A Novel of Marie Antoinette
Author: Meghan Masterson
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
THE WARDROBE MISTRESS is Meghan Masterson's fascinating and visceral debut, an inside look at Marie Antoinette's luxurious life in Versailles remarkably juxtaposed against life in third estate as the French Revolution gains strength. A propulsive exploration of love, loyalty, danger, and intrigue...not to be missed. It's Giselle Aubry's first time at court in Versailles. At sixteen, she is one of Marie Antoinette's newest undertirewomen, and in awe of the glamorous queen and her opulent palace life. A budding designer, it's a dream come true to work with the beautiful fabrics and jewels in the queen's wardrobe. But every few weeks she returns home to visit her family in Paris where rumors of revolution are growing stronger. From her position working in the royal household, Giselle is poised to see both sides of the revolutionary tensions erupting throughout Paris. When her uncle, a retired member of the secret du roi, a spy ring that worked for the old King, Louis XV, suggests that she casually report the Queen’s actions back to him as a game, she leaps at the chance. Spying seems like an adventure and an exciting way to privately support the revolution taking the countryside by storm. She also enjoys using her insight from Versailles in lively debates with Léon Gauvain, the handsome and idealistic revolutionary who courts her. But as the revolution continues to gain momentum, and Giselle grows closer to the Queen, becoming one of the few trusted servants, she finds herself dangerously torn. Violence is escalating; she must choose where her loyalty truly lies, or risk losing everything...maybe even her head.
Author: Patrick McGrath
Publisher: Random House
***SHORTLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION*** From the bestselling author of Asylum, Trauma and Spider 'Ghosts of the theatre and the spectre of fascism haunt cold and grimy London in this atmospheric tale from a master of the grotesque.' Guardian JANUARY 1947. London is in ruins, there’s nothing to eat, and it’s the coldest winter in living memory. To make matters worse, Charlie Grice, one of the great stage actors of the day, has suddenly died. His widow Joan, the wardrobe mistress, is beside herself with grief. Then one night she discovers Gricey’s secret. Plunged into a dark new world, Joan realises that though fascism might hide, it never dies. Her war isn’t over after all. Longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 'McGrath is one of the age's most elegantly accomplished divers into the human psyche . . . a master writer.' John Banville ‘McGrath is that rare yet essential thing, a writer who can expose our darkest fears without making us run away from them.' New Statesman 'Wonderfully sinister ... a delight ... you are in for a thrilling ride.' Spectator 'A brilliant evocation of the theatrical world’s seedy glamour, The Wardrobe Mistress is also a moving portrait of a woman struggling to make sense of her past and imagine a future for herself.' Sunday Times '[A] rich and highly spiced feast of a novel, even before it reaches its classically gothic McGrath climax.' Reader's Digest
Author: Natalie Meg Evans
From the award-winning author of The Dress Thief comes a love story set in the glittering world of London theatre. Perfect for fans of Gill Paul and Lucinda Riley. London 1945. A young war widow steps aboard a train in search of a new life. Clutching the key to a mysterious inheritance, Vanessa Kingcourt can no longer resist the pull of the old Farren Theatre - an enchanted place seeped in memories of her actor father. Now owned by troubled former captain Alistair Redenhall, The Farren is in need of a Wardrobe Mistress and a new lease of life. With no experience and no budget for supplies, Vanessa must use her intuition to create beautiful costumes from whatever scraps of silk and thread survived the blitz. It's a seemingly impossible task, but a welcome distraction as she struggles to resist her blossoming feelings for Alistair. What Vanessa discovers could unravel family secrets sewn deep into the very fabric of the London theatre scene . . . but will she repeat the same terrible mistakes her father made? And can she dare to love a man who will never be hers?
Author: Patrick McGrath
This exuberantly spooky novel, in which horror, repressed eroticism, and sulfurous social comedy intertwine like the vines in an overgrown English garden, is now a major motion picture, starring Alan Bates, Sting, and Theresa Russell.
Author: Patrick McGrath
Publisher: Anchor Canada
During their privileged, eccentric English childhood, Jack Rathbone enjoyed the unstinting adoration of his sister, Gin. So when both are art students in London, it is wrenching for her to watch him fall under the spell of Vera Savage, a flamboyant and reckless painter from Glasgow. Jack and Vera run off to New York City within weeks of meeting, and from a bruised, bereft distance Gin follows their progress south through Miami and pre-revolutionary Havana to Port Mungo, a seedy town in the mangrove swamps of Honduras. There, in an old banana warehouse, Jack obsessively devotes himself to his canvases while Vera succumbs to a chronic restlessness that not even the birth of two daughters can subdue. Passion, narcissism, and the relentless demands of creativity hold these riveting characters in thrall, and McGrath skilfully evokes a feverish world of tropical impulses and artistic ambition that leads ultimately to dark secrets and to death. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Patrick Mcgrath
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
“A stormy tale of obsession…this is a haunting portrayal of a man broken by passion” (Library Journal). Dr. Edward Haggard is a lonely, pain-racked romantic, standing at the window of his house on the edge of a cliff, watching as the clouds of war draw near, and reflecting on the nature of love, death, medicine, war—but most of all on the wife of the senior pathologist, and the few brief months of bliss they shared. Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, a fighter pilot appears in Dr. Haggard’s surgery, reawakening memories of the single grand passion of Haggard’s life. For this young man is the son of the woman Haggard loved, and as the doctor becomes more and more intrigued by the bizarre changes occurring in his new patient’s body, his old passion gives way to a fresh one, a passion altogether odder, and darker, than the first. In true gothic fashion, Patrick McGrath brings to his narration of a doomed love affair and bizarre aftermath an acute erotic intensity, portraying a man whose disease is passion—disease that can exalt a man, but can also destroy him.
Author: Margaret Galvin
Publisher: Lapwing Publications
Author: T.H. White
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Category: Juvenile Fiction
“She saw: first, a square opening, about eight inches wide, in the lowest step…finally she saw that there was a walnut shell, or half one, outside the nearest door…she went to look at the shell—but looked with the greatest astonishment. There was a baby in it.” So ten-year-old Maria, orphaned mistress of Malplaquet, discovers the secret of her deteriorating estate: on a deserted island at its far corner, in the temple long ago nicknamed Mistress Masham’s Repose, live an entire community of people—”The People,” as they call themselves—all only inches tall. With the help of her only friend—the absurdly erudite Professor—Maria soon learns that this settlement is no less than the kingdom of Lilliput (first seen in Gulliver’s Travels) in exile. Safely hidden for centuries, the Lilliputians are at first endangered by Maria’s well-meaning but clumsy attempts to make their lives easier, but their situation grows truly ominous when they are discovered by Maria’s greedy guardians, who look at The People and see only a bundle of money.
Author: Kathy Lynn Emerson
Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd
A female spymaster in Tudor England faces mortal danger in a mystery “recommended . . . for readers of Fiona Buckley, Karen Harper, and Amanda Carmack” (Library Journal). London, 1582: Mistress Rosamond Jaffrey, a talented and well-educated woman of independent means, is recruited by Queen Elizabeth I’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, to be lady-in-waiting to Lady Mary, a cousin of the queen. With her talent in languages and knowledge of ciphers and codes, she will be integral to the spymaster as an intelligence gatherer, being able to get close to Lady Mary just at the time when she is being courted by Russia’s Ivan the Terrible. But there are some nobles at court who will do anything they can to thwart such an alliance, and Rosamond soon realizes the extent of the danger, when a prominent official is murdered and then an attempt is made on both her and Lady Mary’s lives. In her quest to protect her ward—and her estranged husband—Rosamond must put herself in mortal peril . . . “First-rate storytelling, a fine choice for historical-mystery fans.” —Booklist “A diverting series, with lots of twists and turns and Tudor tidbits.” —Kirkus Reviews
Author: Martina Evans
Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd
Martina Evans’s Now We Can Talk Openly about Men is a pair of dramatic monologues, snapshots of the lives of two women in 1920s Ireland. The first, Kitty Donovan, is a dressmaker in the time of the Irish War of Independence. The second, Babe Cronin, is set in 1924, shortly after the Irish Civil War. Kitty is a dressmaker with a taste for laudanum. Babe is a stenographer who has fallen in love with a young revolutionary. Through their separate, overlapping stories, Evans colours an era and a culture seldom voiced in verse. Set back some years from their stories, both women find a strand of humour in what took place, even as they recall the passion, vertigo and terror of those times. A dream-like compulsion in their voices adds a sense of retrospective inevitability. The use of intense, almost psychedelic colour in the first half of the book opposes the flattened, monochrome language of the second half. This is a work of vivid contrasts, of age and youth, women and men, the Irish and the English: complementary stories of balance, imbalance, and transition.
Stories of Ghosts
Author: M. John Harrison
Publisher: Comma Press
M. John Harrison is a cartographer of the liminal. His work sits at the boundaries between genres – horror and science fiction, fantasy and travel writing – just as his characters occupy the no man’s land between the spatial and the spiritual. Here, in his first collection of short fiction for over 15 years, we see the master of the New Wave present unsettling visions of contemporary urban Britain, as well as supernatural parodies of the wider, political landscape. From gelatinous aliens taking over the world’s financial capitals, to the middle-aged man escaping the pressures of fatherhood by going missing in his own house… these are weird stories for weird times. ‘M. John Harrison’s slippery, subversive stories mix the eerie and familiar into beguiling, alarming marvels. No one writes quite like him; no one I can think of writes such flawless sentences, or uses them to such disorientating effect.’ – Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City ‘These stories map a rediscovered fictional hinterland, one tucked behind the glossier edifices of modernity and genre with views down alleyways into pubs and flats where Patrick Hamilton glares balefully at J. G. Ballard.’ – Will Eaves, author of This is Paradise ‘M. John Harrison moves elegantly, passionately, from genre to genre, his prose lucent and wise, his stories published as SF or as fantasy, as horror or as mainstream fiction. In each playing field, he wins awards, and makes it look so easy. His prose is deceptively simple, each word considered and placed where it can sink deepest and do the most damage.’ – Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods ‘With an austere and deeply moving humanism, M. John Harrison proves what only those crippled by respectability still doubt – that science fiction can be literature, of the very greatest kind.’ – China Miéville, author of Perdido Street Station
Author: Danielle Steel
Natasha Leonovas beauty saved her life. Discovered on a freezing Moscow street by a Russian billionaire, she has lived for seven years under his protection. Believing his generosity will always keep her safe, Natasha is careful not to dwell on Vladimirs ruthlessness or the deadly circles he moves in.Until she meets Theo Luca. The son of a famous and difficult artist, Theo and his mother own a restaurant filled with his late fathers artwork. There, on a warm June evening, Theo first encounters Natasha, the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. And there, Vladimir lays eyes on Lucas artwork. Two dangerous obsessions begin.Theo, a gifted artist in his own right, finds himself feverishly painting Natashas image for weeks after their first meeting. Vladimir, enraged that the paintings are not for sale, is determined to secure one at any price. And Natasha, who knows that she cannot afford to make even one false move, nevertheless begins to think of the freedom she can never have as Vladimirs mistress . . .
Tales of Manhattan Then and Now
Author: Patrick McGrath
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
A man is haunted by the memory of his mother with a rope round her neck. It is the American War of Independence, and having defied the British forces occupying New York she must pay for her revolutionary activities. But fifty years on her son harbours a festering guilt for his inadvertent part in her downfall. In thrusting nineteenth-century New York, a ruthless merchant's sensitive son is denied the love of his life through his father's prejudice against the immigrants flooding into the city - and madness and violence ensue. In the wake of 9/11, a Manhattan psychiatrist treats a favoured patient reeling from the destruction of the World Trade Center, but fails to detect the damage she herself has sustained. In this trio of stunning tales from a master storyteller, Patrick McGrath excavates the layers of New York's turbulent history.
Author: Kirby Larson
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Category: Juvenile Fiction
In 1919, 17-year-old Hattie leaves the Montana prairie—and her sweetheart Charlie—to become a female reporter in San Francisco, in the sequel to Hattie Big Sky, that was written, in part, to answer many questions that readers posed about the irrepressible Hattie.
Author: Patrick McGrath
Patrick McGrath has created his most psychologically penetrating vision to date: a nightmare world rocked to its foundations by a passion of such force and intensity that it shatters the lives--and minds--of all who are touched by it. Stella Raphael, a woman of great beauty and formidable intelligence, is married to Max, a staid and unimaginative forensic psychiatrist. Max has taken a job in a huge top-security mental hospital in rural England, and Stella, far from London society, finds herself restless and bored. Into her lonely existence comes Edgar Stark, a brilliant sculptor confined to the hospital after killing his wife in a psychotic rage. He comes to Stella's garden to rebuild an old Victorian conservatory there, and Stella cannot ignore her overwhelming physical attraction to this desperate man. Their explosive affair pits them against Stella's husband, her child, and the entire institution. When the crisis comes to a head, Stella makes a decision--one that will destroy several lives and precipitate an appalling tragedy that could only be fueled by illicit sexual love. Asylum is a terrifying exploration of the extremes to which erotic obsession can drive us. Patrick McGrath brings his own dazzling blend of cool artistry and visceral engagement to this mesmerizing story of a fatal love and its unspeakably tragic aftermath. And in Stella Raphael, a woman who tears down the walls of her constricted existence to pursue a dangerous passion, he has created a character who will long be remembered for her willingness to take the ultimate risk, even if she must pay the ultimate price.
Author: Amanda Quick
After a year of grand adventures touring the classical ruins of Italy and Greece, Iphiginia Bright returned to England to discover that the real excitement was at home. It seems that her Aunt Zoe has fallen victim to a sinister blackmailer and only Iphiginia can hope to stop the culprit before he can do more harm. Her plan is inspired: Imitating history's most legendary beauties--Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Aphrodite--the former schoolmistress will remake herself, and descend upon London Society as the dazzling mistress of Marcus Valerius Cloud, the infamous Earl of Masters. Rumors hint that the Earl has disappeared at the blackmailer's hands, and by posing as his unknown mistress, Iphiginia is convinced she can ferret out the villain. Overnight, Iphiginia is transformed into a vision with a host of eager admirers, including one she does not expect -- the Earl of Masters himself, who strides into a shimmering ballroom one evening to cooly reclaim his "mistress". He is everything they say he is... arrogant, attractive, devastatingly seductive, and Iphiginia can't help but be enthralled. But when Marcus agrees to play along with her charade, she doesn't know that the determined earl has plans of his own: to tease and tempt her, until the beautiful deceiver becomes more than his mistress in name only. From the Paperback edition.
Author: Ariel Lawhon
Publisher: Anchor Books
A steamy reimagining of the scandal-marked 1930 disappearance of Justice Joseph Crater explores events decades later from the perspectives of the three women who knew him best, including his Chanel-draped wife, his showgirl mistress and his dutiful housemaid.
Author: Catherine Delors
Forced to marry an elderly baron instead of a man she loves, impoverished noblewoman Gabrielle de Montserrat is condemned to death at the height of the French Revolution and finds her life placed in the hands of her former lover.