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Book Series

Virago Modern Classics

Letty Fox

Letty Fox

Author: Christina Stead Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/07/1978

Surrounded by a family notable for its size, eccentricity and marital irregularities, Letty grows up with only one aim in mind - marriage. For Letty learns that, for a woman, social survival depends on winning and keeping a man. Amidst the bustle of life in New York and London in the 30s and 40s, she relentlessly pursues her aim. An outrageous emotional and sexual experimenter, sustained always by an indomitable sense of humour and a wonderful eye for the main chance, Letty pursues one relationship after another, until her luck finally turns.

Pilgrimage Four

Pilgrimage Four

Author: Dorothy Richardson Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/11/1979

'Pilgrimage' was the first expression in English of what it is to be called 'stream of conciousness' technique, predating the work of both Joyce and Woolf, echoing that of Proust with whom Dorothy Richardson stands as one of the great innovatory figures of our time. These four volumes record in detail the life of Miriram Henderson. Through her experience - personal, spiritual, intellectual - Dorothy Richardson explores intensely what it means to be a woman, presenting feminine conciousness with a new voice, a new identity.

Pilgrimage Two

Pilgrimage Two

Author: Dorothy Richardson Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/11/1979

'Pilgrimage' was the first expression in English of what it is to be called 'stream of conciousness' technique, predating the work of both Joyce and Woolf, echoing that of Proust with whom Dorothy Richardson stands as one of the great innovatory figures of our time. These four volumes record in detail the life of Miriram Henderson. Through her experience - personal, spiritual, intellectual - Dorothy Richardson explores intensely what it means to be a woman, presenting feminine conciousness with a new voice, a new identity.

Pilgrimage Three

Pilgrimage Three

Author: Dorothy Richardson Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/11/1979

'Pilgrimage' was the first expression in English of what it is to be called 'stream of conciousness' technique, predating the work of both Joyce and Woolf, echoing that of Proust with whom Dorothy Richardson stands as one of the great innovatory figures of our time. These four volumes record in detail the life of Miriram Henderson. Through her experience - personal, spiritual, intellectual - Dorothy Richardson explores intensely what it means to be a woman, presenting feminine conciousness with a new voice, a new identity.

Gone To Earth

Gone To Earth

Author: Mary Webb Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/12/1979

The daughter of a Welsh gypsy and a crazy bee-keeper, Hazel Woodus is happiest living in her forest cottage in the remote Shropshire hills, at one with the winds and seasons, protector and friend of the wild animals she loves. But Hazel's beauty and innocence prove irresistible to the men in her orbit. Both Jack Reddin, the local squire and Edward Marston, the gentle minister, offer her human -- and carnal -- love. Hazel's fate unfolds as simply and relentlessly as a Greek tragedy as a child of nature is drawn into a world of mortal passion in which she must eternally be a stranger.

Over The Frontier

Over The Frontier

Author: Stevie Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/01/1980

It is 1936. Pompey Casmilus lives in London with her beloved Aunt, bothered by the menace of German militarism, bothered too by the humbug wich confronts it, bothered most of all by her hopeless love affair with Freddy, Its ending plunges Pompey into melancholy, six months rest and recuperation are prescribed and 'savage, sick and cross' Pompey goes to Schloss Tilssen on the northern German border, only to fall in with a strange band of conspirators: the plum coloured Mrs Pouncer, the absent minded Colonel Peck and the dashing Major Tom Satterthwaite, whom Pompey comes to love.

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver

Author: May Sinclair, Jean Radford Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/1980

Born in 1865, Mary Olivier is the youngest of four children. Mamma dominates this Victorian household, idolising the boys, rejecting the independent love of her only daughter: the archetype of all women who control by weakness and suffering. Mary adores her mother- and she hates her. Ferociously intelligent, she vacillates between a passionate quest for her own artistic and sexual identity. This is one of the first novels ever written about a mother and daughter relationship, and the eternal conflict engendered by the deepest of ties. But it is a celebration too: for though Mary sacrifices her life- and her lover- to the demands of duty, she emerges victorious, finding in the discovery of her intellectual and feminine self an inner freedom, a perfect happiness.

The Life And Death Of Harriett Frean

The Life And Death Of Harriett Frean

Author: May Sinclair Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/1980

Well, I'm glad my little girl didn't snatch and push. It's better to go without than to take from other people. That's ugly.' Harriett is the Victorian embodiment of all the virtues then viewed as essential to the womanly ideal: a woman reared to love, honour and obey. Idolising her parents, she learns from childhood to equate love with self-sacrifice, so that when she falls in love with the fiance of her closest friend, renunciation of this unworthy passion initially brings her a peculiar sort of happiness. But the passing of time reveals a different truth. Ironic, brief and intensely realised, The Life and Death of Harriett Frean (1922) is a brilliant study of female virtue seen as vice, and stands with the work of Virgina Woolf and Dorothy Richardson as one of the great innovative novels of the century.

Novel On Yellow Paper

Novel On Yellow Paper

Author: Stevie Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/1980

Stevie's alter ego Pompey is young, in love and working as a secretary for the magnificent Sir Phoebus Ullwater. In between making coffee and typing letters for Sir Phoebus, Pompey scribbles down - on yellow office paper - her quirky thoughts. Her flights of imagination take in Euripedes, sex education, Nazi Germany and the Catholic Church, shattering conventions in their wake.

My Brilliant Career

My Brilliant Career

Author: Miles Franklin, Carmen Callil Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/07/1980

First published in 1901, this Australian classic recounts the live of 16-year-old Sybylla Melvyn. Trapped on her parents' outback farm, she simultaneously loves bush life and hates the physical burdens it imposes. For Sybylla longs for a more refined, aesthetic lifestyle -- to read, to think, to sing -- but most of all to do great things. Suddenly her life is transformed. Whisked away to live on her grandmother's gracious property, she falls under the eye of the rich and handsome Harry Beecham. And soon she finds herself choosing between everything a conventional life offers and her own plans for a 'brilliant career'.

The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper

Author: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Maggie O'Farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/04/1981

Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrenched this small literary masterpiece from her own experience. Narrated with superb psychological skill and dramatic precision, it tells the story of a nameless woman driven mad by enforced confinement after the birth of her child. Isolated in a colonial mansion in the middle of nowhere, forced to sleep in an attic nursery with barred windows and sickly yellow wallpaper, secretly she does what she has to do - she writes. She craves intellectual stimulation, activity, loving understanding, instead she is ordered to her bedroom to rest and 'pull herself together'. Here, slowly but surely, the tortuous pattern of the wallpaper winds its way into the recesses of her mind...

The Crowded Street

The Crowded Street

Author: Winifred Holtby Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/11/1981

This is the story of Muriel Hammond, at twenty living within the suffocating confines of Edwardian middle-class society in Marshington, a Yorkshire village. A career is forbidden to her. Pretty, but not pretty enough, she fails to achieve the one thing required of her - to find a suitable husband. Then comes the First World War, a watershed which tragically revolutionises the lives of her generation. But for Muriel it offers work, friendship, freedom, and one last chance to find a special kind of happiness...

A Note In Music

A Note In Music

Author: Rosamond Lehmann Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/02/1982

Grace Fairfax lives with her dull, conventional husband Tom in a grey manufacturing town in the north of England. At thirty-four she finds that her external life of dreary routine fails to match up to her lush, wistful and dreamy internal life. Norah, her energetic and chaotic friend, is equally settled in her own marriage to an irritable university professor. Then Hugh Miller and his sister Claire descend upon the quiet town. On all four, the hypnotic charm of these two visitors exerts an enchanting spell. And after their departure, life - having been violently disrupted - will never be quite the same again . . .

Union Street

Union Street

Author: Pat Barker Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/05/1982

Vivid, bawdy and bitter. Barker's talent for gently sifting through the hidden depths of the human psyche is awesome' - The Times Pat Barker's first novel shows the women of Union Street, young and old, meeting the harsh challeges of poverty and survival in a precarious world. There's Kelly, at eleven, neglected and independent, dealing with a squalid rape; Dinah, knocking on sixty and still on the game; Joanne, not yet twenty, not yet married, and already pregnant. Old Alice is welcoming her impending death whilst Muriel helplessly watches the decline of her stoical husband. And linking them all, watching over them all, mother to half the street, is fiery, indomitable Iris.

Mandoa, Mandoa!

Mandoa, Mandoa!

Author: Winifred Holtby Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/08/1982

Mandoa is a small African state. At its head a virgin princess conceives (immaculately) further princesses. The old traditions are undisturbed until the Lord High Chamberlain visits Addis and discovers baths and cocktail shakers, motor cars and telephones. This is 1931.

The Swan In The Evening

The Swan In The Evening

Author: Rosamond Lehmann Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/10/1982

Rosamond Lehmann, one of the most distinguished British writers of this century, published eight acclaimed works of fiction. Her only autobiographical work, The Swan in the Evening, recreated first the child she was and the experiences that made her the woman she became, moving on to tell the story of her beloved daughter Sally and the tragedy of her early death at the age of twenty-four. Then, tentatively and persuasively, Rosamond Lehmann relates the totally unexpected, overwhelming and scrupulously recorded psychic and mystical experiences she underwent following that terrible loss. The meaning of such events, their messages of hope and comfort to others she then, through a letter to her grandaughter, passes to us.

The Passion Of New Eve

The Passion Of New Eve

Author: Angela Carter Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/12/1982

I know nothing. I am a tabula rasa, a blank sheet of paper, an unhatched egg. I have not yet become a woman, although I possess a woman's shape. Not a woman, no: both more and less than a real woman. Now I am a being as mythic and monstrous as Mother herself . . . ' New York has become the City of Dreadful Night where dissolute Leilah performs a dance of chaos for Evelyn. But this young Englishman's fate lies in the arid desert, where a many-breasted fertility goddess will wield her scalpel to transform him into the new Eve.

Nothing Sacred

Nothing Sacred

Author: Angela Carter Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/12/1982

In the pursuit of magnificence, nothing is sacred,' says Angela Carter, and magnificence is indeed her own achievement. One of the most acclaimed novelists of her generation, her work as a journalist and critic was no less original. Long autobiographical pieces on her life in South Yorkshire and South London are followed by highly individual inspections of 'abroad'. Some of her most brilliant writing is devoted to Japan - exotically and erotically described here - so perfectly suited to the Carter pen. Domestically, Angela Carter used her mordant wit and accurate eye to inspect England and Englishness as it manifested itself throughout the land. Then she turns to her own craft, and her extraordinarily wide-ranging book reviews are masterpieces.

The Young Rebecca

The Young Rebecca

Author: Rebecca West Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/01/1983

In 1916, when Rebecca West was not yet twenty-five years old, George Bernard Shaw wrote: 'Rebecca can handle a pen as brilliantly as ever I could and much more savagely.' These early writings, collected ehre for the first time, established Rebecca West's reputation as a brilliant journalist and a dedicated yet undogmatic feminist and socialist. From the age of nineteen, writing articles for The Freewoman, and later the Clarion, she displayed her characteristic fierce intelligence, her passion and her biting wit in articles on women's suffrage, imperialism, the Labour Party, and trade unionism as well as literature, religion, domesticity, men and crime. Whether reviewing the latest novel by H.G. Wells ('the sex obsession that lay clotted on Ann Veronica... like cold white sauce'), describing police brutality against suffragettes ('An Orgy of Disorder and Cruelty'), or arguing for better conditions for working women ('Women ought to understand that in submitting themselves to this swindle of underpayment, they are not only insulting themselves, but doing a deadly injury to the community'), she demonstrated again and again a characteristic fearlessness and a formidable grasp of events. Including a short story, 'Indissoluble Matrimony', which appeared in the historic first issue of Blast, and a biographical essay of great psychological penetration on the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, this exhilerating collection introduces the early work of one of the most distinguished writers of our time and provides a portrait of a fascinating and turbulent period of British political and literary history.

The Tortoise And The Hare

The Tortoise And The Hare

Author: Elizabeth Jenkins, Hilary Mantel Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/02/1983

'A subtle and beautiful book . . . Very few authors combine her acute psychological insight with her grace and style. There is plenty of life in the modern novel, plenty of authors who will shock and amaze you - but who will put on the page a beautiful sentence, a sentence you will want to read twice?' HILARY MANTEL, Sunday Times In affairs of the heart the race is not necessarily won by the swift or the fair. Imogen, the beautiful and much younger wife of distinguished barrister Evelyn Gresham, is facing the greatest challenge of her married life. Their neighbour Blanche Silcox, competent, middle-aged and ungainly - the very opposite of Imogen - seems to be vying for Evelyn's attention. And to Imogen's increasing disbelief, she may be succeeding. 'The perfection of its tone and prose is matched by an anguished wit' AMANDA CRAIG, Guardian

A Model Childhood

A Model Childhood

Author: Christa Wolf Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/02/1983

This novel is a testament of what seemed at the time a fairly ordinary childhood, in the bosom of a normal Nazi family in Landsberg. Other work by the author includes The Quest for Christa and No Place on Earth .

The Reef

The Reef

Author: Edith Wharton, Marilyn French Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/1983

Anna Leath is a young widow, an American living in France. Behind her lies an arid marriage and a life deeply influenced by the rigid code of Old New York. Ahead lies new hope: a chance encounter in London with George Darrow, the first love of her youth, has left her awakened, disturbed. Anna returns to her beautiful country chateau to await her future: between two short distances can anything happen to disrupt such promise? But the charming Sophie Viner, governess to Anna's young daughter, holds the key to a secret which comes to reveal that Anna's future - and the very foundation of her life - is fragile where it appears most strong.

Up The Country

Up The Country

Author: Emily Eden, Elizabeth Claridge Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/07/1983

Emily Eden was born in 1797 into the charmed inner circle of the English upper class who conducted the country's political life. In 1836 this prominent member of Whig society joined her brother George in India where he was Governor-General. She stayed there for six years, during which time she embarked on a two-year-long tour of the country. With an unfailing eye for the eccentric and picturesque, Emily Eden describes in her delightful letters the extraordinary experiences encountered in life on the road in early eighteenth-century India.

Me Again

Me Again

Author: Stevie Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/11/1983

Stevie Smith (1902-1971) is most famous as a poet and for her three extraordinary novels. But, throughout her life, stories, essays, reviews, a radio play, poems and drawings poured from her witty and magnificent pen and this volume is this first to collect them. She had a unique eye for what is wonderful in the ordinary, and her perceptions about friendship, love and the complexities of life have rarely been equalled. Dominating these writings is her unforgettable humour and wit, quintessentially English yet absolutely universal. ME AGAIN illuminates and confirms the splendid and varied qualities which constitute the genius of Stevie Smith.

The Thinking Reed

The Thinking Reed

Author: Rebecca West, Victoria Glendinning Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/05/1984

Isabelle is beautiful, immensely rich and a widow at the age of twenty-six. In 1928 she leaves America for Cannes and Paris in search of high society - and love. For though outwardly she has everything women dream of, inside she craves the peace of a lasting marriage. To find the kind of love she needs Isabelle must choose between three men: her violent, fascinating lover, the aristocrat Andre de Verviers; a reserved plantation owner from the Deep South, Laurence Vernon; and the eccentric millionaire Marc Sellafranque... First published in 1936, this is Rebecca West's most popular work of fiction: at once a masterful portrayal of the brilliance and decadence of high society in the 1920s, and a poignant and compassionate portrait of one woman's life and loves.

West With The Night

West With The Night

Author: Beryl Markham Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/09/1984

WEST WITH THE NIGHT appeared on 13 bestseller lists on first publication in 1942. It tells the spellbinding story of Beryl Markham -- aviator, racehorse trainer, fascinating beauty -and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and 30s. Markham was taken to Kenya at the age of four. As an adult she was befriended by Denys Finch-Hatton, the big-game hunter of OUT OF AFRICA fame, who took her flying in his airplane. Thrilled by the experience, Markham went on to become the first woman in Kenya to receive a commercial pilot's license. In 1936 she determined to fly solo across the Atlantic -- without stopping. When Charles Lindbergh did the same, he had the wind behind him. Markham, by contrast, had a strong headwind against her and a plane that only flew up to 163 mph. On 4 September, she took off ... Several days later, she crash-landed in Nova Scotia and became an instant celebrity.

The Optimist's Daughter

The Optimist's Daughter

Author: Eudora Welty, Helen Mcneil Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/10/1984

The people of Mount Salus, Mississippi always felt good about Judge McKelva. He was a quiet, solid reassuring figure, just as a judge should be. Then, ten years after his first wife's death, he marries the frivolous young Wanda Fay. No-one can understand his action, not least his beloved daughter, Laurel, who finds it hard to accept the new bride. It is only some years later, when circumstance brings her back to her childhood home, that Laurel stirs old memories and comes to understand the peculiarities of her upbringing, and the true relationship between her parents and herself. The Optimist's Daughter is a reflective, poignant novel of independence and love, for which Eudora Welty, one of America's gretest contemporary Southern writers, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

The Diary Of A Provincial Lady

The Diary Of A Provincial Lady

Author: E. M. Delafield, Jilly Cooper Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/11/1984

Behind this rather prim title lies the hilarious fictional diary of a disaster-prone lady of the 1930s, and her attempts to keep her somewhat ramshackle household from falling into chaos: there's her husband Robert, who, when he's not snoozing behind The Times, does everything with grumbling recluctance; her gleefully troublesome children; and a succession of tricky sevants who invariably seem to gain the upper hand. And if her domestic trials are not enough, she must keep up appearances. Particularly with the maddeningly patronising Lady Boxe, whom our Provincial Lady eternally (and unsuccessfully) tries to compete with.

One Fine Day

One Fine Day

Author: Mollie Panter-Downes Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/11/1985

It is a summer's day in 1946. The English village of Wealding is no longer troubled by distant sirens, yet the rustling coils of barbed wire are a reminder that something, some quality of life, has evaporated. Together again after years of separation, Laura and Stephen Marshall and their daughter Victoria are forced to manage without 'those anonymous caps and aprons who lived out of sight and pulled the strings'. Their rambling garden refuses to be tamed, the house seems perceptibly to crumble. But alone on a hillside, as evening falls, Laura comes to see what it would have meant if the war had been lost, and looks to the future with a new hope and optimism. First published in 1947, this subtle, finely wrought novel presents a memorable portrait of the aftermath of war, its effect upon a marriage, charting, too, a gradual but significant change in the nature of English middle-class life.

Lucy Gayheart

Lucy Gayheart

Author: A.S. Byatt, Willa Cather Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/12/1985

It is 1901, and Lucy Gayheart with her 'singular brightness of young beauty', is studying music in the magical smoky city of Chicago. She is courted by handsome Harry Gordon, the most eligible bachelor in Haverford, the Midwestern town she comes from. But Lucy falls in love with middle-aged Sebastien, a famous singer, whose talents and tenderness change her life forever. First published in 1935, this novel of 'achieved simplicity' displays the depth of Willa Cather's sympathy, both for the world of high art and for the reticent decencies of small town life.

No Signposts In The Sea

No Signposts In The Sea

Author: Vita Sackville-West Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/12/1985

Edmund Carr is at sea in more ways than one. An eminent journalist and self-made man, he has recently discovered that he has only a short time to live. Leaving his job on a Fleet Street paper, he takes a passage on a cruise ship where he knows that Laura, a beautiful and intelligent widow whom he secretly admires, will be a fellow passenger. Exhilarated by the distant vista of exotic islands never to be visited and his conversations with Laura, Edmund finds himself rethinking all his values. A voyage on many levels, those long purposeless days at sea find Edumnd relinquishing the past as he discovers the joys and the pain of a love he is simultaneously determined to conceal.

Liza's England

Liza's England

Author: Pat Barker Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/09/1986

Dauntless Liza Jarrett, born at the dawn of the twentieth century, is now in her eighties, frail and facing eviction with her cantankerous parrot Nelson, when she is visited by Stephen, a young gay social worker. As she learns to trust him, she recalls her life - her embittered, exhausted mother, her shell-shocked spiritualist husband, her beloved son and chaotic daugter. Their friendship, deepening with the unfolding of their stories, comes to sustain Liza through her last battle and brings new courage to Stephen.

The Birds Fall Down

The Birds Fall Down

Author: Rebecca West, Victoria Glendinning Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/11/1986

One afternoon, in an early summer of this century, eighteen-year-old Laura Rowan sits on the garden steps of her house embroidering a handkerchief. She overhears a conversation between her father, an English Member of Parliament, and her mother, Tania, the daughter of an exiled Russian royalist. Tania's decision to take Laura to Paris to visit her grandfather, Count Nikilai Diakonov, means that Laura will unwittingly become a witness to the momentous events leading up to the Russian Revolution...Through a vivid canvas layered with intrigue, conspiracy and murder, Rebecca West has created a story that is at once a family saga, a political thriller, a philosophical drama and an historical novel.

The Third Miss Symons

The Third Miss Symons

Author: F.M. Mayor, Susan Hill Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/08/1987

The story of Henrietta Symons from her birth to her death, and the most perfect account in English fiction of those women who, through the ages, have neither married nor loved, the spinster, the maiden aunt, the surplus woman. Henrietta is the third daughter in a large Victorian family, the misfit girl without the beauty or the talent to be loved. Querulous, bad-tempered, her meaningless life passes aimlessly by. But Henrietta has one saving grace. She knows herself for what she is, and self-knowledge, however bitter, turns her life of defeat into a certain kind of victory.

The Rector's Daughter

The Rector's Daughter

Author: F.M. Mayor Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/08/1987

Dedmayne Rectory is quietly decaying, its striped chintz and darkened rooms are a bastion of outmoded Victorian values. Here Mary has spent thirty-five years, devoting herself to her sister, now dead, and to her father, Canon Jocelyn. Although she is pitied by her neighbours for this muted existence, Mary is content. But when she meets Robert Herbert, Mary's ease is destroyed and years of suppressed emotion surface through her desire for him. First published in 1924 this novel is an impressive exploration of Mary's relationship with her father, of her need for Robert and the way in which, through each, she comes to a clearer understanding of love.

The Strange Necessity

The Strange Necessity

Author: Rebecca West Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/11/1987

'The Strange Necessity',one of the twelve essays collected here and first published in 1928, anchors West's quest to understand why art matters and how aesthetics of every caliber can not only inspire but reveal the author's inner world. Whether juxtaposing Ulysses's prose with Pavlov's research, or comparing Sinclair Lewis with actress and pianist Yvonne Printemps, West finds that a satisfying emotion overrides an artistic work's form. Her intricately crafted essays reveal her experience in the literary circles of the twenties and thirties and the important role this question played in her own writing. West's keenly observed criticism offers invaluable insight not only into her work but into her impressions of early twentieth century literature.

This Real Night

This Real Night

Author: Rebecca West Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/12/1987

Acknowledged as Rebecca West's fictional masterpiece, The Fountain Overflows introduces the crisis-ridden Aubrey family. This Real Night continues their remarkable story. It is the early 1900s. With the disappearance of Piers, her feckless and gambling husband, and the sale of some valuable paintings, Clare Aubrey has a firmer grip on the purse strings. Rose and Mary are at music college, struggling for artistic perfection, while the self-assured Cordelia has fallen into the role of art dealer's assistant. Richard Quin, beloved younger brother, is contemplating Oxford. The children's coming of age, with its gradual acceptance of love and loss, becomes all the more poignant as the events of the First World War gather pace...

Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt

Author: Molly Keane, M.J. Farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/1988

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.

Cousin Rosamund

Cousin Rosamund

Author: Rebecca West, Victoria Glendinning Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/12/1988

Cousin Rosamund unfolds the final chapters of the saga that began with The Fountain Overflows, Rebecca West's acknowleged masterpiece, and continued with This Real Night. As the glitter of the 1920s gives way to the Depression, Rose and Mary find themselves feted and successful pianists. But their happiness is diminished by their cousin's unfathomable marriage to a man they perceive as grotesque. Lacking her cousin Rosamund's intuitive understanding, Rose looks to the surrogate wisdom of Mr Morpurgo, while quiet days with Aunt Lily and the Darcys at their pub on the Thames offer respite from the tensions of foreign concert tours. With approaching middle age Rose gains in perspective. Yet the most exciting development still awaits her: the discovery of and delight in her own sexuality...

Pilgrimage One

Pilgrimage One

Author: Dorothy Richardson Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/1989

'Pilgrimage' was the first expression in English of what it is to be called 'stream of conciousness' technique, predating the work of both Joyce and Woolf, echoing that of Proust with whom Dorothy Richardson stands as one of the great innovatory figures of our time. These four volumes record in detail the life of Miriam Henderson. Through her experience - personal, spiritual, intellectual - Dorothy Richardson explores intensely what it means to be a woman, presenting feminine conciousness with a new voice, a new identity. One of the real achievements of our time... Miss Richardson has achieved a miracle of performance - Rebecca West

Mrs Miniver

Mrs Miniver

Author: Jan Struther Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/08/1989

Shortly before the Second World War, a column by 'Mrs Miniver' appeared in THE TIMES, the first of many recounting the everyday events of a middle-class Chelsea family: Mrs Miniver's thrill at the sight of October chrysanthemums; her sense of doom when the faithful but rackety car is replaced; the escapades of Vin, Toby and Judy, her unpredictable young children; visits to the Kent cottage and, as war becomes a reality, the strange experience of acquiring gas masks and the cameraderie of those unsettling early days. Mrs Miniver enchanted the public with her sympathy and affectionate humour, capturing ordinary lives and values now darkened by war. First published in book form in 1939 and later an enormously successful film, MRS MINIVER became a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic -- with Churchill exclaiming that it had done more for the Allied cause than a flotilla of battleships.

Willa Cather

Willa Cather

Author: Hermoine Lee Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/10/1989

A masterly biography of one of America's most important 20th-century writers, written by acclaimed biographer Hermione Lee A biography of Willa Cather (1873-1947), who spent years working as a journalist, teacher and editor of a New York magazine whose deepest feelings were directed towards women. Her friendships from Sarah Orne Jewett and Dorothy Canfield to Stephen Tennant and Yehudi Menuhin were important to her yet as she became more famous she withdrew increasingly from the modern world she disliked. Willa Cather's fiction charts new, female versions of epic pioneering heroism and the extraordinary cultural encounters of the New World history. This major reinterpretation of Cather's work explores that American context and those traditions but finds a strange and disconcerting Cather a writer of split identities, sexual conflict, dramatic energies and stoic fatalism. The author has written books on Elizabeth Bowen, Virginia Woolf and Philip Roth and The Short Stories of Willa Cather .

Blow Your House Down

Blow Your House Down

Author: Pat Barker Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/06/1990

A serial killer stalks prostitutes with profound and unexpected consequences in this riveting novel from the Booker Prize-wining author of Ghost Road A city and its people are in the grip of a killer who is roaming the northern city, singling out prostitutes. The face of his latest victim stares out from every newspaper and billboard, haunting the women who walk the streets. But life and work go on. Brenda, with three children, can't afford to give up while Audrey, now in her forties, desperately goes on 'working the cars'. And then, when another woman is savagely murdered, Jean, her lover, takes desperate measures...

Jasmine

Jasmine

Author: Bharati Mukherjee Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/05/1991

When Jasmine Vijh is suddenly widowed at seventeen, she seems fated to a future of quiet isolation in a small Indian village. But, voracious for life, she flees to America. Six years on she has become Jane Ripplemeyer, resident of Iowa, married to a middle-aged banker and adoptive mother of a Vietnamese refugee. Jasmine's odyssey through America, rippling with energy and daring, reflects Mukherjee's preoccupation with the fractured lives of exiles and immigrants caught up in a painful yet exhilarating cross-cultural metamorphosis. In this uncompromising novel that draws on all the strengths of the award-winning The Middleman and Other Stories and carries them to a new level of perception and intensity, Bharati Mukherjee has given us a heroine's 'greedy with wants and reckless with hope' - and leaves us breathless with surprise.

Only Poet And Other Stories

Only Poet And Other Stories

Author: Rebecca West Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/11/1992

A volume of Rebecca West's short fiction. Including the novella The Only Poet , found amongst her papers after her death, this selection comprises unpublished work and published stories gathered from British and American journals and periodicals.

The Dud Avocado

The Dud Avocado

Author: Elaine Dundy Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/02/1997

A young girl in the 1950’s leaves her home of the States and sets off to Paris in search of adventure. Firmly turning he back on all things conventional Sally Jay embarks on adventures and a swift education in growing up. A great coming of age book.   July 2010 Guest Editor Louise Candlish on Elaine Dundy... This has always been my favourite rite-of-passage book. I much prefer Sally Jay Gorce to Holden Caulfield and the others. She is charm itself. No other book makes me want to time-travel so much, to go to Paris in the ’50s and drift about being frivolous and spontaneous and generally intoxicated by the very idea of love.

eBooks of the Month
Christopher And Columbus

Christopher And Columbus

Author: Elizabeth von Arnim Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/1994

As the First World War looms, Anna-Rose and Anna-Felicitas, seventeen-year-old orphan twins, are thrust upon relatives. But Uncle Arthur, a blustering patriot, is a reluctant guardian: the twins are half-German and, who knows, they could be spying from the nursery window... Packed off to America, they meet Mr Twist, a wealthy engineer with a tendency to motherliness, who befriends them on the voyage. However, he has failed to consider the pitfalls of taking such young and beautiful women under his wing, especially two who will continue to require this protection long after the ship has docked, and who are incapable of behaving with tact. Many adventures ensue (and befall them) in this sparklingly witty, romantic novel in which Elizabeth von Armin explores the suspicions cast upon the two Annas and Mr Twist in a country poised for war.

Shadow Dance

Shadow Dance

Author: Angela Carter Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/05/1995

The scar drew her whole face sideways and even in profile, with the hideous thing turned away, her face was horribly lop-sided, skin, features and all, dragged away from the bone. She was a beautiful girl, a white and golden girl, like moonlight on daisies, a month ago.' And yet the men still hover around her, more out of curiosity than lust, and none more so than the wildly seductive, dangerous funny man, Honeybuzzard; lithe as a stick of liquorice, he is the demonic puppet master at the swirling centre of the tale. 'In a modern day horror story gleaming with perfect 1960's detail, she performs a double act, conjuring up just the right amount of unease and perversion beneath the idiosyncratic business of relatively ordinary lives' THE TIMES

In My Own Time

In My Own Time

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/1995

Nina Bawden's career spans 20 adult novels and 17 for children. She turns now to her own story and in simple vignettes takes the reader through her life, revealing the inspirations of many of her books. It describes her childhood evacuation to Suffolk and Wales, and her years at Oxford, where she met Richard Burton and Margaret Thatcher. And, she gives an account of her oldest son, Niki, who was diagnosed schizophrenic.

All Men Are Mortal

All Men Are Mortal

Author: Simone de Beauvoir Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/09/1995

When the beautiful, ambitious actress Regina takes Fosca into her life and learns his amazing truth, she is obsessed with the thought that in his memory her performances will live for ever. But, as he recounts the story of his existence over more than six centuries, as she learns of his involvement in some of the most significant events in history and how human hope and love have withered in him, she finally understands the implications for him and for love. ALL MEN ARE MORTAL was filmed in 1994, starring Irene Jacob, Marianne Sagebrecht and Stephen Rea.

The Transit Of Venus

The Transit Of Venus

Author: Shirley Hazzard Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/10/1995

Caro, gallant and adventurous, is one of two Australian sisters who have come to post-war England to seek their fortunes. Courted long and hopelessly by young scientist, Ted Tice, she is to find that love brings passion, sorrow, betrayal and finally hope. The milder Grace seeks fulfilment in an apparently happy marriage. But as the decades pass and the characters weave in and out of each other's lives, love, death and two slow-burning secrets wait in ambush for them.

Twilight Sleep

Twilight Sleep

Author: Edith Wharton Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/01/1996

A portrait of 1920s New York society. 7.30 Mental uplift. 7.45 Breakfast. 8 Psychoanalysis. 8.15 See cook . And so begins another day in the elegant, langorous world of the Manford family around whom this ironic and amusing study of a family drama revolves.

Three Weeks

Three Weeks

Author: Elinor Glyn, Sally Beauman Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/02/1996

This hugely enjoyable novel, a scandalous success in 1907, is even today, startling for its enthusiastic depiction of female sensuality. One of Virago's trio of turn-of-the-century erotic best-sellers, with E M Hull's The Sheik and Ethel M Dell's The Way of an Eagle, it shows Paul Verdayne, the 'perfect young English animal', fascinated by a mysterious beauty at his Swiss hotel. Surrounded by tuberoses and tigerskins, 'the Lady' teaches him the arts of love, and gives him three weeks of tempestuous passion. Then, weeping, she renounces him and disappears, and amid high drama Paul finally discovers her august and tragic secret...

The Sheik

The Sheik

Author: E. M. Hull Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/02/1996

'He was looking at her with fierce burning eyes that swept her until she felt that the boyish clothes that covered her slender limbs were stripped from her'. The Sheik - to become notorious as Rudolph Valentino's greatest screen role - is an astonishing and touchingly artless expression of female sexual masochism. One of Virago's trio of turn-of-the-century erotic bestsellers - along with Elinor Glyn's Three Weeks and Ethel M. Dell's The Way of an Eagle, its willful heroine, is kidnapped and subjugated by the cruel but strangely compelling Sheik Ahmed who, it emerges, is not all that he seems.

Pirates At Play

Pirates At Play

Author: Violet Trefusis, Lisa St. Aubin De Teran Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/04/1996

Set in the frenetic, fantastical Twenties, this romantic comedy begins as young Elizabeth Caracole (pronounced 'Crackle') is sent by her aristocratic parents to be finished in Florence with the family of a Papal count - and Papal dentist. There are no less than five sons, as well as the beautiful ambitious Vica, who has plans of her own. As does formidable old Principessa Arrivumale - for her nephew, Gian Galeazzo. The arrival of two Elgnlishmen sets in motion and intricate emotional dance which weaves around Italy and England, and includes a vivid and splendid cast of supporting characters.

The Rising Of The Moon

The Rising Of The Moon

Author: Gladys Mitchell Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/11/1996

Every full moon a Ripper runs amok on the streets of Brentford. Masters Simon and Keith Innes set out to catch the killer under the disturbing guidance of the repellently delightful and now immortal sleuth, Mrs Bradley. Full of the very British eccentric goings-on that mark the popular tales of Gladys Mitchell, this shows her at her mordant and morbid best.

Several Perceptions

Several Perceptions

Author: Angela Carter Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/03/1997

Centre stage in Angela Carter's unruly tale of the Flower Power Generation is Joseph - a decadent, disorientated rebel without a cause. A self-styled nihilist whose girlfriend has abandoned him, Joseph has decided to give up existing. But his concerned friends and neighbours have other plans. In an effort to join in the spirit of protest which motivates his contemporaries, Joseph frees a badger from the local zoo; sends a turd airmail to the President of the United States; falls in love with the mother of his best friend; and, accompanied by the strains of an old man's violin, celebrates Christmas Eve in a bewildering state of sexual discovery. But has he found the Meaning of Life?

The Women's Room

The Women's Room

Author: Marilyn French Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/1997

November 2012 Guest Editor Kate Mosse on The Women's Room... The subject of forgotten - or hidden – women’s history is important to me as a writer, especially in Citadel. French’s The Women’s Room is one of those novels that most laid bare the reality of how many women lived – their loves and disappointments, expectations and secret language. A terrific story, a rattling good read, it’s also a reminder of how things that matter in life have – sometimes – both to be fought for and protected. Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.

eBooks of the Month
Winter In The Morning

Winter In The Morning

Author: Janina Bauman Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/11/1997

Janina Beauman was thirteen-years-old when Hitler's decree forced her family into the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw. The young, bright and 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 completely wipe out her passion for books, boys and romance, 'Perhaps we've been wasting the last bits of our lives not even trying to found out what life is?' Then came the raids and Janina, with her sister and mother, had to keep on the move to avoid being one of thousands rounded up every day and deported to the camps. Their escape to the 'Aryan' side was followed by years spent behind hidden doors, where dependence on others was crucial, and all that a growing girl craves, denied. Told through her teenage diaries, this is an extraordinary tale of a passionate young woman's survival and courage.

Roman Fever

Roman Fever

Author: Edith Wharton, Marilyn French Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/01/1998

A collection of beautifully-crafted short stories. They are set in Italy, France and America and are powerful portraits of women who live in 'the world of propriety' at the turn of the century. They tell of the emotions women feel: in love, in jealousy, when they long for children or seek independence - and when their passions lead them to overstep the bounds laid down by exacting conventions. We see too what happens to those strong enough to break the rules but rarely strong enough to live forever beyond the pale of the society that has banished them. First published in America in 1964, Roman Fever contains some of Edith Wharton's finest writing.

The Bay of Noon

The Bay of Noon

Author: Shirley Hazzard Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/07/1998

  Shortlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize.   Set in Italy of the 1960’s Jenny flees to Naples to leave her trouble behind but finds that life's little dramas can affect you wherever you are in the world. Friendships, romance, discovery. A short novel but packed full of emotion and insightfulness.

eBooks of the Month
Ellen Foster

Ellen Foster

Author: Kaye Gibbons Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/08/1998

When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy. I would figure out this or that way and run it down through my head until it got easy'. So begins the tale of Ellen Foster, the brave and engaging heroine of Kaye Gibbons's much acclaimed first novel. The story of an eleven year old orphan, driven to desperation by some of the wickedest relatives in literary history, this is the story of her battle for survival. Wise, funny and affectionate, Walker Percy called it. 'The real thing. Which is to say, a lovely, sometimes heart-wrenching novel . . . {Ellen Foster} is as much a part of the backwoods South as a Faulkner character - and a good deal more endearing'.

Expensive People

Expensive People

Author: Joyce Oates, Elaine Showalter Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/09/1998

Expensive, affluent, yes - but morally bankrupt - this is the suburbanite society from which Joyce Carol Oates carves out an electrifying novel of Gothic suspense. EXPENSIVE PEOPLE is the journal of Richard Elwood, an eighteen-year-old looking back with disaffection at his childhood in a succession of wealthy suburbs. He buys a rifle by mail-order ('German Sniper Rifle used by Mad Fanatic SS Men - Limited Number!') and roams the neighbourhood at night with it...The suspense is electrifying, the writing lethal. The first sentence is guaranteed to rivet your eyes to the page: 'I was a child murderer,' begins Richard. Now read on.

On The Occasion Of My Last Afternoon

On The Occasion Of My Last Afternoon

Author: Kaye Gibbons Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/05/1999

Like America in the mid-nineteenth century, Emma Garnet Tate Lowell is at war with herself. Born to privilege on a grand plantation she grows up more and more aware that her family's prosperity is inextricably linked to the institution of slavery. As she looks back on her troubled childhood, her attempt to create the ideal happy home through marriage, and the war that destroyed the rhythm of all their days, so she begins the long journey towards her own reconstruction.

Kinflicks

Kinflicks

Author: Lisa Alther Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/05/1999

Meet Ginny Babcock - the forerunner to BRIDGET JONES It's the 1950's and 60's in Hullsport, Tennessee and Ginny Babcock is coming of age. Bouncing from one identity to the other, she adopts the values, politics, lifestyles and even sexual orientation of each new partner she finds. In this wise, funny and ultimately heartbreaking story, Lisa Alther explores the limited roles offered to women in this period - from cheerleader to motorcycle moll, bulldyke to madonna - each embodying important truths about the aspirations of the culture that created them. Honest, wise, funny and tragic by turns this is a remarkable novel in a class of its own.

Remember, Remember!

Remember, Remember!

Author: Winifred Holtby Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/08/1999

This selection of Winifred Holtby's short stories is drawn from her two published volumes, TRUTH IS NOT SOBER and PAVEMENTS OF ANDERBY, which were published posthumously by her two friends, Vera Brittain and Hilda Reid and have been collected here in one volume for the first time. Brightly written, in an unselfconscious, matter-of-fact style, these stories are irreverent and entertaining, fulfilling what she saw as the short story's purpose in a reader's life: 'nice for chance guests - easy to pick up and more tantalising for one's bedside than a novel'. Many of these stories are autobiographically based, and feature the Yorkshire farming community in Rudston where she was brought up. This was the setting for her most famous novel, SOUTH RIDING, also published posthumously. Some of the stories relate to the last years of her life when she was contending with the incessant headaches and nausea of Bright's disease.

Man Crazy

Man Crazy

Author: Joyce Oates Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/08/1999

An intense roller-coaster ride into the abyss, MAN CRAZY charts the fall and rise of teenager Ingrid Boone, abandoned by her father, moving from town to town, taking what she can get and always giving too much in return. This is a novel about the horrors waiting at the end of the road for the innocent, but in the end it is about one girl's realisation that men don't make you more real, that pain isn't an integral part of normal life.

Love Of Worker Bees And A Great Love

Love Of Worker Bees And A Great Love

Author: A.M. Kollontai Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/08/1999

Love of Worker Bees, written by one of the most famous and gifted Russian women of our century, was greeted on publication in 1923 as sexually too explicit. The book collects three works of fiction, 'Vasilisa Malygina', 'Three Generations' and 'Sisters', and offers a graphic and rare portrayal of Russian life in the 1920s. the three stories unfold against a backcloth of the 'ordinary' Russian people of the time - the Party workers, entrepreneurs, prostitutes, manipulators, idealists. A Great Love is remarkable for its frank exploration of sexual feeling. These moving love stories depict loneliness, vulnerability, the power of the sexual appetite to distort judgement - the tragic element in love itself. In A Great Love, we follow the course of Natasha's love affair with the married Senya, and her disillusioning search for friendship and equality as well as passion for the man she loves. The story is now known to be based on Lenin's love affair with the beautiful and talented Inessa Armand.

A Woman Of Independent Means

A Woman Of Independent Means

Author: Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/03/2000

At the turn of the century, a time when women had few choices, Bess Steed Garner inherits a legacy - not only of wealth but of determination and desire, making her truly a woman of independent means. From the early 1900s through the 1960s, we accompany Bess as she endures life's trials and triumphs with unfailing courage and indomitable spirit: the sacrifices love sometimes requires of the heart, the flaws and rewards of marriage, the often-tested bond between mother and child, and the will to defy a society that demands conformity. Told in letters we follow the remarkable life of Bess Steed Garner from her childhood in 1899 to her death in 1977.

Love Lessons

Love Lessons

Author: Joan Wyndham Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/11/2001

On my way to the studio there was an air-raid. I ran into the brick shelter in the middle of the road. There were poor little Leonard and Agnes sitting on their suitcases, having lost their all. Luckily Leonard had been wearing his best trousers at the time. Madame Arcana was there too wearing a gold brocade toque and a blanket. It was bloody cold and I wanted to pee badly, but couldn't. Leonard wouldn't give me his seat as he believes in the equality of the sexes, so I sat on the floor...' August 1939. As a teenage Catholic virgin, Joan Wyndham spent her days trying to remain pure and unsullied and her nights trying to stay alive. Huddled in the air-raid shelter, she wrote secretly and obsessively about the strange yet exhilarating times she was living through, sure that this was ' the happiest time of my life'.

Provincial Daughter

Provincial Daughter

Author: R.M. Dashwood Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/05/2002

Tuesday, 23rd 'Late nights do not suit me. Try to think I look interestingly haggard but have to admit that Unkempt Blowsiness is fitter description' Way before that city slicker, Bridget Jones, there was the Provincial Daughter -- an intelligent woman juggling too little money with too many kids in rural obscurity. In between taking deliveries of coal and attending ghastly provincial parties, our heroine makes tentative forays into the bright lights of London, seeking literary fame and fortune.

84 Charing Cross Road

84 Charing Cross Road

Author: Helene Hanff, Juliet Stevenson Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/10/2002

This book is the very simple story of the love affair between Miss Helene Hanff of New York and Messrs Marks and Co, sellers of rare and secondhand books, at 84 Charing Cross Road, London'. DAILY TELEGRAPH Told in a series of letters in 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD and then in diary form in the second part THE DUCHESS OF BLOOMSBURY STREET, this true story has touched the hearts of thousands.

The Good Husband

The Good Husband

Author: Gail Godwin Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/12/2002

Mates are not always matches, and matches are not always mates,' pronounces Magda Danvers. Years ago, dazzling, domineering Magda swept the shy, virginal Francis into one of the most extraordinary marriages imaginable. Now, as she lies dying, Francis's role as the Good Husband is put to the most extreme test. Moving from the Deep South to Eastern Europe and the cathedral towns of England, this is a rich and rewarding novel with the scope and all the moral force of George Eliot.

Rebecca

Rebecca

Author: Daphne du Maurier Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/01/2003

A 2012 World Book Night selection.“ Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…”  is probably one of the most famous first lines from a novel and captures the readers interest immediately. What is Manderley? Why is our narrator dreaming about it? The story is relayed to us by the second Mrs de Winter who is not even given a name throughout the novel, as if to emphasise how insignificant she is compared to her predecessor, Rebecca. This book is haunting, chilling and packed full of intrigue. Who was Rebecca, why did people love her so much, was she good or evil? The narrator is constantly searching for answers to questions that no-one seems to want to answer but the truth that has been hidden for years is about to be revealed. A true classic. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.

eBooks of the Month
My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel

Author: Daphne du Maurier Format: Paperback (b Format) Release Date: 01/05/2003

This is du Maurier’s tenth novel and only the second where she had a male narrator. Philip Ashley is young and inexperienced in the ways of the world and this is the perspective taken on the story as it unfolds. Due to his naivety, and jealousy, he possibly misjusdges Rachel but the great thing about this book is that questions are left open on the tragic events that take place. The reader must decide for themselves quite who to believe. Set in one of Daphne’s favourite places in Cornwall, Manabilly, her descriptions of landscape are enthralling as is her powerful story telling.

eBooks of the Month
Frenchman's Creek

Frenchman's Creek

Author: Daphne du Maurier Format: Paperback (b Format) Release Date: 01/05/2003

Daphne du Maurier herself describes this as the only “romantic” novel she wrote. It does have a lighter story line perhaps than some of her other work but it is still a terrific swashbuckling story and does cover important themes such as the freedom and independence men had while women were constrained by responsibilities and how society felt they should behave. Dona St Columb is a feisty heroine who grabs some excitement and independence while she can, knowing only too well that this can only be shortlived.   September 2009 Guest Editor Emily Barr on Frenchman's Creek by DAPHNE DU MAURIER Women escaping from their day to day lives is a theme to which I find myself returning again and again. This novel is the ultimate such story, a wildly exciting and utterly engrossing adventure. Since I moved to Cornwall I have been reading Du Maurier again, and concluding that she is not sufficiently appreciated as a fabulous, literary, exciting writer.

eBooks of the Month
The House On The Strand

The House On The Strand

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Celia Brayfield Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2003

FROM THE BESTSELLING WRITER OF REBECCA The House on the Strand is prime du Maurier. . . . She holds her characters close to reality; the past she creates is valid, and her skill in finessing the time shifts is enough to make one want to try a little of the brew himself - New York Times When Dick Young's friend, Professor Magnus Lane, offers him an escape from his troubles in the form of a new drug, Dick finds himself transported to fourteenth-century Cornwall. There, in the manor of Tywardreath, the domain of Sir Henry Champerhoune, he witnesses intrigue, adultery and murder. The more time Dick spends consumed in the past, the more he withdraws from the modern world. With each dose of the drug, his body and mind become addicted to this otherworld, and his attempts to change history bring terror to the present and put his own life in jeopardy.

Submerged

Submerged

Author: A.L. Barker Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/06/2003

A.L. Barker dissects the unnerving emotions of everyday life with the sly humour and exquisite feel for language that prompted Auberon Waugh to declare that she 'writes like an angel and I love her'. In this, her tenth collection of stories, she unfolds tales of cunning, fancy, and shifting alliances. Here a young boy fosters grand illusions; a wife faces broken promises; a dutiful committee woman meets a sparky old gentleman; a witch is drowned; an intruder insinuates himself into a lonely woman's holiday; and commonplace superstition mingles effortlessly with submerged desire.

Paris Was Yesterday

Paris Was Yesterday

Author: Janet Flanner Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/12/2003

In 1925 Janet Flanner began writing a fortnightly 'Letter from Paris' for the nascent New Yorker. Her brief: to tell New Yorkers, under her pen name of 'Genet', what the French thought was going on in France, not what she thought. Paris Was Yesterday is a collection of those letters written in the '20s and '30s, surely one of the most fascinating periods in the city's history, and it reads like an Arts Who's Who. Flanner saw it all and knew everyone (or at least all about them), and there are tidbits galore about the likes of James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Isadora Duncan, Diaghilev, Gertrude Stein, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Picasso, Marlena Dietrich... It's witty, catty, literary and unashamedly gossipy, a lively portrait of the thriving cultural life in Paris between the wars. In the brilliantly entertaining style she made her own, Flanner mixed high and low culture to devastating effect. ' Cafe Society described from the best table in the place, by a writer with rare & vivid gifts. Make yourself comfortable -- & order up a dry martini' Robert Lacey

All Of Us There

All Of Us There

Author: Polly Devlin, Emma Donoghue Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/12/2003

Polly Devlin grew up in County Tyrone, on the shores of Lough Neagh, in the fifties -- but it might as well have been another time and place altogether. In this memoir she describes in witty, spontaneous and idiosyncratic prose her life as one of seven siblings in a Catholic family in Northern Ireland. 'A brooding, evocative study of Irish childhood, of the strong bonds of love and jealousy that sisters especially feel, the guilt-ridden pressures of religion, the magical countryside, the eccentric villagers. A hauntingly lovely work ... beautifully written with poetic intensity which seems to encapsulate the Irish character with all its wit and bitterness and gift for words' HOMES AND GARDENS

Julius

Julius

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Julie Myerson Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/03/2004

'His first instinct was to stretch out his hands to the sky. The white clouds seemed so near to him, surely they were easy to hold and to caress, strange-moving things belonging to the wide blue space of heaven . . . ' Julius Levy grows up in a peasant family in a village on the banks of the Seine. A quick-witted urchin caught up in the Franco-Prussian War, he is soon forced by tragedy to escape to Algeria. Once there, he learns the ease of swindling, the rewards of love affairs and the value of secrecy. Before he's twenty, he is in London, where his empire-building begins in earnest, and he becomes a rich and very ruthless man. Throughout his life, Julius is driven by a hunger for power, his one weakness his daughter, Gabriel . . . A chilling story of ambition, Daphne du Maurier's third novel has lost none of its ability to unsettle and disturb.

Rule Britannia

Rule Britannia

Author: Daphne Du Maurier Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/03/2004

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA In this prescient novel, Daphne du Maurier explores the implications of leaving Europe for a political, economic and military alliance with the United States. 'It is rather awful, Emma thought as she walked across the fields down to the farm, how this business is leading us all into subterfuge and deception, and we can't really tell who is friend and who is enemy . . . ' Emma wakes up one morning to an apocalyptic world. The cosy existence she shares with her grandmother, a famous retired actress, has been shattered: there's no telephone, no radio - and an American warship sits in the harbour. England has withdrawn from the European Common Market and, on the brink of bankruptcy, has decided that salvation lies in a union - political, military and economic - with the United States. Theoretically it is to be an equal partnership, but it soon begins to look like a takeover bid. As the two women piece together clues about the 'friendly' military occupation on their doorstep, family, friends and neighbours come together to resist the interlopers. The spirit of Britannia embodied - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

The Loving Spirit

The Loving Spirit

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Michele Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/03/2004

Daphne du Maurier's lushly written novel . . . is a rapturous celebration of the beauties of the Cornish landscape - Michele Roberts ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cornwall, 1900s. Plyn Boat Yard is a hive of activity, and Janet Coombe longs to share in the excitement of seafaring: to travel, to have adventures, to know freedom. But constrained by the times, instead she marries her cousin Thomas, a boat builder, and settles down to raise a family. Janet's loving spirit - the passionate yearning for adventure and for love - is passed down to her son, and through him to his children's children. As generations of the family struggle against hardship and loss, their intricately plotted history is set against the greater backdrop of war and social change in Britain. Her debut novel, The Loving Spirit established du Maurier's reputation and style with an inimitable blend of romance, history and adventure.

Mary Anne

Mary Anne

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Lisa Hilton Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2004

In Regency London, the only way for a woman to succeed is to beat men at their own game. So when Mary Anne Clarke seeks an escape from her squalid surroundings in Bowling Inn Alley, she ventures first into the scurrilous world of the pamphleteers. Her personal charms are such, however, that before long she comes to the notice of the Duke of York. With her taste for luxury and power, Mary Anne, now a royal mistress, must aim higher. Her lofty connections allow her to establish a thriving trade in military commissions, provoking a scandal that rocks the government - and brings personal disgrace. A vivid portrait of overweening ambition, MARY ANNE is set during the Napoleonic Wars and based on du Maurier's own great-great-grandmother.

The Scapegoat

The Scapegoat

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Lisa Appignanesi Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2004

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA 'What a magnificent thriller this is' NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW 'Someone jolted my elbow as I drank and said, Je vous demande pardon, and as I moved to give him space he turned and stared at me and I at him, and I realised, with a strange sense of shock and fear and nausea all combined, that his face and voice were known to me too well. I was looking at myself.' By chance, two men - one English, the other French - meet in a provincial railway station. Their resemblance is uncanny, and they spend the next few hours talking and drinking - until at last John, the Englishman, falls into a drunken stupor. It's to be his last carefree moment, for when he wakes, his French companion has stolen his identity and disappeared. So John steps into the Frenchman's shoes, and faces a variety of perplexing roles - as owner of a chateau, director of a failing business, head of a fractious family, and master of nothing... A good original novel, well tinged with nightmare - Times Literary Supplement

Myself When Young

Myself When Young

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Helen Taylor Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2004

Both her novels and her non-fiction reveal Daphne du Maurier's overwhelming desire to explore her family's history. In Myself When Young, based on diaries that she kept from 1920-1932, the most famous du Maurier probes her own past, beginning with her earliest memories and encompassing the publication of her first book and her subsequent marriage. Here, the writer is open and sometimes painfully honest about the difficult relationship with her father; her education in Paris; early love affairs; her antipathy towards London life and the theatre; her intense love for Cornwall and her desperate ambition to succeed as a writer. The resulting portrait is of a captivating and complex character. A delightful book, full of amusing and charming stories, pinpointing the literary influences and the first stirrings of books to be written in later years, and with a happy and romantic ending - THE TIMES

The Eye Of Love

The Eye Of Love

Author: Margery Sharp Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/05/2004

They met at the Chelsea Arts Ball: he went as a paper parcel, and she as a Spanish dancer. Harry Gibson and Miss Diver fell deeply in love... But when Mr Gibson decides he'll have to marry the hopelessly unprepossessing daughter of his colleague in order to save his ailing business, Miss Diver is cut off without a penny. She's forced in turn to take in a lodger, Mr Philips, who mistakenly takes Miss Diver for a much richer woman than she is... Watching over them all is Miss Diver's niece Martha, a clumpy, unappealing child of a certain artistic genius.

The Birds And Other Stories

The Birds And Other Stories

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, David Thompson Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/05/2004

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA 'How long he fought with them in the darkness he could not tell, but at last the beating of the wings about him lessened and then withdrew . . . ' A classic of alienation and horror, 'The Birds' was immortalised by Hitchcock in his celebrated film. The five other chilling stories in this collection echo a sense of dislocation and mock man's sense of dominance over the natural world. The mountain paradise of 'Monte Verita' promises immortality, but at a terrible price; a neglected wife haunts her husband in the form of an apple tree; a professional photographer steps out from behind the camera and into his subject's life; a date with a cinema usherette leads to a walk in the cemetery; and a jealous father finds a remedy when three's a crowd . . .

Gerald: A Portrait

Gerald: A Portrait

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Margaret Forster Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/05/2004

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA Sir Gerald du Maurier was the most celebrated actor-manager of his day, knighted for his services to the theatre in 1922, and the father to one of the most enduring writers of the twentieth century. Published within six months of her father's death, this frank biography was considered shocking by many of his admirers - but it was a huge success, winning Daphne du Maurier critical acclaim and launching her career. In Gerald: A Portrait, Daphne du Maurier captures the spirit and charm of the charismatic actor who played the original Captain Hook, amusingly recalling his eccentricities and his sense of humour, and sensitively portraying the darker side of his nature and his bouts of depression. A remarkable book . . . brilliant comic writing - The Times

The King's General

The King's General

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Justine Picardy Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/05/2004

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA Set in the seventeenth century, The King's General tells the story of a country and a family riven by civil war, and features one of fiction's most original heroines. Honor Harris is only eighteen when she first meets Richard Grenvile, proud, reckless - and utterly captivating. But following a riding accident, Honor must reconcile herself to a life alone. As Richard rises through the ranks of the army, marries and makes enemies, Honor remains true to him, and finally discovers the secret of Menabilly...

The Du Mauriers

The Du Mauriers

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Michael Holroyd Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/06/2004

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA When Daphne du Maurier wrote this book she was only thirty years old and had already established herself both as a biographer, with the acclaimed Gerald: A Portrait, and as a novelist. Here, she further explores her fascinating family history. The Du Mauriers was written during a vintage period of her career, between two of her best-loved novels: Jamaica Inn and Rebecca. Her aim was to write her family biography 'so that it reads like a novel' and it was due to du Maurier's remarkable imaginative gifts that she was able to breathe life into the characters and depict with affection and wit the relatives she never knew, including her grandfather, the famous Victorian artist and Punch cartoonist - and creator of Trilby. 'Miss du Maurier creates on the grand scale; she runs through the generations, giving her family unity and reality . . . a rich vein of humour and satire . . . observation, sympathy, courage, a sense of the romantic, are here' Observer

The Glass-Blowers

The Glass-Blowers

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Michelle de Kretser Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/06/2004

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA 'Perhaps we shall not see each other again. I will write to you, though, and tell you, as best I can, the story of your family. A glass-blower, remember, breathes life into a vessel, giving it shape and form and sometimes beauty; but he can with that same breath, shatter and destroy it' Faithful to her word, Sophie Duval reveals to her long-lost nephew the tragic story of a family of master craftsmen in eighteenth-century France. The world of the glass-blowers has its own traditions, it's own language - and its own rules. 'If you marry into glass' Pierre Labbe warns his daughter, 'you will say goodbye to everything familiar, and enter a closed world'. But crashing into this world comes the violence and terror of the French Revolution against which, the family struggles to survive. The Glass Blowers is a remarkable achievement - an imaginative and exciting reworking of du Maurier's own family history.

Ordinary Families

Ordinary Families

Author: E. Arnot Robertson Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2004

'I was running on happily because it was so good to be able to watch him under cover of my own talk, knowing exactly now what I wanted of him - mind, body, everything' Lallie is one of four children of the eccentric, quintessentially English Rush family. Boating, bird watching and inter-family rivalry are the focus of life in their village - Pin Mill, on the Suffolk marshes. Brought up on fair play and the 'family sense of humour' the Rush children soon learn to fend for themselves - on water and on dry land. We watch as Lallie grows to adulthood; loving and hating her 'ordinary' family, carving a space for herself in the shadow of her beautiful sister Margaret, who claims the lion's share of everything. But Lallie is special too, clear, clear-sighted, sexually aware. Just as well, for to keep the man she loves she faces the biggest family fight of all...

No More Than Human

No More Than Human

Author: Maura Laverty Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2004

Delia spends her early years living in the village of Ballyderring on the edge of the Bog of Allen, her life enriched by the beauty of the Irish countryside. Then one cold November day, Delia stands poised for independance and Spain.

Miss Marjoribanks

Miss Marjoribanks

Author: Margaret Oliphant Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2004

From the moment of her mother's death, Lucilla Marjoriebanks knows her vocation - a conviction based on the influence of morally uplifting novels and the 'sublime confidence in herself is the first necessity to a woman on a mission'. The usurping of Dr. Marjoriebanks as master of his own table and the assuaging of Nancy, his formidable housekeeper, are but small steps in Lucilla's scheme, for she intends nothing less than the transformation of Carlingford society. Lucilla's 'evenings' become the talk fo this quiet country town: not only are they an essential source of gossip and entertainment for old friends and neighbours of Grange Lane, but they are also the setting for some of Lucilla's most startling accomplishments. For it is on these occasions, under the watchful eye and guidance of this magnificent young woman, that reputations are made and lost and romances are pursued and undone . . .

Two Days In Aragon

Two Days In Aragon

Author: Molly Keane Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2004

Grania and Sylvia Fox live in the Georgian house of Aragon, with their mother, their Aunt Pidgie and Nan O'Neill, the family nurse. Grania is conducting a secret affair with Nan's son, Foley, a wily horse-breeder, whilst Sylvia who is 'pretty in the right and accepted way' falls for the charms of Captain Purvis. Attending Aragon's strawberry teas, the British Army Officers can almost forget the reason for their presence in Ireland. But the days of dignified calm at Aragon are numbered, for Foley is a member of Sinn Fein.

Phoebe Junior

Phoebe Junior

Author: Margaret Oliphant Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2004

This is the fifth and final volume of Mrs Oliphant's saga of English provincial life. We return to the country town of Carlingford where the arrival of Phoebe Junior sets tongues wagging. Mrs Oliphant also wrote Salem Chapel , The Doctor's Family , The Perpetual Curate and Miss Marjoribanks .

Never No More

Never No More

Author: Maura Laverty Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2004

When Delia's family moves away, Delia goes to live with her grandmother in a farmhouse in the Irish countryside. Here, she experiences the happiest years of her life as she watches the seasons come and go until, one November day, she stands poised for independence - and Spain.

Mary O'grady

Mary O'grady

Author: Mary Lavin Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2004

In the early 1900s Mary O'Grady leaves behind the countryside and the family she cares for, to be with her husband in Dublin. Here she puts down new roots and looks forward to the day when she will return to Tullamore with her own sons and daughters. Marriage and motherhood sustain Mary, gradually the memories of her own childhood fade and her life revolves around the secure home she has created. But as her children grow, they seek the freedom of adults as she had done. Slowly Mary comes to realise that a mother's love cannot protect them, as it could not protect herself, from the sorrows and tragedies of life.

Company Parade

Company Parade

Author: Storm Jameson Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2004

Company Parade by Storm Jameson

Cullum

Cullum

Author: E. Arnot Robertson Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2004

'The old sorrow and desire tore at me again as fiercely as they had ever done...this man's body had been my heaven, and I loved him.' Esther Sieveking is nineteen, half French, half fox-hunting English. She lives in Surrey among people for whom books are a last resource for killing time, but for her literature holds the world; writing is her aspiration. Then she meets the young author Cullum Hayes, brilliant, plausible, glamorous. He tells her they have met in his dreams. She believes him, and falls in love. But Cullum is a romancer, a cheat, a weaver of stories and a seducer of women... On publication in 1928, many exclaimed over Cullum's extraordinary maturity, depth and sexual candour. For some, though, this story of first, obsessive and hopeless love, by a twenty-four-year-old author, was too much - as one reviewer remarked, 'It is all very well to be outspoken, but there are some things which are better left unsaid and Cullum is full of them.

Hester

Hester

Author: Margaret Oliphant Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/12/2004

Catherine Vernon is the head of the family bank, reputed in the Home Counties to be 'solid as the Bank of England'. Loved and revered by the people of Redborough, she is nevertheless seen as a none-too-benevolent despot by those of her family who, dependent upon her charity, live in the nearby 'Vernonry'. Catherine is a proud businesswoman, in firm control of her life, her work and her family. She lives with her young cousin Edward, grooming him to succeed her in the bank, loving him like a son. Then fourteen-year-old Hester and her widowed mother join the tenants of the Vernonry and Catherine finds she has met her match in this strong-willed girl. We watch as Hester grows up through the 1860s and 70s and as their silent confrontation comes to a head over their love for the same man: an absorbing struggle which alters forever the fortunes of Hester and the Vernon family.

The Perpetual Curate

The Perpetual Curate

Author: Margaret Oliphant Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/12/2004

Frank Wentworth, Perpetual Curate of St Roque's, has basked in the popularity of Carlingford, beloved in the gracious homes of Grange Lane and the slums of Wharfside alike. But there are some among the sober-minded citizens who would see him as a 'dilettante Anglican, given over to floral ornaments and ecclesiastical upholstery' - a verdict shared by the new Rector who regards the presence of a young and energetic rival as an intolerable encumbrance. Imperceptibly, the tide starts turning against Frank Wentworth: his love for Lucy Wodehouse is threatened by his lack of prospects; his Evangelical aunts, in charge of a family living, disapprove of his high church ways, and rumours about a pretty shopgirl begin circulating. Slowly it dawns on Frank that he may well be doomed to a life of perpetual - and single - curacy.

The Flight Of The Falcon

The Flight Of The Falcon

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Amanda Craig Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2005

As a young guide for Sunshine Tours, Armino Fabbio leads a pleasant, if humdrum life - until he becomes circumstantially involved in the death of an old peasant woman in Rome. The woman, he gradually comes to realise, was his family's beloved servant many years ago, in his native town of Ruffano. He returns to his birthplace, and once there, finds it is haunted by the phantom of his brother, Aldo, shot down in flames during the war. Over five hundred years before, the sinister Duke Claudio, known as The Falcon, lived his twisted, brutal life, preying on the people of Ruffano. But now it is the twentieth century, and the town seems to have forgotten its violent history. But have things really changed? The parallels between the past and present become ever more evident... She wrote exciting plots, she was highly skilled at arousing suspense, and she was, too, a writer of fearless originality - Guardian

The Rebecca Notebook

The Rebecca Notebook

Author: Daphne Du Maurier Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2005

By the bestselling author of Rebecca INTRODUCED BY ALISON LIGHT In her own words, Daphne du Maurier reveals what led her to write Rebecca, one of the most beloved books of the twentieth century. This perfect companion volume, The Rebecca Notebook, outlines how Rebecca came to be written, tracing its origins, developments and the directions it might have taken. The author reveals how she first came upon the secret house hidden deep in Cornish woodland, that was to become the setting for her most famous novel: a house which stood derelict, and which she lovingly restored to create her own home - the inspiration for Manderley. Further memories introduce other members of her family: her father Gerald, the famous actor; her grandfather George, the Punch artist; and her cousins, for whom J. M. Barrie wrote Peter Pan.

Live Alone And Like It

Live Alone And Like It

Author: Marjorie Hillis Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/03/2005

This 1936 bestseller created a phenomenon - it sold over 100,000 copies in the first two months of its release. Who can resist a book with chapters such as 'A Lady and Her Liquor', 'Pleasures of a Single Bed' and 'Solitary Refinement'? Marjorie Hillis, a 1930s Vogue editor, provides a stylish, no-nonsense guide to living and loving single life. Written with wisdom, humour and panache, this is advice that will never go out of fashion. 'Chances are that at sometime in your life, possibly only now and then between husbands, you will find yourself settling down to a solitary existence. You may do it from choice. Lots of people do ... Whether you view your one-woman menage as Doom or Adventure (and whether you are twenty-six or sixty-six), you need a plan.' With beautiful, stylish line drawings by a Vogue illustrator.

I'll Never Be Young Again

I'll Never Be Young Again

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Elaine Dundy Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2005

A COMING-OF-AGE TALE OF ADVENTURE AND LOVE, FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA '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

The Parasites

The Parasites

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Julie Myerson Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2005

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA 'When people play the game: Name three or four persons whom you would choose to have with you on a desert island - they never choose the Delaneys. They don't even choose us one by one as individuals. We have earned, not always fairly we consider, the reputation of being difficult guests . . .' Maria, Niall and Celia have grown up in the shadow of their famous parents - their father, a flamboyant singer and their mother, a talented dancer. Now pursuing their own creative dreams, all three siblings feel an undeniable bond, but it is Maria and Niall who share the secret of their parents' pasts. Alternately comic and poignant, The Parasites is based on the artistic milieu its author knew best, and draws the reader effortlessly into that magical world.

The Rendezvous And Other Stories

The Rendezvous And Other Stories

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Minette Walters Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2005

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA 'Mary Farren went into the gun room one morning about half-past eleven, took her husband's revolver and loaded it, then shot herself. The butler heard the sound of the gun from the pantry...' The fourteen haunting stories in this collection span the whole of Daphne du Maurier's writing career and explore every human emotion: an apparently happily married woman commits suicide; a steamer in wartime is rescued by a mysterious sailing-ship; a dull husband breaks loose in a surprising fashion; a con woman plays her game once too often; and a famous novelist looks for romance, only to meet with bitter disappointment. Each meticulously observed tale shows du Maurier's mastery of the genre.

Four Frightened People

Four Frightened People

Author: E. Arnot Robertson Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2005

Matter of fact Judy Corder, a 26 year old doctor, is travelling with her cousin Stewart on a slow ship to Singapore. Incarcerated with their fellow passengers, at 107 degrees in the shade, they fall in with the hearty Mrs Mardick and Arnold Ainger, and intriguing, somewhat pompous married man. Then plague breaks out. Under cover of darkness, all four flee the ship for the terrors of the jungle. In the depths of the jungle, civilisation abandoned, the true natures of all four assert themselves . . .

Blood On The Dining-Room Floor

Blood On The Dining-Room Floor

Author: Gertrude Stein Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/07/2005

Why should blood on the floor make anyone mad against automobiles and telephones and desks. Why. This is what happened. There were dogs in the house but they were no bother. Listen carefully.' In the spring of 1933 Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas were living in their country house at Bilignin, France. With money earned from the best-selling 'Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas' they installed electricity, had a telephone put in their house and bought a large car. But with these improvements came trouble. Servants came and went. Finally a man named Jean and his Polish wife were employed. A friend came to stay, but her car was tampered with and the telephone no longer worked. The servants were dismissed. Later that summer in nearby Belley, Madame Pernollet was found sprawled on the courtyard of her husband's hotel. Five days later she was dead. Was it an accident? Suicide? Murder? As Alice B. Toklas said, 'there was no denying one could become accustomed to murdering...'.

The Old Man And Me

The Old Man And Me

Author: Elaine Dundy Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2005

There's love, and there's revenge. Betsy Lou Saegessor is bent on revenge. Her father is dead, and to top it off, the vast fortune that should have been hers has ended up, through the second marriage of her now deceased stepmother, in the bank account of the legendary and elusive Englishman, C.D. McKee. So Betsy sets out from New York to seduce and betray him. C.D. is fat and ugly - but boy is he sexy. Betsy follows him through the night clubs of London, grooving to jazz, smoking hash - and plotting murder. A wickedly funny novel about falling in love -- with an Old Man and the Old World -- despite the best intentions.

Christine

Christine

Author: Madeleine Masson Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/10/2005

Christine Granville, G.M., O.B.E. and Croix de Guerre, one of the most successful women agents of the Second World War and said to have been Churchill's 'favourite spy', was murdered, aged 37, in a London Hotel in 1952. Her actions as a British secret agent in Poland, Hungary and France were legendary even in her lifetime and she repeatedly risked her life to undertake dangerous missions. Her exploits began after the fall of Poland when she became a British agent; organising the escape of British prisoners-of-war, Polish pilots and refugees and returning to Poland, her homeland, to set up escape routes and report on German troop movements. Her capture by the Gestapo led to a dramatic escape from Budapest in the boot of a car followed by travels through Turkey and Syria to Cairo. Christine is an inspiring and unforgettable true story.

Pillion Riders

Pillion Riders

Author: Elisabeth Russell Taylor Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/12/2005

I do not remember how we were introduced - for we must have been - or anything of the discussion that surely arose when I chose to travel with Jean-Claude rather than my husband. I can only recall - and this vividly - how, wearing my tight-skirted black velvet suit, my new pearl choker and the little half-veil that was so fashionable that year, I rode across Paris with my arms clasped tight round a man to whom I had not spoken and had not closely observed, yet to whom I felt inextricably bound.' Opal, gamine and sensitive, has been married off by her father to an elderly business associate, Helmut Gressinger, and lives an encapsulated life of luxury in London. When Helmut takes her to Paris, she falls passionately in love with a young French composer of scant means and morals. This is a novel that explores the conflicting demands of passion and morality, the painful battle between head and heart.

Good Behaviour

Good Behaviour

Author: Molly Keane, Marian Keyes Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/12/2005

I do know how to behave - believe me, because I know. I have always known...' Behind the gates of Temple Alice the aristocratic Anglo-Irish St Charles family sinks into a state of decaying grace. To Aroon St Charles, large and unlovely daughter of the house, the fierce forces of sex, money, jealousy and love seem locked out by the ritual patterns of good behaviour. But crumbling codes of conduct cannot hope to save the members of the St Charles family from their own unruly and inadmissible desires. This elegant and allusive novel established Molly Keane as the natural successor to Jean Rhys.

The Glimpses Of The Moon

The Glimpses Of The Moon

Author: Edith Wharton Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/01/2006

She wondered if, when human souls try to get too near each other, they do not inevitably become mere blurs to each other's vision.' Susy Branch learned early that to thrive without money in a society driven by wealth one must dissemble, flatter and sometimes even drop one's moral guard in order to share a little of one's host's luxury and leisure. Nick Lansing has also learned and wearied of the same lesson. Despite the foolishness of their romance - for each should be seeking a partner of means - they decide to marry. By combining their skills they should be able to enjoy a year's invitations and happiness before they need face reality. But love makes its own exacting demands and its costs can also be high . . .

The Fruit Of The Tree

The Fruit Of The Tree

Author: Edith Wharton Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/01/2006

John Amherst, clever, idealistic and poor, is assistant manager of a cotton mill and has the makings of a working-class leader. While visiting a worker in hospital he encounters a young nurse, Justine, compassionate and principled, a woman who shares his dreams and aims. But Amherst is fatally distracted when he meets Bessy. A widow of great wealth, Bessy is charming, beautiful - and the new owner of the mill. The lives of all three become strangely interwoven as Amherst is forced to choose between sense and sentiment, between his care for the working classes and his infatuation with Bessy - a woman made for passion, but not for its aftermath.

Old New York

Old New York

Author: Edith Wharton Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/01/2006

Edith Wharton (1862-1937), the grande dame of American literature, was also a subtle and spirited critic of its society. These novellas, set in the New York of the mid-1800s are united by Edith Wharton's compassionate and ironic vision. From Lewis Raycie, son of complacent plutocrats, who returns from his Grand Tour with Renaissance masterpieces only to be ridiculed and disinherited, to Lizzie Hazeldean, seen leaving a hotel with a man who is not her husband - honourable but unconventional people are sacrificed to the constraints of a society where appearances count for more than genuine goodness. Here is a fascinating insight into the world from which Edith Wharton came.

The Mother's Recompense

The Mother's Recompense

Author: Edith Wharton Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/01/2006

Edith Wharton (1862-1937), the grande dame of American literature, was also a subtle and spirited critic of its society. Twenty years earlier, Kate Clephane had exiled herself from husband, child and the rigidity of New York society because of her guilty elopement. Now, living quietly on the Rivera, she is overjoyed to be summoned home by her daughter, Anne. But back in the charmed circle, she finds post-war New York, though changed in many ways, still locked into petty and snobbish constrictions. This touching study of complex issues shows how Kate's joy in being with Anne is soon threatened by the reappearance of the only man Kate had truly loved.

The Children

The Children

Author: Edith Wharton, Marilyn French Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/01/2006

On a cruise ship between Algiers and Venice Martin Boyne, a bachelor in his forties, befriends a band of ebullient, precocious children. The seven Wheater stepbrothers and sisters, grown weary of being shuttled between mother and father 'like bundles', are eager for their parents' latest reconciliation to last. They are kept together as a 'family' by the eldest, Judith, who takes on the role of protector. Genuinely outraged at the plight of the 'homeless' and fought-over children, Boyne finds himself increasingly drawn to their enchanting, improper and liberating ways. Among the colourful cast of characters are the Wheater adults, who play out their own comedy of marital errors; the flamboyant Marchioness of Wrench; and the vivacious fifteen-year-old Judith Wheater, who captures Martin's heart. With deft humour and touching drama, Wharton portrays a world of intrigues and infidelities, skewering the manners and mores of Americans abroad.

The Gods Arrive

The Gods Arrive

Author: Edith Wharton Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/01/2006

Halo Tarrant, abandoning her failed marriage, elopes to Europe with the brilliant young writer, Vance Weston. As they travel around, her only wish is to serve him and his genius. But, ignoring the pain her amiguous status brings, Vance takes her loving attentions for granted and rejects the critical advice he had formerly welcomed. This distinguished novel, companion piece to HUDSON RIVER BRACKETED, first published in 1932, shows a writer's struggle for integrity and maturity, and the difficulties which, even in the most idealistic relationship, beset men and women in a changing but hypocritical moral climate.

The Ghost Stories Of Edith Wharton

The Ghost Stories Of Edith Wharton

Author: Edith Wharton, Kelly Link Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/01/2006

In these powerful and elegant tales, Edith Wharton evokes moods of disquiet and darkness within her own era. In icy newEngland a fearsome double foreshadowsthe fate of a rich young man; a married farmer is bewitched by a dead girl; a ghostly bell saves a woman's reputation. Brittany conjures ancient cruelties, Dorset witnesses a retrospective haunting and a New York club cushions an elderly aesthete as he tells of the ghastly eyes haunting his nights.

The Age Of Innocence

The Age Of Innocence

Author: Edith Wharton Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/01/2006

Set in turn-of-the-century New York, Edith Wharton's classic novel The Age of Innocence reveals a society governed by the dictates of taste and form, manners and morals, and intricate social ceremonies. Newland Archer, soon to marry the lovely May Welland, is a man torn between his respect for tradition and family and his attraction to May's strongly independent cousin, the Countess Ellen Olenska. Plagued by the desire to live in a world where two people can love each other free from condemnation and judgment by the group, Newland views the artful delicacy of the world he lives in as a comforting security one moment, and at another, as an oppressive fiction masking true human nature. The Age of Innocence is at once a richly drawn portrait of the elegant lifestyles, luxurious brownstones, and fascinating culture of bygone New York society and a compelling look at the conflict between human passions and the social tribe that tries to control them.

Madame De Treymes

Madame De Treymes

Author: Edith Wharton Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/01/2006

Franny Frisbee is an unhappily married woman. Having left New York to live in Paris with the family of her husband, the Marquis of Malrive, she embarks on an adventure in Paris with her childhood friend John Durham, who wishes her to divorce her husband and marry him. Through Franny's crisis between her rights as a woman and what is best for her family, Edith Wharton explores the clashing cultures of Parisian and American life and the role of women at the turn of the century in this moving novel of love and scandal for an American woman abroad.

Hudson River Bracketed

Hudson River Bracketed

Author: Edith Wharton Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/01/2006

Naive young writer Vance Weston, convalescing by the Hudson River, meets Halo Spear and is fired by her passion for literature. They meet again, much later, and, with her rich, cultivated husband, Lewis Tarrant, she introduces him to New York's literary and artistic circles. But an impulsive marriage has brought Vance poverty and unwelcome responsibilities which inhibit his writing until one summer, Halo inspires him to write the novel which makes his name. The conflict between New York sophistication and Midwestern naivety leads to painful dilemmas, involving both couples in perplexity and loss.

The House Of Mirth

The House Of Mirth

Author: Edith Wharton Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/01/2006

First published in 1905, THE HOUSE OF MIRTH shocked the New York society it so deftly chronicles, portraying the moral, social and economic restraints on a woman who dared to claim the privileges of marriage without assuming the responsibilities. Lily Bart, beautiful, witty and sophisticated, is accepted by 'old money' and courted by the growing tribe of nouveaux riches. But as she nears thirty, her foothold becomes precarious; a poor girl with expensive tastes, she needs a husband to preserve her social standing and to maintain her in the luxury she has come to expect. Whilst many have sought her, something - fastidiousness or integrity- prevents her from making a 'suitable' match.

Elizabeth And Her German Garden

Elizabeth And Her German Garden

Author: Elizabeth von Arnim, Elizabeth Jane Howard Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/02/2006

May 7th -- There were days last winter when I danced for sheer joy out in my frost-bound garden in spite of my years and children. But I did it behind a bush, having a due regard for the decencies ...' Elizabeth's uniquely witty pen records each season in her beloved garden, where she escapes from the stifling routine of indoors: servants, meals, domestic routine, and the presence of her overbearing husband ...

The Adventures Of Elizabeth In Rugen

The Adventures Of Elizabeth In Rugen

Author: Elizabeth von Arnim Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/02/2006

In 1901 the 'real' Elizabeth holidayed on the Baltic island of Rugen with just her maid, a coachman, a carriage piled with luggage, and a woman friend. From such unpromising beginnings Elizabeth weaves a captivating farrago around her encounters. There's the snobbish bishop's wife and her personable, handsome son, a dressmaker and, astonishingly, a long-lost cousin -- Charlotte -- who is trying to evade the pursuit of her husband, the maddeningly genial old professor. Here, with delightfully astringent humour, Elizabeth recounts the misadventures that befall her. And, as she immortalised her Pomeranian wilderness in the famous ELIZABETH AND HER GERMAN GARDEN, she now writes enticingly of this remote and attractive island.

The Pastor's Wife

The Pastor's Wife

Author: Elizabeth von Arnim Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/02/2006

Ingeborg Bullivant, the put-upon daughter of the Bishop of Redchester, suddenly becomes possessed by the demon Rebellion and takes a week's tour to Lucerne. Constantly in the company of a ponderous German pastor, she is put into a quandary when he proposes marriage. Faced with her father's wrath on her return, however, Ingeborg accepts her Herr Dremmel with simple relief. But the role of a pastor's wife in East Prussia is not as Ingeborg had imagined, for she has merely exchanged one set of rules for another ...

Vera

Vera

Author: Elizabeth von Aderkas Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/02/2006

Lucy Entwhistle's beloved father has just died, and aged twenty-two, she finds herself alone in the world. Leaning against her garden gate, dazed and unhappy, she is disturbed by the sudden appearance of the perspiring Mr Wemyss. This middle-aged man is also in mourning - for his wife, Vera, who has died in mysterious circumstances. Before Lucy can collect herself, Mr Wemyss has taken charge: of the funeral arrangements, of her kind Aunt Dot, but most of all of Lucy herself, body and soul. Elizabeth von Arnim's masterpiece, VERA is a forceful study of the power of men in marriage - and the weakness of women in love.

Mr Skeffington

Mr Skeffington

Author: Elizabeth von Arnim Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/02/2006

Beauty; beauty. What was the good of beauty, once it was over? It left nothing behind it but acid regrets, and no heart at all to start fresh.' Approaching the watershed of her fiftieth birthday, Fanny, having long ago divorced Mr Skeffington and dismissed him from her thoughts for many years, is surprised to find herself thinking of him often. While attempting to understand this invasion, she meets, through a series of coincidences and deliberate actions, all those other men whose hearts she broke. But their lives have irrevocably changed and Fanny is no longer the exquisite beauty with whom they were all once enchanted. If she is to survive, Fanny discovers, she must confront a greatly altered perception of her self. With the delicate piquancy for which she is renowned, Elizabeth von Arnim here reveals the complexities involved in the process of ageing and in re-evaluating self-worth.

All The Dogs Of My Life

All The Dogs Of My Life

Author: Elizabeth von Arnim Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/02/2006

First published in 1936, this is the story of Elizabeth von Arnim's extraordinary life - and her equally extraordinary dogs. From her Pomeranian idyll (celebrated in her famous first book, ELIZABETH AND HER GERMAN GARDEN), to less happy days in London following the death of her first husband; from the beautiful solitude of her Swiss mountain hideaway, to the First World War and a disastrous second marriage, the author takes us on a disarmingly witty and poignant journey of canine companionship.

The Solitary Summer

The Solitary Summer

Author: Elizabeth von Arnim Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/02/2006

I want to be alone for a whole summer, and get to the very dregs of life. I want to be as idle as I can, so that my soul may have time to grow. Nobody shall be invited to stay with me, and if anyone calls they will be told that I am out, or away, or sick . . . Wouldn't a whole lovely summer, quite alone, be delightful?' This delightful companion to the famous Elizabeth and her German Garden is a witty, lyrical account of a rejuvenating, solitary summer filled with books and Elizabeth's reflections on her beloved garden. Descriptions of magnificent larkspurs and burning nasturtiums give way to those of cooling forest walks. Yet the months aren't as solitary as she'd planned: there's still her husband to pacify and the April, May and June babies to amuse.

Fraulein Schmidt And Mr Anstruther

Fraulein Schmidt And Mr Anstruther

Author: Elizabeth von Arnim Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/02/2006

This enchanting novel tells the story of the love affair between Rose-Marie Schmidt and Roger Anstruther. A determined young woman of twenty-five, Rose-Marie is considered a spinster by the inhabitants of the small German town of Jena where she lives with her father, the Professor. To their homes comes Roger, an impoverished but well-born young Englishman who wishes to learn German: Rose-Marie and Roger fall in love. But the course of true love never did run smooth: distance, temperament and fortune divide them. We watch the ebb and flow of love between two very different people and see the witty and wonderful Rose-Marie get exactly what she wants.

Dear Austen

Dear Austen

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/03/2006

Accidents happen to other people. But on On May 10th 2002, Nina Bawden discovered what it feels like to be one of the 'other people'. It was to be a lovely outing to Cambridge for a friend's birthday party. Nina Bawden and her husband Austen Kark boarded the 12:45 from Kings Cross and settled down with their books and papers. A few minutes later the train derailed. Seven people were killed and 76 badly hurt. Nina Bawden was gravely injured and Austen was killed instantly. In this powerful and poignant letter to her husband, Nina Bawden uses her considerable writing skills to try and make sense of it all. She explains how she - now in her late 70s - found herself the outspoken spokesperson for the survivors of the crash, interviewed here and abroad and even one of the characters portrayed in David Hare's The Permanent Way. Although liability has finally been admitted, as of October 2004, there has been no resolution to this tragedy, nor a public enquiry into how it happened.

A Sea-Grape Tree

A Sea-Grape Tree

Author: Rosamond Lehmann Format: Paperback 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 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.

The Echoing Grove

The Echoing Grove

Author: Rosamond Lehmann Format: Paperback 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

Dusty Answer

Dusty Answer

Author: Rosamond Lehmann, Jonathan Coe Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/03/2006

Mamma was fast asleep at home, her spirit lapped in unconsciousness. Her dreams would not divine that her daughter had stolen out to meet a lover. And next door also they slept unawares, while one of them broke from the circle and came alone to clasp a stranger . . .' Judith Earle, over-earnest and inexperienced, has always been a little in love with each of the four cousins who come to stay next door and, on her return from Cambridge, becomes madly in love with one of them - Roddy, the 'sensation-hunter'. DUSTY ANSWER traces with delicate nostalgia childhood friendships and the pangs of thwarted young love.

Invitation To The Waltz

Invitation To The Waltz

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

A diary for her innermost thoughts, a china ornament, a ten-shilling note, and a roll of flame-coloured silk for her first evening dress: these are the gifts Olivia Curtis receives for her seventeenth birthday. She anticipates her first dance, the greatest yet most terrifying event of her restricted social life, with tremulous uncertainty and excitement. For her pretty, charming elder sister Kate, the dance is certain to be a triumph, but what will it be for shy, awkward Olivia? Exploring the daydreams and miseries attendant upon even the most innocent of social events, Rosamond Lehmann perfectly captures the emotions of a girl standing poised on the threshold of womanhood.

At Mrs Lippincote's

At Mrs Lippincote's

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

One of Juliet Gardiner's favourite books.   October 2010 Guest Editor Juliet Gardiner on At Mr Lippincote's... Elizabeth Taylor is one of the quiet, deceptive writers who seem to be writing about ordinary lives in the home counties but has a gimlet eye for human absurdities and fallibilities. My favourite, At Mrs Lippincote’s,wryly yet very poignantly evokes the pretensions and melancholy deceptions of wartime life.  

eBooks of the Month
Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont

Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont

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

'Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont is, for me, her masterpiece' - Robert McCrum, Guardian, 'The Best 100 Novels' 'An author of great subtlety, great compassion and great depth' - SARAH WATERS 'Jane Austen, Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabath Bowen - soul-sisters all' ANNE TYLER 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 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

Angel

Angel

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

  April 2010 Good Housekeeping selection.   On My Bookshelf by Hilary Mantel... Angel by Elizabeth Taylor is a sparkling, pointed comedy. Angel is a bestselling author who suffers for her art, but writes truly terrible books. It’s an awful warning to writers – take your work seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously.   The Lovereading view... There is a dark humour in this book that points fun at the publishing world, at writers and most of all at critics. Deliciously critical and yet still acknowledging human frailty this is a lovely book with a nostalgic feel.

eBooks of the Month
Blaming

Blaming

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Jonathan Keates, Jonathon Keates Format: Paperback 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

In A Summer Season

In A Summer Season

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth Russell Taylor, Elizabeth Russell Taylor Format: Paperback 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 . . .

The Ante-Room

The Ante-Room

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

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA 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, skilfully 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 Release Date: 04/05/2006

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA 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 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.

Loving And Giving

Loving And Giving

Author: Molly Keane, Michele Roberts Format: Paperback 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.

The Rising Tide

The Rising Tide

Author: Molly Keane, Polly Devlin Format: Paperback 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.

Time After Time

Time After Time

Author: Molly Keane, Emma Donoghue Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2006

Durraghglass is a beautiful mansion in Southern Ireland, now crumbling in neglect. The time is the present - a present that churns with the bizarre passions of its owners' past. The Swifts - three sisters of marked eccentricity, defiantly christened April, May and Baby June, and their only brother, one-eyed Jasper - have little in common, save vivid memories of darling Mummy, and a long lost youth peculiarly prone to acts of treachery. Into their world comes Cousin Leda from Vienna, a visitor from the past, blind but beguiling - a thrilling guest. But within days, the lifestyle of the Swifts has been dramatically overturned - and desires, dormant for so long, flame fierce and bright as ever.

Devoted Ladies

Devoted Ladies

Author: Molly Keane, Polly Devlin Format: Paperback 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Last Of Summer

The Last Of Summer

Author: Kate O'Brien Format: Paperback 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.

Mary Lavelle

Mary Lavelle

Author: Kate O'Brien Format: Paperback 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.

Without My Cloak

Without My Cloak

Author: Kate O'Brien Format: Paperback 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 . . .

That Lady

That Lady

Author: Kate O'Brien Format: Paperback 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.

Farewell Spain

Farewell Spain

Author: Kate O'Brien Format: Paperback 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.

Minka And Curdy

Minka And Curdy

Author: Antonia White Format: Paperback 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.

Beyond These Walls

Beyond These Walls

Author: Janina Bauman Format: Paperback 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 Sugar House

The Sugar House

Author: Antonia White Format: Paperback 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.

Frost In May

Frost In May

Author: Antonia White, Tessa Hadley, Elizabeth Bowen Format: Paperback 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.

The Lost Traveller

The Lost Traveller

Author: Antonia White Format: Paperback 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.

Beyond The Glass

Beyond The Glass

Author: Antonia White Format: Paperback 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.

Alexander's Bridge

Alexander's Bridge

Author: Willa Cather, Hermoine Lee Format: Paperback 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 . . .

My Antonia

My Antonia

Author: Willa Cather, A.S. Byatt Format: Paperback 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.

Death Comes For The Archbishop

Death Comes For The Archbishop

Author: Willa Cather, A.S. Byatt Format: Paperback 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 . . .

The Professor's House

The Professor's House

Author: Willa Cather, A.S. Byatt Format: Paperback 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 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 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

O Pioneers!

O Pioneers!

Author: A.S. Byatt, Willa Cather Format: Paperback 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 Sadeian Woman

The Sadeian Woman

Author: Angela Carter Format: Paperback 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.

Ruffian On The Stair

Ruffian On The Stair

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

In six days Silas Mudd will be one hundred years old and is alarmingly healthy - more than can be said of his son. 'Not sure he'll make old bones' he confides loudly to his daughter-in-law. Grumpily flattered by the fuss over his impending party - even from his irritating family, Silas' greater pleasure is 'to go over his life' and the women whom he loved and who made trouble for him: his sterling and capable Aunt; his wonderfully vulgar second wife Bella; Molly, a music-hall singing sister; and Effie, his first and hopeless wife. Silas is the only one left who knows exactly what is shoring up his family. And now he sits, waiting and thinking, just wondering what it would be like if he were to say ...

Afternoon Of A Good Woman

Afternoon Of A Good Woman

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback 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?

Family Money

Family Money

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback 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.

The Ice House

The Ice House

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback 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.

A Woman Of My Age

A Woman Of My Age

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

Circles Of Deceit

Circles Of Deceit

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

Circles of Deceit is narrated by a painter who specialises as a copyist, this is his story: 'bothered by bills and artistic conscience in about equal measure. . .susceptible to, bullied and badgered by women.' Major figures on the canvas are Clio, his child-bride; Helen, his first wife; his mother Maisie. They confound lies and the truth in a subtle weave, while the silent agony of the painter's son is a poignant reflection on the busy web of deception. And as the copyist transcribes his modern versions of Old Masters, so the past keeps breaking through the surface of the present, until fact and fiction like art and life, meet in a remarkable conclusion.

Devil By The Sea

Devil By The Sea

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback 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?

A Little Love, A Little Learning

A Little Love, A Little Learning

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback 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 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.

Loitering With Intent

Loitering With Intent

Author: Muriel Spark, Mark Lawson Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/04/2007

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

Shadows On The Rock

Shadows On The Rock

Author: Willa Cather Format: Paperback 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 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.

As Once In May

As Once In May

Author: Antonia White Format: Paperback 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. Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.

Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome

Author: Edith Wharton Format: Paperback 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 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 Song Of The Lark

The Song Of The Lark

Author: Willa Cather Format: Paperback 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 . . .

My Mortal Enemy

My Mortal Enemy

Author: Willa Cather Format: Paperback 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.

The Short Stories Of Willa Cather

The Short Stories Of Willa Cather

Author: Willa Cather Format: Paperback 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.

The Hound And The Falcon

The Hound And The Falcon

Author: Antonia White Format: Paperback 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 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.

Sapphira And The Slave Girl

Sapphira And The Slave Girl

Author: Willa Cather Format: Paperback 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 ...

Daphne du Maurier Companion

Daphne du Maurier Companion

Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/05/2007

This companion to the work of one of Britain's best-loved novelists celebrates the centenary of her birth.

Golden Lads

Golden Lads

Author: Daphne du Maurier Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/05/2007

Many people don’t realise that Daphne du Maurier wrote non fiction and here with Golden Lads  she has written a fascinating account of, brothers, Anthony and Francis Bacon’s relationship with Queen Elizabeth I, through their friendship with the Earl of Essex. Told with her magical storytelling style, a fascinating insight.

eBooks of the Month
Jane And Prudence

Jane And Prudence

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

'I'd sooner read a new Barbara Pym than a new Jane Austen' Philip Larkin 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

Hungry Hill

Hungry Hill

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Nina Auerbach Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2008

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 ...

Heartburn

Heartburn

Author: Nora Ephron, Nora Ephron Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/05/2008

'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! * Praise I am not a great reader of comic novels, but Ephron's hilarious, recipe-strewn, semi-autobiographical account of a heavily pregnant woman whose husband has left her for a woman with a 'neck as long as an arm' is a treat. A perfect example of Ephron's gift for turning tragedy into comedy, Heartburn is evidence that revenge is indeed a dish best served cold - Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train Heartburn took the most miserable personal situation and made it hysterically funny, inspiring and utterly relatable to women of all ages. I became obsessed with its author and thinly disguised heroine. - Sali Hughes, Stylist 'Nora Ephron's first novel is warm, witty and wise.' - Harper's Bazaar

The Diary Of 'Helena Morley'

The Diary Of 'Helena Morley'

Author: Elizabeth Bishop Format: Paperback 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

Harriet Hume

Harriet Hume

Author: Rebecca West Format: Paperback 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 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.

The Holiday

The Holiday

Author: Stevie Smith Format: Paperback 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 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 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 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.

The Well Of Loneliness

The Well Of Loneliness

Author: Radclyffe Hall, Diana Souhami Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/07/2008

A powerful novel of love between women, THE WELL OF LONELINESS brought about the most famous legal trial for obscenity in the history of British law. Banned on publication in 1928, it then went on to become a classic bestseller. 'The archetypal lesbian novel' - TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT 'The bible of lesbianism' - THE TIMES 'One of the first and most influential contributions of gay and lesbian literature' - NEW STATESMAN 'What do I care for the world's opinion? What do I care for anything but you!' Stephen Gordon (named by a father desperate for a son) is not like other girls: she hunts, she fences, she reads books, wears trousers and longs to cut her hair. As she grows up amidst the stifling grandeur of Morton Hall, the locals begin to draw away from her, aware of some indefinable thing that sets her apart. And when Stephen Gordon reaches maturity, she falls passionately in love with another woman. Introduced by Diana Souhami, author of the acclaimed biography The Trials of Radclyffe Hall

Stand We At Last

Stand We At Last

Author: Zoe Fairbairns Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/11/2008

Written by the author of 'Benefits' and 'Closing', this novel spans 120 years and three continents and chronicles the lives of five generations of women set against a background of Victorian repression, prostitution, the fight for the vote, the devastation of the war and the women's movement.

The Yellow Wallpaper And Selected Writings

The Yellow Wallpaper And Selected Writings

Author: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Maggie O'Farrell Format: Paperback 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.

No Fond Return Of Love

No Fond Return Of Love

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

'I'd sooner read a new Barbara Pym than a new Jane Austen' Philip Larkin 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 . . .

Faces In The Water

Faces In The Water

Author: Janet Frame, Hilary Mantel Format: Paperback 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.

Nightingale Wood

Nightingale Wood

Author: Stella Gibbons Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/04/2009

One of Veronica Henry's favourite books.   August 2010 Guest Editor Veronica Henry on Nightingale Wood... Stella is most famous for Cold Comfort Farm and most people are unfamiliar with her other works.  This recently reissued oeuvre is a quaint and charming ramble through English society in the 1930s – unrequited love, cads and chauffeurs abound.

eBooks of the Month
The Breaking Point

The Breaking Point

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

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA '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.

Towards Another Summer

Towards Another Summer

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

'A deeply rewarding and beautiful novel' HILARY MANTEL 'The idea of a new novel by Janet Frame is in itself a delight and Towards Another Summer is a joy to read, with all the poise, inventiveness and clarity of her other work' MAGGIE O'FARRELL 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 Comforters

The Comforters

Author: Muriel Spark, Ali Smith Format: Paperback 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

Some Tame Gazelle

Some Tame Gazelle

Author: Barbara Pym, Mavis Cheek Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/08/2009

'She is the rarest of treasures; she reminds us of the heartbreaking silliness of everyday life' Anne Tyler 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.

Orchids On Your Budget

Orchids On Your Budget

Author: Marjorie Hillis Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/09/2009

First published in 1937, ORCHIDS ON YOUR BUDGET gives advice on all manner of subjects, from entertaining and creating the perfect capsule wardrobe to relinquishing the family estate. Lest you worry about how to put the advice into practice, each chapter concludes with a case study providing examples of women who heeded - and those lamentable souls who ignored - Marjorie's wise words. 'It's not difficult to have fun out of economising (up to a point), both because of the sense of achievement it gives you and because everyone else is doing it, too ... A slight financial pressure sharpens the wits, though it needn't sharpen the disposition. But it takes an interesting person to have an attractive menage on a shoe-string and to run it with gaiety and charm ... Maybe you would rather play polo than pingpong, but if you've got an old pingpong set and no ponies, you'll get a lot more fun out of life from being a pingpong champion than from taking a dispirited whack with a polo mallet every now and then.

Excellent Women

Excellent Women

Author: Barbara Pym Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/09/2009

July 2011 Guest Editor Alexander McCall Smith on Excellent Women... Barbara Pym has been described as the Jane Austen of our times, and I would concur with this view. She created a whole world of people living rather mousy lives, illuminated with poignant detail. She is extremely funny in an understated way.

eBooks of the Month
A Game Of Hide And Seek

A Game Of Hide And Seek

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth Jane Howard Format: Paperback 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.

Living In The Maniototo

Living In The Maniototo

Author: Janet Frame, Linda Grant Format: Paperback 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 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

The Group

The Group

Author: Mary McCarthy, Candace Bushnell Format: Paperback 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? 'McCarthy's characters confront many of the same issues as their modern counterparts: sex and contraception, career and marriage, love and lust, fidelity to one's husband versus loyalty to one's friends and the attempt to carve out a place for oneself unconstrained by the gender limitations of previous generations. Its continuing relevance is one of the book's most extraordinary attributes' ELIZABETH DAY

A Glass Of Blessings

A Glass Of Blessings

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

'I'd sooner read a new Barbara Pym than a new Jane Austen' Philip Larkin 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.

Memento Mori

Memento Mori

Author: Muriel Spark, A.L. Kennedy Format: Paperback 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.

An Angel At My Table

An Angel At My Table

Author: Janet Frame, Jane Campion Format: Paperback 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

The Birds on the Trees

The Birds on the Trees

Author: Nina Bawden Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/1991

  Shortlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize.   A touching, intimate novel about a family on the verge of breakdown after the expulsion of the son from school and the subsequent events. Nina Bawden creates in depth characters and relationships and handles her material with tenderness and compassion.  very moving read.

eBooks of the Month
Less Than Angels

Less Than Angels

Author: Barbara Pym Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2010

Little Brown have re-launched the Barbara Pym novels with introductions from popular authors such as Alexander McCall Smith and with this one Salley Vickers. We re so glad her novels are being given a facelift as they are hugely enjoyable, witty and sharp. Treat yourself, you won’t regret it.   April 2010 Guest Editor Katharine McMahon on Barbara Pym... This choice is in part in memory of my mother, who loved Pym (and Jane Austen) and who shared her with me.  Pym has a wicked eye for the small things, and creates a world in which the minutiae of life really matters to the characters, as it does to us all.  I love her clergymen and her worried, well-meaning ladies.  Her great gift was to make us smile with, not at, the quiet absurdity of life.

eBooks of the Month
The Soul Of Kindness

The Soul Of Kindness

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Philip Hensher Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/05/2010

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.

The Daylight And The Dust: Selected Short Stories

The Daylight And The Dust: Selected Short Stories

Author: Janet Frame, Michele Roberts Format: Paperback 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.

When Rain Clouds Gather And Maru

When Rain Clouds Gather And Maru

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

'When Rain Clouds Gather and Maru are fairy tales about the transformations that love can wreak. And they transform love into a force to be thankful for' HELEN OYEYEMI In two powerful novels of belonging, one of Africa's most important writers explores village life and the traditions of Botswana. 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.

Desert Of The Heart

Desert Of The Heart

Author: Jane Rule, Jackie Kay Format: Paperback 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

The Wedding Group

The Wedding Group

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Charlotte Mendelson Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/11/2010

INTRODUCED BY CHARLOTTE MENDELSON 'It is time that justice was done to Elizabeth Taylor... All her writings could be described as coming into the category of comedy. Comedy is the best vehicle for truths that are too fierce to be borne' ANITA BROOKNER ' 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, artist 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. '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

The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister: Vol. 1

The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister: Vol. 1

Author: Anne Lister Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/11/2010

'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, continuing Anne's story, THE SECRET DIARIES OF MISS ANNE LISTER: NO PRIEST BUT LOVE, is now available.

South Riding

South Riding

Author: Winifred Holtby, Marion Shaw Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2010

When Sarah Burton returns to her hometown as headmistress she is full of ambition, determined to create a great school and to inspire her girls to take all they can from life. But in the aftermath of the First World War, the country is in depression and ideals are hard won. Lydia Holly, the scholarship girl from the shacks, is the most brilliant student Sarah has ever taught, but when her mother's health fails, her education must be sacrificed - there is nobody else to care for the children. Robert Carne of Maythorpe Hall stands for everything Sarah despises: his family has farmed the South Riding for generations, their position uncontested. Yet Sarah cannot help being drawn to this proud, haunted - and almost ruined - man. South Riding is a rich, panoramic novel, bringing vividly to life a rural community on the brink of change.

The Return Of The Soldier

The Return Of The Soldier

Author: Rebecca West, Victoria Glendinning Format: Paperback 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 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 Fountain Overflows

The Fountain Overflows

Author: Rebecca West, Amanda Craig Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2011

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

Anderby Wold

Anderby Wold

Author: Winifred Holtby Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/04/2011

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.

The Land Of Green Ginger

The Land Of Green Ginger

Author: Winifred Holtby Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/04/2011

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.

Poor Caroline

Poor Caroline

Author: Winifred Holtby Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/04/2011

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 Doll: Short Stories

The Doll: Short Stories

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

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA '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

The Enchanted April

The Enchanted April

Author: Elizabeth von Arnim, Sarah Dunant Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/08/2011

A discreet advertisement in 'The Times', addressed to 'Those who Apppreciate Wisteria and Sunshine...' is the impetus for a revelatory month for four very different women. High above the bay on the Italian Riviera stands San Salvatore, a mediaeval castle. Beckoned to this haven are Mrs. Wilkins, Mrs Arbuthnot, Mrs Fisher and Lady Caroline Dester, each quietly craving a respite. Lulled by the Mediterranean spirit, they gradually shed their skins and discover a harmony each of them has longed for but never known. First published in 1922 and reminscient of 'Elizabeth and her German Garden', this delightful novel is imbued with the descriptive power and light-hearted irreverence for which Elizabeth von Arnin is renowned.

A Woman In Berlin

A Woman In Berlin

Author: Anonymous, Antony Beevor Format: Paperback 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.

The Company She Keeps

The Company She Keeps

Author: Mary McCarthy, Paula McLain Format: Paperback 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.

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.

eBooks of the Month
Sin

Sin

Author: Josephine Hart Format: Paperback 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

Vanishing Cornwall

Vanishing Cornwall

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

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA 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.

Testament of Friendship

Testament of Friendship

Author: Vera Brittain, Mark Bostridge Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/03/2012

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.

Rebecca

Rebecca

Author: Daphne Du Maurier Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/05/2012

* 'The greatest psychological thriller of all time' ERIN KELLY * 'One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century' SARAH WATERS * 'It's the book every writer wishes they'd written' CLARE MACKINTOSH NOW A MAJOR NETFLIX MOVIE STARRING LILY JAMES, ARMIE HAMMER AND KRISTEN SCOTT THOMAS 'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .' Working as a lady's companion, our heroine's outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is for ever kept alive by the forbidding housekeeper Mrs Danvers . . . An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young woman consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity. This beautiful cover design on this deluxe edition is by textile designer Neisha Crosland.

Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn

Author: Daphne Du Maurier, Sarah Dunant, Sarah Dunant Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/05/2012

Her mother's dying request obliges Mary Yellan to make a grim journey across bleak Cornish moorland to Jamaica Inn, the home of her Aunt Patience and her overbearing husband, Joss Merlyn. With the coachman's warning echoing in her mind and affected by the inn's brooding power, Mary is thwarted in her intention to help her aunt. She finds herself drawn unwillingly into the misdeeds of Joss and his accomplices, and even more disturbing are her feelings for a man she dare not trust . . . Jamaica Inn is a dark and gripping gothic tale that will remind readers of two other great classics, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

Frenchman's Creek

Frenchman's Creek

Author: Daphne Du Maurier Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/05/2012

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF REBECCA The Restoration Court knows Lady Dona St Columb to be ripe for any folly, any outrage that will relieve the tedium of her days. But there is another, secret Dona who longs for a life of honest love - and sweetness, even if it is spiced with danger. Dona flees London for remote Navron, looking for peace of mind in its solitary woods and hidden creeks. She finds there the passion her spirit craves - in the love of a daring pirate hunted across Cornwall, a Frenchman who, like Dona, would gamble his life for a moment's joy.

An Academic Question

An Academic Question

Author: Barbara Pym, Kate Saunders Format: Paperback 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.

Challenge

Challenge

Author: Vita Sackville-West, Stella Duffy Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/06/2012

CHALLENGE was Vita Sackville-West's second novel. It was ready to go to print in 1920, but the author 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.

Complete Short Stories

Complete Short Stories

Author: Elizabeth Taylor, Joanna Kingham, Joanna Kingham Format: Paperback 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

No One But a Woman Knows

No One But a Woman Knows

Author: Margaret Llewelyn Davies Format: Paperback 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 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.

Crampton Hodnet

Crampton Hodnet

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

INTRODUCED BY LOUIS DE BERNIERES 'I'd sooner read a new Barbara Pym than a new Jane Austen' Philip Larkin 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.

Tea By The Nursery Fire

Tea By The Nursery Fire

Author: Noel Streatfeild Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/09/2012

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.

Wild Strawberries

Wild Strawberries

Author: Angela Thirkell, Alexander McCall Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/11/2012

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 Release Date: 22/11/2012

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.

Harriet Said...

Harriet Said...

Author: Beryl Bainbridge, Linda Grant Format: Paperback 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.

A Weekend With Claude

A Weekend With Claude

Author: Beryl Bainbridge, Linda Grant Format: Paperback 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.

Tin Toys Trilogy

Tin Toys Trilogy

Author: Ursula Holden, Lisa (Review Editor) Allardice Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/01/2013

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 Fugue in Time

A Fugue in Time

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

By the author of Black Narcissus. 'Her craftsmanship is always sure; her understanding of character is compassionate and profound; her prose is pure, delicate, and gently witty' New York Times 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 Release Date: 07/02/2013

By the author of Black Narcissus. 'Her craftsmanship is always sure; her understanding of character is compassionate and profound; her prose is pure, delicate, and gently witty' New York Times 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 Release Date: 07/02/2013

By the author of Black Narcissus. 'One of our best and most captivating novelists' Philip Hensher 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 . . .

Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy

Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy

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

By the author of Black Narcissus. 'One of our best and most captivating novelists' Philip Hensher 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.

Black Narcissus

Black Narcissus

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

NOW A HAUNTING BBC DRAMA, STARRING GEMMA ARTERTON AND DIANA RIGG 'Godden's wonderful book sets out a complex vision of the variety, necessity and danger of desire, rendered into a story that is completely pleasurable. I envy anyone reading it for the first time' - Amanda Coe High in the Himalayas, the mountaintop palace shines like a jewel. Built for the General's harem, laughter and music once floated out over the gorge. Now it sits abandoned, windswept and haunting. The palace is bestowed to the Sisters of Mary, and what was once known as 'the House of Women' becomes the Convent of St Faith. Close to the heavens, the nuns feel inspired, working fervently to establish their school and hospital. But as the isolation and emptiness of the mountain become increasingly unsettling, passions long repressed emerge with tragic consequences . . .

Cromartie vs The God Shiva

Cromartie vs The God Shiva

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

By the author of Black Narcissus. 'One of our best and most captivating novelists' Philip Hensher 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.

Breakfast with the Nikolides

Breakfast with the Nikolides

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

By the author of Black Narcissus. 'One of our best and most captivating novelists' Philip Hensher 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 . . .

In this House of Brede

In this House of Brede

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

By the author of Black Narcissus. 'Her craftsmanship is always sure; her understanding of character is compassionate and profound; her prose is pure, delicate, and gently witty' New York Times '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 . . .

Sweet William

Sweet William

Author: Beryl Bainbridge, Alex Clark Format: Paperback 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 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.

The Mandelbaum Gate

The Mandelbaum Gate

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

'Her craftsmanship is always sure; her understanding of character is compassionate and profound; her prose is pure, delicate, and gently witty' New York Times 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 Release Date: 04/04/2013

By the author of Black Narcissus. 'Her craftsmanship is always sure; her understanding of character is compassionate and profound; her prose is pure, delicate, and gently witty' New York Times '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.

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).

eBooks of the Month
Sisters By A River

Sisters By A River

Author: Barbara Comyns, Barbara Trapido Format: Paperback 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.

The Vet's Daughter

The Vet's Daughter

Author: Barbara Comyns, Jane Gardam, Jane Gardam Format: Paperback 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.

Our Spoons Came From Woolworths

Our Spoons Came From Woolworths

Author: Barbara Comyns, Maggie O'Farrell Format: Paperback 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 ...

Up The Junction

Up The Junction

Author: Nell Dunn Format: Paperback 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 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...

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.

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