Sep 4, 2014
Lady Baltimore is a social satire of the Deep South, set in Charleston at the turn of the 19th century, where the New Rich of Newport have come down to see if Hortense Rieppe the fast modern girl will marry John Mayrant the Southern gentleman, and why on earth she would want to do that. It's also a stealth novel about...
Aug 21, 2014
Mud, fog, small beer, and not very much change in conversation over a lifetime spent in a 12th-century convent in eastern England. Sylvia Townsend Warner's pioneering historical novel The Corner That Held Them is about how history happens when you're not looking at it.
Jul 24, 2014
It's around 400 BC in Athens, and there's a plot to overthrow the city-state's democracy with a dictator. It's also the Spring Festival, and Alexis has entered a play against Aristophanes, which he and the flute-girl Corinna have written to show Athens that Socrates and other critics of the state are not really that...
Sep 13, 2013
Bursley businessman takes on London snobbery about provincials and amateurs to build a theatre and run it for profit. Arnold Bennett's The Regent is sparkling, dogged, deeply satisfying, and a penetrating portrait of an Edwardian society that's too big for its boots.
Oct 4, 2012
In R M Dashwood's glorious Provincial Daughter, this is life for a doctor's wife in a 1950s Berkshire village: feeding children, get them to school, making beds, interviewing boiler repairman, being depressed by scorn of next door neighbour, feeding toddler, a fleeting chance to wonder whether she ought to go to London...