BookSeriesList
Virago

A View Of The Harbour

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

She let herself out of the large, untidy house and into her own beautiful, hyacinth-scented one. She sat down in the bay-window of her bedroom and combed her hair before the mirror. She took it all down and built it up again, but there was no one to see what she had done.*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 painfully 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, Independent

Virago

A Game Of Hide And Seek

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

A stunning hardback edition of Elizabeth Taylor's wonderful novel about first love and childhood summers, with a cover design by Celia Birtwell.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 the letter that never comes. Then Charles enters her life, and Harriet stifles her imaginings. With a husband and daughter, she excels at respectability: ornaments on the mantlepiece, remembered birthdays and jars of lilac. But when Vesey reappears, her marriage seems to melt away. Harriet is older, it is much too late, but she is still in love with him.First published in 1958, this is Elizabeth Taylor's subtlest and finest work.

Virago

Jamaica Inn

Daphne Du Maurier
Authors:
Daphne Du Maurier

After the death of her mother, Mary Yellan crosses the windswept Cornish moors to Jamaica Inn, the home of her Aunt Patience. There she finds Patience a changed woman, downtrodden by her domineering, vicious husband Joss Merlyn. The inn is a front for a lawless gang of criminals, and Mary is unwillingly dragged into their dangerous world of smuggling and murder. Before long she will be forced to cross her own moral line to save herself.

Virago

Valley Of The Dolls

Jacqueline Susann
Authors:
Jacqueline Susann

With a cover design by founder of Biba, Barbara HulanickiValley of the Dolls took the world by storm when it was first published in 1966. Never had a book been so frank about sex, drugs and show business. It is often sited as the bestselling novel of all time.Dolls - red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight. For Anne, Neely and Jennifer, it doesn't matter, as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach. These three beautiful women become best friends when they are young and in New York, struggling to make their names in the entertainment industry. Only when they reach the peak of their careers do they find there's nowhere left to go but down - to the Valley of the Dolls.

Virago

A Far Cry From Kensington

Muriel Spark
Authors:
Muriel Spark

With a cover design by Lucienne DayWhen Mrs Hawkins tells Hector Bartlett he is a 'pisseur de copie', that 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.

Virago

The Magic Toyshop

Angela Carter
Authors:
Angela Carter

Cover design by Jacqueline Groag'This crazy world whirled about her, men and women dwarfed by toys and puppets, where even the birds were mechanical and the few human figures went masked . . . She was in the night again, and the doll was herself'One night Melanie walks through the garden in her mother's wedding dress. The next morning her world is shattered. Forced to leave her rural home, she is sent to London to live with relatives she has never met: gentle Aunt Margaret, mute since her wedding day; and her brothers, Francie, whose graceful music belies his clumsy nature, and the volatile Finn. Brooding over all is Uncle Philip, who loves only the puppets he creates in his workshop, which are life-sized - and uncannily life-like.

Virago

The Diary Of A Provincial Lady

E.M. Delafield
Authors:
E.M. Delafield

With a cover design by Cath KidstonBehind this rather prim and proper title lies the hilarious fictional diary of a long-suffering, disaster-prone Devon 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 reluctance; her gleefully troublesome children; and a succession of tricky servants who invariably seem to gain the upper hand. And if her domestic trials were not enough, she must keep up appearances. Particularly with the maddeningly patronising Lady Boxe, whom the Provincial Lady eternally (and unsuccessfully) tries to compete with.

Virago

Slammerkin

Emma Donoghue
Authors:
Emma Donoghue

Set in London and Monmouth in the late 1700s, this is an extraordinary novel about Mary Saunders, the young daughter of a poor seamstress. Mary hungers greedily for fine clothes and ribbons, as people of her class do for food and warmth. It's a hunger that lures her into prostitution at the age of thirteen. Mary is thrown out by her distraught mother when she gets pregnant and almost dies on the dangerous streets of London. Her saviour is Doll - a prostitute. Mary roams London freely with Doll, selling her body to all manner of 'cullies', dressed whorishly in colourful, gaudy dresses with a painted red smile.Faced with bad debts and threats upon her life she eventually flees to Monmouth, her mother's hometown, where she attempts to start a new life as a maid in Mrs Jones's house. But Mary soon discovers that she can't escape her past and just how dearly people like her pay for yearnings not fitting to their class in society...

Virago

Frenchman's Creek

Daphne Du Maurier
Authors:
Daphne Du Maurier

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.

Virago

The Dud Avocado

Elaine Dundy
Authors:
Elaine Dundy

THE DUD AVOCADO gained instant cult status on first publication and remains a timeless portrait of a woman hellbent on living. It is, as the GUARDIAN observes, 'one of the best novels about growing up fast'.Sally Jay Gorce is a woman with a mission. It's the 1950s, she's young, and she's in Paris. Having dyed her hair pink, she wears evening dresses in the daytime and vows to go native in a way not even the natives can manage. Embarking on an educational programme that includes an affair with a married man (which fizzles out when she realises he's single and wants to marry her); nights in cabarets and jazz clubs in the company of assorted "citizens of the world"; an entanglement with a charming psychopath; and a bit part in a film financed by a famous matador. But an education like this doesn't come cheap. Will our heroine be forced back to the States to fulfill her destiny as a librarian, or can she keep up her whirlwind Parisian existence?

Virago

The Talented Mr Ripley

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

A stunning hardback edition of one of the most influential, groundbreaking crime novels ever written.'I'm a huge Highsmith fan. If there's one book I wish I'd written, it's The Talented Mr Ripley' Sarah WatersTom Ripley travels to Italy with a commission to coax a prodigal young American back to his wealthy father. But Ripley finds himself very fond of Dickie Greenleaf. He wants to be like him - exactly like him. Suave, agreeable and utterly amoral, Ripley will stop at nothing to accomplish his goal. The Talented Mr. Ripley serves as an unforgettable introduction to this smooth confidence man, whose talent for murder and self-invention is chronicled in four subsequent Ripley novels.

Virago

The Tortoise And The Hare

Elizabeth Jenkins
Authors:
Elizabeth Jenkins

'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 TimesIn 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

Virago

Good Behaviour unlined notebook

Molly Keane
Authors:
Molly Keane

Using the cover artwork of our much-loved Virago Modern Classics hardback range, these elegant unlined notebooks celebrate three of our most popular titles: The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; and Good Behaviour by Molly Keane. These beautiful notebooks are a must-have for all Virago fans - surely the most stylish way of collecting notes on your favourite books. Or maybe they will inspire you to write a novel of your own . . . Each notebook features a ribbon bookmark, high-quality paper and matching endpapers.The Talented Mr Ripley and The Magic Toyshop feature artwork by vintage textile designers Marian Mahler and Jacqueline Groag. Good Behaviour features a cover by award-winning designers Eley Kishimoto: http://www.eleykishimoto.com/

Virago

Invitation To The Waltz

Rosamond Lehmann
Authors:
Rosamond Lehmann

On her seventeenth birthday, Olivia Curtis receives: a diary for her innermost thoughts, a china ornament, a ten-shilling note and a roll of flame-coloured silk for her first ball dress. She anticipates the dance, the greatest and most terrifying event of her life so far, with uncertainty and excitement. For her pretty sister Kate, it is sure to be a triumph, but what will it be for shy, awkward Olivia?Rosamond Lehmann, one of the best-loved writers of the twentieth century, perfectly captures the emotions of a girl poised on the threshold of womanhood.

Virago

Excellent Women

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

Cover design by Orla KielyMildred Lathbury is one of those 'excellent women' who is often taken for granted. She is a godsend, 'capable of dealing with most of the stock situations of life - birth, marriage, death, the successful jumble sales, the garden fete spoilt by bad weather'. As such, though, she often gets herself embroiled in other people's lives - and especially those of her glamorous new neighbours, the Napiers, whose marriage seems to be on the rocks. One cannot take sides in these matters, though it is tricky, especially when Mildred, teetering on the edge of spinsterhood, has a soft spot for dashing young Rockingham Napier. This is Barbara Pym's world at its funniest and most touching.

Virago

The Enchanted April

Elizabeth von Arnim
Authors:
Elizabeth von Arnim

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.

Virago

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston
Authors:
Zora Neale Hurston

When Janie, at sixteen, is caught kissing shiftless Johnny Taylor, her grandmother swiftly marries her off to an old man with sixty acres. Janie endures two stifling marriages before meeting the man of her dreams, who offers not diamonds, but a packet of flowering seeds ...'For me, THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD is one of the very greatest American novels of the 20th century. It is so lyrical it should be sentimental; it is so passionate it should be overwrought, but it is instead a rigorous, convincing and dazzling piece of prose, as emotionally satisfying as it is impressive. There is no novel I love more' Zadie Smith

Virago

Tipping The Velvet

Sarah Waters
Authors:
Sarah Waters

Piercing the shadows of the naked stage was a single shaft of rosy limelight, and in the centre of this was a girl: the most marvellous girl - I knew it at once! - that I had ever seen. A saucy, sensuous and multi-layered historical romance, Tipping the Velvet follows the glittering career of Nan King - oyster girl turned music-hall star turned rent boy turned East End 'tom'.

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