herself go in these stories in ways she did not in the longer fiction, with harsh satires of New York, chilling glimpses of the supernatural, and strong expressions of sexual feeling. These are stories that add immeasurably to our perception of Cather's range and complexity.

My Mortal Enemy

My Mortal Enemy

Author: Willa Cather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2007

People can be lovers and enemies at the same time. We were...' Through the eyes of a young girl, Nellie, we view the life of Myra, a legend in the Southern town where both were born. Myra has romantically abandoned the luxury she was born into to elope with the impoverished Oswald Henshawe. Twenty-five years later, Nellie is dazzled when she meets them living in the elegant poverty of an apartment frequented by singers, actors, poets - in the heart of the artistic community of old New York. But this shabby gentility gives way to real poverty in a jerrybuilt West Coast hotel, and the high purpose of Myra's life - love itself - is revealed to be the enemy within. A finely-wrought study of the great rewards and punishments love brings, MY MORTAL ENEMY is an exquisite example of Willa Cather's art.

Sapphira And The Slave Girl

Sapphira And The Slave Girl

Author: Willa Cather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2007

Originally published in 1940, this is Willa Cather's last novel, a stirring and beautifully executed description of a society and conditions that have vanished forever, and a retrospective portrait of the Old South, with its stain of slavery. By 1856, Sapphira Colbert is one of few Virginians who owns slaves, a policy her husband Henry finds increasingly difficult to countenance. Sapphira presides over her Black Creek Valley property with disciplined resolution and the help of her black maid, Nancy. Henry runs the Mill and sleep there too, their marriage a formality. Sapphira's life is an arid one and, confined to a wheelchair, she has amble opportunity for speculation. When she hears a conversation linking her husbands name to that of Nancy, that speculation festers and the horrific potential of Sapphira's power is unleashed ...

The Hound And The Falcon

The Hound And The Falcon

Author: Antonia White Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2007

Contains the letters between Antonia White - a lapsed Catholic - and a former Jesuit novice. Although Antonia White returned to Church, these letters record the conflicts which preceded and followed this reconversion. They also chart the unfolding of an intimate relationship between them.

Anna Apparent

Anna Apparent

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2007

Who is Anna? Is she Anna-May Gates, the war-time evacuee who encounters neglect and unwitting abuse on a Welsh farm? The reticent, dutiful daughter of her foster-mother, Crystal? Giles's shy child-bride? Conscientious mother and housewife? Or Daniel's undemanding but sophisticated mistress? It takes catastrophe for Anna to emerge as an individual, claiming her own identity. Nina Bawden, as ever both acute and generous, delves skilfully into character and offers the richly textured story of a woman's life and stratagems, and of the flawed, kindly people who surround her.

Loitering With Intent

Loitering With Intent

Author: Muriel Spark, Mark Lawson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/01/2007

A funny and clever novel about art and reality and the way they imitate each other, from the author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. With an introduction by Mark Lawson. Would-be novelist Fleur Talbot works for the snooty, irascible Sir Quentin Oliver at the Autobiographical Association, whose members are all at work on their memoirs. When her employer gets his hands on Fleur's novel-in-progress, mayhem ensues as its scenes begin coming true... Spark's inimitable style make this literary joyride thoroughly appealing. 'The most gloriously entertaining novel since The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.' AN Wilson, Spectator 'I read this book in a delirium of delight ... robust and full-bodied, a wise and mature work, and a brilliantly mischievous one.' New York Times Book Review

A Little Love, A Little Learning

A Little Love, A Little Learning

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/12/2006

By the author of 'Circles of Deceit' and 'Tortoise by Candlelight', this novel shows the fragility of a family's equilibrium. Three children live with their mother and are happy in the love of their stepfather. The arrival of an aunt and the adolescent worries of the girls sets up tensions.

Strangers

Strangers

Author: Antonia White Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/12/2006

With uncompromising clarity, in her careful, delicate prose, antonia White looks at the pains and joys of growing up, of falling in and out of love, the borderlands between love and loneliness, sanity and madness, belief and the loss of faith. First published in 1954, STRANGERS is here extended to include her autobiographical story, 'Surprise Visit'; together they present some of Antonia White's finest writing.

Afternoon Of A Good Woman

Afternoon Of A Good Woman

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2006

Today, Tuesday, the day that Penelope has chosen to leave her husband, is the first really warm day of spring...' Penelope has always done her best to be a good wife, a good mistress, a good mother - and a good magistrate. Today she is more conscious that usual of the thinness of the thread that distinguishes good from bad, the law-abiding from the criminal. Sitting in court, hearing a short, sad case of indecent exposure and a long, confused theft, she finds herself examining her own sex life (how would all that sound in court?) her own actions and intentions while she observes the defendants in the dock. This novel is a tour-de-force , an ingeniously constructed novel in which Nina Bawden counterpoints public appearance with private behaviour in her heroine, Penelope. The result is a marvellous picture of a not always admirable but engagingly complex and very human heroine. As always, Bawden offers a compelling story, sharply witty and beautifully observed. But it is also an honest and provocative book tracing the divergent courses of morality and justice, and uncomfortably posing, as Penelope does of herself, the question: who and what is a good woman?

Devil By The Sea

Devil By The Sea

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2006

The first time the children saw the Devil, he was sitting next to them in the second row of deckchairs in the bandstand. He was biting his nails.' So begins the horrifying story of a madman loose in a small seaside town- his prey the very young and the very old. Seen through the eyes of Hilary- a precocious, highly imaginative, lonely child- it is a chilling story about the perceptiveness of children, the blindness of parents and the allure of strangers. As the adults carry on with their own grown-up capers, Hilary is led further and further into the twilight world of one man's terrifyingly warped view of normal life. But will she have the sense to resist it?

The Ice House

The Ice House

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2006

At fifteen, Daisy, confident and cherished, is appalled to hear that Ruth's father locked her in the old garden ice house as a childhood punishment: no wonder her friend shelters in make believe. The revelation of that primitive cruelty cements a friendship in which protection plays no small part. Years later, middle aged, they remain close friends and live on the same street. So when Daisy's husband dies suddenly, Ruth's discovery that the marriage was unhappy is the first stage in the unravelling of the certainties she has wrapped around her adult life. Friendship, love, marriage and, above all, the scorching effects of adultery, come under the microscope in this dextrous novel. Journeying from a terrifying suburban household to its unexpected conclusion in the Egyptian Pharaoh's tombs, The Ice House is startling, tragic and humorous by turns.

Family Money

Family Money

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2006

Fanny Pye's London house, bought for a song many years earlier, is now worth a small fortune. When she intervenes in a street brawl and is hospitalised, her children tactfully suggest that she move to the suburbs, coincidently releasing some useful 'family money'. Fanny has different views about inheritance and property and is anyway more concerned that she cannot properly remember the events of that night which ended in the death of a stranger. Then, as her amnesia clears, she is overwhelmed by a terrible sense of danger.

A Woman Of My Age

A Woman Of My Age

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2006

Elizabeth and Richard are on holiday in Morocco, travelling from its fertile coast to the barren uplands beyond the Atlas mountains. During the expedition's adventures and mishaps, Elizabeth surveys her eighteen-year marriage and its accumulations of grievance, frustration and betrayal. Nina Bawden allows us to see the ambivalences and deceptions on both sides as this touching and often subversively comic novel moves towards a shocking catastrophe and a wryly surprising coda.

A Grain Of Truth

A Grain Of Truth

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2006

Emma's anxious and manipulative plea, 'Someone listen to me', opens- and closes- this deliciously uncomfortable novel in which Nina Bawden explores myriad emotional disguises with her characteristic acuity. When Emma's father-in-law falls down the stairs to his death, she is convinced she pushed him in an act of wish-fulfilment. To her husband Henry and her close friend Holly, this is unthinkable. Guilt is simply Emma's obsession in a humdrum domestic existence enlivened by romantic fantasy. For Holly, who successfully fields a string of love affairs, sexual pleasures are more easily attainable, whereas Henry, a Divorce lawyer, prides himself on being a realist. Each tells their story in turn, illuminating and distorting their separate versions of the truth. As they do so, an intricate jigsaw of the private deceits with which they shore up everyday life emerges.

Tortoise By Candlelight

Tortoise By Candlelight

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2006

With the ferocity of a mother tiger defending her cubs, fourteen-year-old Emmie Bean watches over her household: her amiable drunken father, her gaunt, evangelical old grandmother, her beautiful, wayward sister Alice and most precious of all, eight-year-old Oliver, who has the countenance of an angel and the ethical sense of a cobra. But with the arrival of new neighbours, the outside world intrudes into the isolated privacy of family life and Emmie's kingdom is no longer secure. Combining the guile of a young child with the desperation of adolescence, Emmie fights to stave off the changes- and the revelations- that growing up necessarily brings. Powerful, heart-rending, but never sentimental, Tortoise by Candlelight is a captivating excursion into the landscape of youth.

A Nice Change

A Nice Change

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2006

Amy thought the Hotel Parthenon in Greece would be a nice change for her husband, Labour MP Tom Jones. He is convinced that it's a bad idea as soon as they arrive and he spots Portia, his ex-mistress, in the minibus to the hotel. Also on board are an American publisher, a young doctor, a shady pair from London and two enigmatic, elderly twins. The scene is set for a wonderful comedy.

Walking Naked

Walking Naked

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2006

Laura is happily married, a mother and a successful novelist. Although she is prey to night terrors, she is adept at smoothing the disorder of reality into controlled prose. Walking Naked telescopes the whole of Laura's life- childhood, marriages, triumphs and disappointments- into a day in which the past and present converge. It begins with a game of tennis played for duty rather than amusement and progresses, via an afternoon party of old friends and jaded emotions, to a bewildering visit to Laura's son, imprisoned on a drugs' charge. At its close, the possibility of death within the family hauls unresolved conflicts centre stage and Laura strips herself of the posturing and self-deceit with which she has cloaked her vulnerability.

George Beneath A Paper Moon

George Beneath A Paper Moon

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2006

George is an unusually successful travel agent, providing other people with the adventures he dare not risk. Though content to wrap himself in fantasies, he is haunted by the fact that 'the important things happened whilst his back was turned' and by the belief that he fathered the daughter- now a desirable young woman- of his best friends, Sam and Claire. To avoid temptation, George stumbles into a disastrous marriage and determines to mould himself into a supportive husband. But a holiday in Turkey snaps his private world when George finds himself in the midst of intrigue and murder and is forced to acknowledge that life is not the fairy-tale he'd imagined. In this superbly constructed and mercilessly observed novel, part comedy, part thriller, Nina Bawden exposes the fictions we impose on our lives.

Familiar Passions

Familiar Passions

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2006

After an expensive dinner on their thirteenth wedding anniversary, James calmly announces that he wishes to leave Bridie. A cherished adopted child, she stepped into marriage - and a pet name - at the age of nineteen and has nurtured two step-children and a daughter. The habit of protecting others is strong is Bridie but now, redundant and with her happiness turned into a charade, she is uncertain of her identity. Unless she reclaims a portion of her past, Bridie fears she will have no future. The mysteries and consequences of Bridie's adoption form the bedrock of this enticing and skilfully woven novel. Here, with her characteristic wit and acuity, Nina Bawden peers into the familiar passions of family life, remembered insults, ancient scars and old deceptions.

The Sadeian Woman

The Sadeian Woman

Author: Angela Carter Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/10/2006

Sexuality is power' - so says the Marquis de Sade, philosopher and pornographer extraordinaire. His virtuous Justine keeps to the rules laid down by men, her reward rape and humiliation; his Juliette, Justine's triumphantly monstrous antithesis, viciously exploits her sexuality. In a world where all tenderness is false, all beds are minefields. But now Sade has met his match. With invention and genius, Angela Carter takes on these outrageous figments of his extreme imagination, and transforms them into symbols of our time - the Hollywood sex goddesses, mothers and daughters, pornography, even the sacred shrines of sex and marriage lie devastatingly exposed before our eyes. Angela Carter delves into the viscera of our distorted sexuality and reveals a dazzling vision of love which admits neither of conqueror nor of conquered.

My Antonia

My Antonia

Author: Willa Cather, A.S. Byatt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2006

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY A. S. BYATT 'During that burning day when we were crossing Iowa, our talk kept returning to a central figure, a Bohemian girl whom we had both known long ago. More than any other person we remembered, this girl seemed to mean to us the country, the conditions, the whole adventure of our childhood . . . His mind was full of her that day. He made me see her again, feel her presence, revived all my old affection for her.' My Antonia is the unforgettable story of an immigrant woman's life on the Nebraska plains, seen through the eyes of her childhood friend, Jim Burden. The beautiful, free-spirited, wild-eyed girl captured Jim's imagination long ago and haunts him still, embodying for him the elemental spirit of the American frontier. In this powerful and astonishing novel, Willa Cather created one of the most winning yet thoroughly convincing heroines in American fiction.

Alexander's Bridge

Alexander's Bridge

Author: Willa Cather, Hermoine Lee Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2006

Something had broken loose in him of which he knew nothing except that it was sullen and powerful, that it wrung and tortured him.' Bartley Alexander, an engineer famous for the audacious structure of his North American bridges, is at the height of his reputation. He has a distinguished and beautiful wife and an enviable Boston home. Then, on a trip to London, he meets again the Irish actress he had once loved. Their affair resumes, and Alexander finds himself caught in a transatlantic tug of emotions - between the wife who has supported his career with understanding and strength and Hilda, whose impulsiveness and generosity restore to him the passion and energy of his youth. Alongside this personal dilemma there are ominous signs of strain in his professional life . . .

O Pioneers!

O Pioneers!

Author: A.S. Byatt, Willa Cather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2006

Alexandra Bergson is the eldest child of a Swedish immigrant family newly arrived in the harsh untamed landscape of the American West. An original, determined child, she is driven by two forces: her fierce protective love for her younger brother, and a deep love of the beautiful country she has come to regard as her own. When her father dies, it is she who becomes the head of the family and struggles to soften the wild overgrown soil that surrounds her, nurturing it until, finally, it rewards her with a richness beyond measure..

The Professor's House

The Professor's House

Author: Willa Cather, A.S. Byatt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2006

INTRODUCED BY A. S. BYATT 'Willa Cather makes a world which is burningly alive, sometimes lovely, often tragic' Helen Dunmore 'She is undoubtedly one of the greatest American writers' Observer On the eve of his move to a new, more desirable residence, Professor Godfrey St Peter finds himself in the shabby study of his former home. Surrounded by the comforting, familiar sights of his past, he surveys his life and the people he has loved: his wife Lillian, his daughters and, above all, Tom Outland, his most outstanding student and once, his son-in-law to be. Enigmatic and courageous - and a tragic victim of the Great War - Tom has remained a source of inspiration to the professor. But he has also left behind him a troubling legacy which has brought betrayal and fracture to the women he loves most . . .

Symposium

Symposium

Author: Muriel Spark, Ian Rankin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2006

'The greatest Scottish novelist of modern times . . . She was peerless, sparkling, inventive and intelligent - the creme de la creme.' Ian Rankin One October evening five London couples gather for a dinner party, enjoying 'the pheasant (flambe in cognac as it is)' and waiting for the imminent arrival of the late-coming guest Hilda Damien, who has been unavoidably detained due to the fact that she is being murdered at this very moment. With an introduction by Ian Rankin. Symposium is Muriel Spark - one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century and author of classics including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - at her wicked best. 'A rich, heady, disturbing brew.' Lorna Sage 'Extremely clever and highly entertaining.' Penelope Lively 'Stiletto-sharp fiction.' Alan Taylor, Scotland on Sunday

A Lost Lady

A Lost Lady

Author: Willa Cather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2006

Marian Forrester brings delight to her husband, an elderly railroad pioneer; to the small town of Sweet Water where they live; and to Niel Herbert, the young narrator of her story, who falls in love with her as a boy and later becomes her confidant. He witnesses this vibrant woman in all her contradictory facets: by turns faithless and steadfast, dazzling and pathetic, invincibly charming yet dangerously vulnerable to the men she charms. All are bewitched by her charisma and grace - and all are ultimately betrayed. 'This classic has the striking economy of Hemingway, and is as poignant an elegy for the pioneer West as I have read. The vivacious Marian Forrester stands as a romantic paean to the pioneer's reckless abandon, counterpointed by the narrator's prim decency' The Times

Death Comes For The Archbishop

Death Comes For The Archbishop

Author: Willa Cather, A.S. Byatt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2006

In 1851 Bishop Latour and his friend Father Valliant are despatched to New Mexico to reawaken its slumbering Catholicism. Moving along the endless prairies, Latour spreads his faith the only way he knows - gently, although he must contend with the unforgiving landscape, derelict and sometimes openly rebellious priests, and his own loneliness. Over nearly forty years, they leave converts and enemies, crosses and occasionally ecstasy in their wake. But it takes a death for them to make their mark on the landscape forever . . .

Frost In May

Frost In May

Author: Antonia White, Tessa Hadley, Elizabeth Bowen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/08/2006

Nanda Gray, the daughter of a Catholic convert, is nine when she is sent to the Convent of Five Wounds. Quick-witted, resilient and eager to please, she accepts this closed world where, with all the enthusiasm of the outsider, her desires and passions become only those the school permits. Her only deviation from total obedience is the passionate friendships she makes. Convent life is perfectly captured - the smell of beeswax and incense; the petty cruelties of the nuns; the eccentricities of Nanda's school friends.

Beyond These Walls

Beyond These Walls

Author: Janina Bauman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/08/2006

'Absorbing . . . testaments such as Janina Bauman's are important and should never be allowed to fade away. The drama of Anne Frank is rightly always before us but the equally vital stories of those who suffered but survived need to be listened to with just as much attention' Margaret Forster Janina Bauman was a year older than Anne Frank when the Second World War began but, unlike The Diary of Anne Frank, this is a story of survival. When Hitler's decree forced her family into the Warsaw Ghetto, Janina, an intelligent, lively girl, suddenly found herself in a cramped flat, hiding with other Jewish families. At first even curfews and the casual cruelty meted out by the German occupiers could not dim her passion for books, boys and romance. Then came the raids, and Janina, with her sister and mother, had to keep on the move, hiding in the ruins of the ghetto to avoid being one of thousands rounded up every day and deported to the camps. Their escape to the 'Aryan' side was followed by two years in hiding, taking shelter with those willing to help them and living in constant fear of betrayal. Told through her teenage diaries, giving her story a rare immediacy, this is the extraordinary tale of a passionate young woman's courage and survival.

The Lost Traveller

The Lost Traveller

Author: Antonia White Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/08/2006

When Clara returns home from the convent of her childhood to begin life at a local girls' school, she is at a loss: although she has comparative freedom, she misses the discipline the nuns imposed and worries about keeping her faith in a secular world. Against the background of the First World War, Clara experiences the confusions of adolescence - its promise, its threat of change. She longs for love, yet fears it, and wonders what the future will hold. Then tragedy strikes and her childhood haltingly comes to an end as she realises that neither parents nor her faith can help her. The Lost Traveller is the first in the trilogy sequel to Frost in May, which continues with The Sugar House and Beyond the Glass. Although each is a complete novel in itself, together they form a brilliant portrait of a young girl's journey to adulthood.

The Sugar House

The Sugar House

Author: Antonia White Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/08/2006

The year is 1920. Clara Batchelor, the heroine of The Lost Traveller, is now an actress with a touring repertory company and is passionately in love with the wholly unsuitable Stephen Tye. When Stephen betrays her, Clara betrays herself by agreeing to marry Archie, the fiance' she discarded four years before. A friendship but not a love match, the marriage is a desperate attempt by Clara to rekindle the safety of childhood. But neither of them are children any more and their dream sugar house begins to dissolve. The Sugar House is the second in the trilogy sequel to Frost in May, which began with The Lost Traveller and continues in Beyond the Glass. Although each is a complete novel in itself, together they form a brilliant portrait of a young girl's journey to adulthood.

Beyond The Glass

Beyond The Glass

Author: Antonia White Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/08/2006

Clara Batchelor is twenty-two. Her brief, doomed marriage to Archie over, she returns to live with her parents in the home of her childhood. She hopes for comfort but the devoutly Catholic household confines her and forms a dangerous glass wall of guilt and repression between Clara and the outside world. Clara both longs for and fears what lies beyond, and when she escapes into an exhilarating and passionate love affair her fragile identity cracks. Beyond the Glass completes the trilogy sequel to Frost in May, which began with The Lost Traveller and The Sugar House. Although each is a complete novel in itself, together they form a brilliant portrait of a young girl's journey to adulthood.

Minka And Curdy

Minka And Curdy

Author: Antonia White Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2006

Victoria, a real tyrant of a cat, spent so many years training Mrs Bell to be her ideal hostess that, at her death, Mrs Bell feels it would be disrespectful to replace that formidable creature. But her resolve wears down and she agrees to take a marmalade kitten. No sooner has she done so she is offered a Siamese that she simply cannot resist. This is the story of a writer seduced by the charms of two very different kittens: Curdy, lively and mischievous, and Minka, imperious in manner and in gesture (and who cannot stand the sight of the ginger upstart). One of the most enchanting books about cats ever written, MINKA AND CURDY describes their adventures- and misadventures- and the merry dance they lead Mrs Bell. Illustrated throughout with line drawings, it is the perfect companion for all lovers of cats and all admirers of Antonia White.

That Lady

That Lady

Author: Kate O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/07/2006

Spain in the years before the Armada, and high passion meets high politics. Ana, Princess of Eboli is a remarkable woman. Married at thirteen and losing an eye in a duel a year later, Ana is also heiress of Spain's leading family, widow of Philip II's wisest cousellor and rumoured to be the King's mistress. Unexpectedly - and unwisely - she falls in love with Don Antonio Perez, dandy, adulterer, skilled politician. With her unusual looks, her aristocratic arrogance and the simplicities of her faith, Ana cannot understand why her private life should become entangled with the affairs of state and, finally, incur the terrible vindictiveness of the King himself . . . Kate O'Brien's understanding and love of Spain enhance the beauty of this passionate and intelligent novel.

Without My Cloak

Without My Cloak

Author: Kate O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/07/2006

When Anthony Considine creeps into Mellick town with a stolen horse in 1789, it sets the destiny of his family for decades to come. By the 1850s, through thrift and hard work, his son Honest John has made the Considines a leading Mellick family. With his father's money, John's son Anthony builds a grand country house for his wife and children - but especially for his youngest son Denis, who he adores, little knowing that one day Denis will threaten the toil of generations with his love for a peasant girl . . .

Farewell Spain

Farewell Spain

Author: Kate O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/07/2006

This distinctly personal elegy was written during the early days of the Spanish Civil War by a writer whose future was indelibly marked by a year of travelling in a unique and changing country. A series of reminiscences, impressions and vivid insights, Kate O'Brien's thoughtful journey offers something unique at every stage, and captures perfectly the spirit of a lost place and the experience of travel and memory.

Mary Lavelle

Mary Lavelle

Author: Kate O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/07/2006

Mary Lavelle, a beautiful young Irish woman, travels to Spain to see some of the world before marrying her steadfast fiance John. But despite the enchanting surroundings and her three charming charges, life as governess to the wealthy Areavaga family is lonely and she is homesick. Then comes the arrival of the family's handsome, passionate - and married - son Juanito and Mary's loyalties and beliefs are challenged. Falling in love with Juanito and with Spain, Mary finds herself at the heart of a family and a nation divided.

The Last Of Summer

The Last Of Summer

Author: Kate O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/06/2006

It is 1939, the last summer before the outbreak of war. French actress Angele Maury abandons a group of friends travelling through Ireland and takes herself to picturesque Drumaninch, birthplace of her dead father. She has come to make sense of her past. Self-conscious with her pale, exotic beauty, Angele braves the idiosyncratic world of the Kernahans: her enigmatic aunt Hannah, her ridiculous but loveable uncle Corney and her three cousins - Martin, charming, intense; Tom, devoted to his mother, and their bright sister Jo, who combines religious faith with a penchant for gambling. But is there some mystery surrounding the past? History threatens to repeat itself as Angele finds herself seduced by the beauty of Ireland, and by the love of two men...First published in 1943, The Last of the Summer is a perfectly structured psychological love story.

Loving And Giving

Loving And Giving

Author: Molly Keane, Michele Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

In 1914, when Nicandra is eight, all is well in the grand Irish estate, Deer Forest. Maman is beautiful and adored. Dada, silent and small, mooches contendedly around the stables. Aunt Tossie, of the giant heart and bosom, is widowed but looks splendid in weeds. The butler, the groom, the landsteward, the maids, the men - each as a place and knows it. Then, astonishingly, the perfect surface is shattered; Maman does something too dreadful ever to be spoken of. 'What next? Who to love?' asks Nicaranda. And through her growing up and marriage her answer is to swamp those around her with kindness - while gradually the great house crumbles under a weight of manners and misunderstanding.

Devoted Ladies

Devoted Ladies

Author: Molly Keane, Polly Devlin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

Jessica and Jane have been living together for six months and are devoted friends - or are they? Jessica loves her friend with the cruelty of total possessiveness; Jane is rich, silly, and drinks rather too many brandy-and-sodas. Watching from the sidelines, their friend Sylvester regrets that Jane should be 'loved and bullied and perhaps even murdered by that frightful Jessica', but decides it's none of his business. When the Irish gentleman George Playfair meets Jane, however, he thinks otherwise and entices her to Ireland where the battle for her devotion begins.

Young Entry

Young Entry

Author: Molly Keane Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

Prudence, at nineteen, is reckless, laughing, wild; the despair of her elderly guardians. With her best friend, the subversive but very female Peter, she rackets round the Irish countryside among her beloved horses and dogs. But she feels betrayed by Peter's growing interest in the new Master of Hounds, 'Saxon' Major Anthony Countless. And what is Prudence to make of handsome Toby Sage, neighbour, huntsman and accredited flirt? Or of an inexplicable haunting? First published in 1928, this high-spirited novel with its subtle erotic undercurrents, is a glorious story of a ramshackle, tolerant society and of Prudence's turbulent coming of age.

Loving Without Tears

Loving Without Tears

Author: Molly Keane Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

Angel, formidable hostess, social charmer and mother par excellence, confidently awaits the return of her little boy from the trials of war. She could not anticipate that the teenager who went away will return a grown man - bronzed and world-weary - a sophisticated American widow on his arm. Nor could she anticpate that her irrepressible daughter Slaney will similarly throw herself into romance (without asking her advice) and even her niece Tiddley will show an unexpected determination in getting on with her life. Faced with domestic insurrection on a grand scale, Angel will have to sharpen her wits to maintain her tyranny.

Taking Chances

Taking Chances

Author: Molly Keane Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

Those who suffered because of her might think of Mary that she hurt others, herself she could not hurt; but Jer, knowing her better...knew she hurt herself perhaps most deeply. Since the death of her parents, Roguey, Maeve and Jer have cared for one another and for Sorristown, their elegant home. Together they have fished and hunted, unravelled secrets by bedroom fires and sipped gin cocktails. But this pattern of intimacy is about to be broken by Maeve's marriage to Rowley. A week before the wedding, her bridesmaid Mary arrives. Meeting her for the first time Rowley describes Mary as a 'factor for disturbance', little realising the extent to which his prophecy will prove true for each of them.

Conversation Piece

Conversation Piece

Author: Molly Keane Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

When Oliver visits Pullinstown, he is introduced to wild days of hunting and shooting, and to characters like his cousins, with their passion for horses and trickery, and Sir Richard, elderly, but a match for his headstrong offspring. The author has also written under the pseudonym, M.J. Farrell.

Mad Puppetstown

Mad Puppetstown

Author: Molly Keane Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

In the early 1900s Easter lives with her Aunt Brenda, her cousins Evelyn and Basil, and their Great-Aunt Dicksie in an imposing country house, Puppetstown, which casts a spell over their childhood. Here they spend carefree days taunting the peacocks in Aunt Dicksie's garden, shooting snipe and woodcock, hunting, and playing with Patsy, the boot boy. But the house and its inhabitants are not immune to the 'little, bitter, forgotten war in Ireland' and when it finally touches their lives all flee to England. All except Aunt Dicksie who refuses to surrender Puppetstown's magic. She stays on with Patsy, living in a corner of the deserted house while in England the cousins are groomed for Society. But for two of them those wild, lost Puppetstown years cannot be forgotten.

Full House

Full House

Author: Molly Keane Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

Silverue -- an enchanting Irish mansion -- is owned by one of the most frightening mothers in fiction -- the indomitable, oppressively girlish Lady Bird. Blessed with wealth and beautiful children she has little to worry about except the passing of the years and the return of her son John's sanity. To help her through the potentially awkward occasion of John's return from the asylum she has enlisted the support of Eliza, a woman she believes to be her confidante. But Eliza has her own secrets and John's homecoming will prove the catalyst for revelations which Lady Bird would much rather leave buried.

The Knight Of Cheerful Countenance

The Knight Of Cheerful Countenance

Author: Molly Keane Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

To Ballinrath House, where purple bog gives way to slate-coloured mountains, comes Allan to visit his Irish cousins. No sooner has he arrived than he falls in love with Cousin Ann, though it seems that she only has eyes for Captain Dennys St Lawrence.

Confessions Of A Failed Southern Lady

Confessions Of A Failed Southern Lady

Author: Florence King, Sandi Toksvig Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

'Granny worked so hard at my rearing. She was a frustrated ladysmith and I was her last chance . . . This is the story of my years on her anvil. Whether she succeeded in making a lady out of me is for you to decide, but I will say one thing in my own favour before we begin. No matter which sex I went to bed with, I never smoked on the street.' When Florence King was born, her Granny, a would-be Virginia grande dame, moved in. 'Anybody could have a family,' writes Miss King. 'She wanted a race all to herself.' Granny's dream of raising the perfect Southern belle failed dismally with her own daughter, a chain-smoking, baseball-playing tomboy given to wild expletives. Florence is Granny's last hope . . . 'I've never read so many perfect one-liners . . . This book is dynamite. Don't miss it' - Jeanette Winterston

The Rising Tide

The Rising Tide

Author: Molly Keane, Polly Devlin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

One glorious gothic mansion - Garonlea - and two rather different ladies who would be Queen . . . Lady Charlotte French-McGrath has successfully ruled over her family with a rod of iron until the arrival of Cynthia: beautiful, young, talented, selfish - and engaged to her son Desmond. When Cynthia enters the Jazz Age, on the surface her life passes in a whirl of hunting, drinking and romance. But the ghosts of Garonlea are only biding their time: they know the source of their power, a secret handed on from one generation to the next.

The Ante-Room

The Ante-Room

Author: Kate O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/2006

Ireland, 1880 and a prosperous, provincial family observes the three great autumnal feasts of the Church. As Teresa Mulqueen lies dying, her family gather round her and beneath this drama another, no less poignant, unfolds. Unmarried daughter Agnes awaits the return of her sister Marie-Rose and brother-in-law Vincent. She adores her sister, but secretly, pasionately, loves Vincent. And their marriage, she knows, is unhappy...Ahead lies a terrible battle between her uncompromising faith and the intensity of her love. In this delicately imagined novel, originally published in 1934, Kate O'Brien lays bare the struggles between personal need and the Catholic faith with the sympathy and insight which is the hallmark of her craft.

The Winding Stair

The Winding Stair

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Francis King Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/2006

Many accounts of the life of Francis Bacon have been written for scholars. But du Maurier's aim in this biography was to illuminate the many facets of Bacon's remarkable personality for the common reader. To her book she brought the same gifts of imagination and perception that made her earlier biography, Golden Lads, so immensely readable, siklfully threading into her narrative extracts from contemporary documents and from Bacon's own writings, and setting her account of his life within a vivid contemporary framework. This is truly history made alive. Unlike many authors of popular historical biographies, du Maurier resembled Antonia Fraser in being an indefatigable researcher - Francis King

The Infernal World Of Branwell Bronte

The Infernal World Of Branwell Bronte

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Justine Picardy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/2006

As a bold and gifted child, Branwell Bronte's promise seemed boundless to the three adoring sisters over whom his rule was complete. But as an adult, the precocious flame of genius distorted and burned low. With neither the strength nor the resources to counter rejection, unable to sell his paintings or publish his books, Branwell became a spectre in the Bronte story, in pathetic contrast with the astonishing achievements of his sisters. Daphne du Maurier concentrates all her biographer's skill on the shadowy figure of Branwell Bronte, and no reader could fail to be intensely moved by Branwell's final retreat into laudanum, alcohol - and death

The Land Of Spices

The Land Of Spices

Author: Kate O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/2006

Mere Marie-Helene once turned her back on life, sealing up her heart in order to devote herself to God. Now the formidable Mother Superior of an Irish convent, she has, for some time, been experiencing grave doubts about her vocation. But when she meets Anna Murphy, the youngest-ever boarder, the little girl's solemn, poetic nature captivates her and she feels 'a storm break in her hollow heart'. Between them an unspoken allegiance is formed that will sustain each through the years as the Reverend Mother seeks to combat her growing spiritual aridity and as Anna develops the strength to resist the conventional demands of her background.

Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont

Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Bailey, Paul Bailey Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/04/2006

Named by the Guardian as one of 'the 100 best novels,' and shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont is a humorous and compassionate look at friendship between an old woman and a young man from a 'magnificent...writer, the missing link between Jane Austen and John Updike' (David Baddiel, Independent) On a rainy Sunday in January, the recently widowed Mrs Palfrey arrives at the Claremont Hotel where she will spend her remaining days. Her fellow residents are magnificently eccentric and endlessly curious, living off crumbs of affection and snippets of gossip. Together, upper lips stiffened, they fight off their twin enemies: boredom and the Grim Reaper. Then one day Mrs Palfrey strikes up an unlikely friendship with an impoverished young writer, Ludo, who sees her as inspiration for his novel. 'Elizabeth Taylor's exquisitely drawn character study of eccentricity in old age is a sharp and witty portrait of genteel postwar English life facing the changes taking shape in the 60s . . . Much of the reader's joy lies in the exquisite subtlety in Taylor's depiction of all the relationships, the sharp brevity of her wit, and the apparently effortless way the plot unfolds' -Robert McCrum 'the 100 best novels', Guardian

A View Of The Harbour

A View Of The Harbour

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Sarah Waters, Sarah Waters, Sarah Waters Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/04/2006

INTRODUCED BY SARAH WATERS 'Every one of her books is a treat and this is my favourite, because of its wonderful cast of characters, and because of the deftness with which Taylor's narrative moves between them ... A wonderful writer' SARAH WATERS In the faded coastal village of Newby, everyone looks out for - and in on - each other, and beneath the deceptively sleepy exterior, passions run high. Beautiful divorcee Tory is secretly involved with her neighbour, Robert, while his wife Beth, Tory's best friend, is consumed by the worlds she creates in her novels, oblivious to the relationship developing next door. Their daughter Prudence is aware, however, and is appalled by the treachery she observes. Mrs Bracey, an invalid whose grasp on life is slipping, forever peers from her window, constantly prodding her daughters for news of the outside world. And Lily Wilson, a lonely young widow, is frightened of her own home. Into their lives steps Bertram, a retired naval officer with the unfortunate capacity to inflict lasting damage while trying to do good. 'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' - ELIZABETH BOWEN 'Always intelligent, often subversive and never dull, Elizabeth Taylor is the thinking person's dangerous housewife. Her sophisticated prose combines elegance, icy wit and freshness in a stimulating cocktail' - VALERIE MARTIN 'A magnificent and underrated mid-20th-century writer, the missing link between Jane Austen and John Updike' - DAVID BADDIEL

In A Summer Season

In A Summer Season

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth Russell Taylor, Elizabeth Russell Taylor Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/04/2006

In a Summer Season is one of Elizabeth Taylor's finest novels in which, in a moving and powerful climax, she reveals love to be the thing it is: beautiful, often funny, and sometimes tragic. 'You taste of rain', he said, kissing her. 'People say I married her for her money', he thought contentedly, and for the moment was full of the self-respect that loving her had given him. Kate Heron is a wealthy, charming widow who marries, much to the disapproval of friends and neighbours, a man ten years her junior: the attractive, feckless Dermot. Then comes the return of Kate's old friend Charles - intelligent, kind and now widowed, with his beautiful young daughter. Kate watches happily as their two families are drawn together, finding his presence reassuringly familiar, but slowly she becomes aware of subtle undercurrents that begin to disturb the calm surface of their friendship. Before long, even she cannot ignore the gathering storm . . .

Blaming

Blaming

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Jonathan Keates, Jonathon Keates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/04/2006

'How deeply I envy any reader coming to her for the first time!' Elizabeth Jane Howard * A finely nuanced exploration of responsibility, snobbery and culture clash from one of the twentieth century's finest novelists. When Amy is suddenly left widowed and alone while on holiday in Istanbul, Martha, an American traveller, comforts her and accompanies her back to England. Upon their return, however, Amy is ungratefully reluctant to maintain their relationship, recognising that, under any other circumstances, the two women would not be friends. But guilt is a hard taskmaster, and Martha has away of getting under one's skin ... * 'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' Elizabeth Bowen 'No writer has described the English middle classes with more gently devastating accuracy' Rebecca Abrams, Spectator 'A Game of Hide and Seek showcases much of what makes Taylor a great novelist: piercing insight, a keen wit and a genuine sense of feeling for her characters' Elizabeth Day, Guardian

The Echoing Grove

The Echoing Grove

Author: Rosamond Lehmann Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/03/2006

Two sisters: Madeleine and Dinah. One husband: Rickie Masters. For many years now, Dinah, exotic and sensual, has conducted a clandestine affair with Rickie. Madeleine, calm and resolute, has accepted that her marriage has been of limited success. Rickie's sudden death makes widows of both sisters in this highly imaginative novel that explores with extraordinary insight the sublimity, the rivalry and the pain of personal relationships. 'She makes a mood, an atmosphere, which is never forgotten . . . The inner voice of women talking to themselves about their love affairs, knowing that it is hopeless, having to go ahead anyway, expecting the end as soon as it begins. That, of course, is what Rosamond Lehmann does best' Sunday Times

A Sea-Grape Tree

A Sea-Grape Tree

Author: Rosamond Lehmann Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/03/2006

In 1933 we meet Rebecca, heroine of THE BALLAD AND THE SOURCE - but in a different world, on many levels. Betrayed by her married lover, Rebecca arrives alone at a small Caribbean island. Here, along with the splendidly eccentric members of the British expatriate colony, she meets the former ace pilot Johnny, crippled now, a misanthropic recluse: for both of them their passionate affair the powerful life force love can be. Here too she encounters voices from the past and the vibrant spirit of Mrs. Jardine - voices which remind Rebecca of the girl she was and the woman she could become.

The Ballad And The Source

The Ballad And The Source

Author: Rosamond Lehmann Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/03/2006

The tale of the unlikely friendship between and an old woman and a young girl, this is one of Rosamond Lehmann's finest novels Ten year old Rebecca is living in the country with her family when Sibyl Jardine, an enigmatic and powerful old woman, returns to her property in the neighbourhood. The two families, once linked in the past, meet again, with the result that Rebecca becomes drawn into the strange complications of the old lady's life - with her husband, her errant daughter and her grandchildren. Through the spellbound eyes of the young Rebecca we enter into an intricate and scandalous family history and slowly the story of the passionate, stormy life of Mrs. Jardine unfolds.