Elizabeth Taylor - The Soul Of Kindness - Little, Brown Book Group

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The Soul Of Kindness

By Elizabeth Taylor

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

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.

'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.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780748125302
  • Publication date: 02 Dec 2010
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Virago
The Soul of Kindness, like many of Elizabeth Taylor's novels, is so expert that it seems effortless. As it progresses, it seems as if the cast are so fully rounded that all the novelist had to do was place them, successively, in one setting after another and observe how they reacted to each other ... Taylor is one of the hidden treasures of the English novel — Philip Hensher, Daily Telegraph
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
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 - the perfect toast to the quiet horror of domestic life — Valerie Martin
Virago

Noel Streatfeild’s Holiday Stories

Noel Streatfeild, Peter Bailey
Contributors:
Noel Streatfeild, Peter Bailey
Abacus

The Amazing Test Match Crime

Adrian Alington
Authors:
Adrian Alington

All England waited with passionate eagerness for the final match to be played at the Oval. For this was to be played to a finish and would decide the fate of the Ashes.It is 1938 and England is brimming with excitement as the final Test Match against Imperia draws near. But no corner of the land has the fate of the Ashes closer to its heart than the village of Wattlecombe Ducis, Glebeshire.It was here at the Manor House that Norman Blood, captain of England, spent his childhood playing cricket with the vicar's radiant daughter, Monica. And it was she who presented young but poor Joe Prestwick with a belt on the occasion of his first game of cricket, saving his honour for as Sir Timothy Blood remarked, 'I would rather see the whole village dead at my feet than a man bowling in braces.'With a short - but sensational - career behind him, Joe just needs to be selected to play at the Oval to win Monica's heart and her hand in marriage: everything depends on the Test.But The Bad Men, Europe's most wanted gang, have no intention of letting the best team win. Sawn-off Carlo, The Professor and Ralph the Disappointment (an Englishman who, knowing the rules of the Game, is eternally damned for not playing by them) plan to strike a blow at the very heart of proud Albion and her Empire. The Amazing Test Match Crime, first published in 1939, is a wicked yet affectionate comedy of cricketing (and criminal) manners, proving - as if proof were needed - that a straight bat and nimble spinning finger will always win through.

Sphere

The Pact

Roberta Kray
Authors:
Roberta Kray
Hachette Audio

The Fourth Shore

Virginia Baily
Authors:
Virginia Baily
Sphere

The War of the Worlds

H. G. Wells
Authors:
H. G. Wells
Virago

Chasm: A Weekend

Dorothea Tanning
Authors:
Dorothea Tanning

A Surrealist novel in the vein of Angela Carter, about love and beauty and dark secrets.Played out like the command of an oracle are the events that stain one night in the improbable setting of this desert tale. Rearing its impudent architecture like insult on a landscape of quiet beauty is Windcote, "its very name a masquerade," where inhabitants and guests find themselves driven by obsessions and confusions they have never faced before. Here doors open and close and open again. They hide, release, reveal, and ruin. In this web of tangled imperatives is the child, Destina, untouched by the fevers and failures around her. Her own world is outside in the mystery-locked canyon where, for the time of this story, she seems to find her own truth

Virago

Noel Streatfeild's Christmas Stories

Noel Streatfeild
Authors:
Noel Streatfeild

From the author of Ballet ShoesIn this captivating collection of festive stories, there are auditions on stage and antics on ice, trips to the pantomime, holiday adventures, and laughter shared with family and friends. Charming, heartwarming and funny, this exciting new collection is sure to be a hit with readers of all ages.Originally written for annuals, magazines and the radio from the 1940s-60s, these stories by this much-loved author have never been collected before and will be a welcome discovery to all Streatfeild's admirers.Stories include:The AuditionThe Bells Keep Twelfth NightThe Moss RoseThimbleThe PrincessThe ChainChristmas at CollersThe Pantomime GooseSkating to the Stars

Hachette Audio

Bright Young Dead

Jessica Fellowes
Authors:
Jessica Fellowes

'All the blissful escapism of a Sunday-night period drama in a book'THE POOL ON THE MITFORD MURDERSAs the glamour of the Bright Young Things crashes into the world of the Mitford sisters, their maid Louisa Cannon finds herself at the scene of a gripping murder mystery.Meet the Bright Young Things, the rabble-rousing hedonists of the 1920s whose treasure hunts were a media obsession. One such game takes place at the 18th birthday party of Pamela Mitford, but ends in tragedy as cruel, charismatic Adrian Curtis is pushed to his death from the church neighbouring the Mitford home. The police quickly identify the killer as a maid, Dulcie. But Louisa Cannon, chaperone to the Mitford girls and a former criminal herself, believes Dulcie to be innocent, and sets out to clear the girl's name . . . all while the real killer may only be steps away.PRAISE FOR THE MITFORD MURDERS SERIES'An extraordinary meld of fact and fiction' GRAHAM NORTON'A lively, entertaining, well-written whodunit' THE TIMES (crime book of the month)'True and glorious indulgence. A dazzling example of a Golden Age mystery'DAISY GOODWIN'Exactly the sort of book you might enjoy with the fire blazing, the snow falling. The solution is neat and the writing always enjoyable'ANTHONY HOROWITZ (crime novels of the year)'Oh how delicious! This terrific start to what promises to be a must-read series is exactly what we all need in these gloomy times. Inventive, glittering, clever, ingenious. I devoured The Mitford Murders... so will you. Give it to absolutely everyone for Christmas, then pre-order the next one'SUSAN HILL'All the blissful escapism of a Sunday-night period drama in a book'THE POOL'Keeps the reader guessing to the very end. An accomplished crime debut and huge fun to read'EVENING STANDARD'This story is drenched in detail and feels both authentic and fun. Curl up in your favourite reading spot and enjoy'HEAT'The plan is that each book will focus on a different Mitford sister. On the strength of this initial entry, success is assured'FINANCIAL TIMES'Elegant, whipsmart and brilliantly twisty-turny, this Downton-style mystery had me hooked from the first page'VIV GROSKOP'Full of period pleasure'WOMAN & HOME'An audacious and glorious foray into the Golden Age of mystery fiction. Breathtaking'ALEX GRAY'A real murder, a real family and a brand new crime fiction heroine are woven together to make a fascinating, and highly enjoyable, read. I loved it'JULIAN FELLOWES'Jessica Fellowes' deliciously immersive, effortlessly easy novel has a strong feel for period and a rollicking plot'METRO'What a captivating crime novel and heroine Jessica has created in The Mitford Murders. The instant reassurance of being in the hands of a true storyteller with a feel for period detail makes this a real treat'AMANDA CRAIG'This is a chocolate soufflé of a novel: as the enthralling mystery heats up, so the addictive deliciousness of the story rises. The sort of book you never want to end'JULIET NICOLSON

Sphere

Vanity Fair

William Makepeace Thackeray
Authors:
William Makepeace Thackeray

The classic novel of 'villainy, crime, merriment, lovemaking, jilting, laughing, cheating, fighting and dancing', soon to be a major new ITV series from the producers of Poldark, Victoria and And Then There Were None.William Makepeace Thackeray's witty literary classic Vanity Fair is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and follows anti-heroine and ruthless social climber Becky Sharp as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English Society. Her story takes her all the way to the court of King George IV, via the Battle of Waterloo, breaking heart and fortunes as she goes.ITV's new adaptation of will be one of the biggest drama series of 2018: its script comes from BAFTA-nominated writer Gwyneth Hughes, the series is co-produced by leading production companies Mammoth Screen and Amazon Studios, and Olivia Cooke - star of Steven Spielberg's hit blockbuster Ready Player One - plays Thackeray's timeless heroine Becky Sharp.Read the book before you see the series, then devour it all over again.

Little, Brown

Prague Spring

Simon Mawer
Authors:
Simon Mawer
Virago

The Seventh Cross

Anna Seghers
Authors:
Anna Seghers
Sphere

The Empire Girls

Sue Wilsher
Authors:
Sue Wilsher
Virago

Marriage

Susan Ferrier
Authors:
Susan Ferrier
Virago

The Peppermint Pig

Nina Bawden, Alan Marks
Contributors:
Nina Bawden, Alan Marks

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

Abacus

Craven House

Patrick Hamilton
Authors:
Patrick Hamilton

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Abacus

The Riviera Set

Mary S. Lovell
Authors:
Mary S. Lovell
Piatkus

The Dressmaker's Secret

Charlotte Betts
Authors:
Charlotte Betts

A sumptuously romantic story bursting with historical colour and flavour, perfect for readers of Dinah Jefferies, Lucinda Riley and Jenny Ashcroft.'Romantic, engaging and hugely satisfying' Katie Fford on The Apothecary's Daughter*****Italy, 1819. Emilia Barton and her mother Sarah live a nomadic existence, travelling from town to town as itinerant dressmakers to escape their past. When they settle in the idyllic coastal town of Pesaro, Emilia desperately hopes that, this time, they have found a permanent home. But when Sarah is brutally attacked by an unknown assailant, a deathbed confession turns Emilia's world upside down.Seeking refuge as a dressmaker in the eccentric household of Princess Caroline of Brunswick, Emilia experiences her first taste of love with the charming Alessandro. But her troubling history gnaws away at her. Might she, a humble dressmaker's daughter, have a more aristocratic past than she could have imagined? When the Princess sends her on an assignment to London, she grasps the opportunity to unravel the truth.Caught up in a web of treachery and deceit, Emilia is determined to discover who she really is - even if she risks losing everything . . .*****Reader reviews:'You will never be disappointed with a Charlotte Betts book!' Amazon reviewer'Well-written and thought-provoking' Goodreads reviewer'A fantastic story loaded with history' Amazon reviewer

Abacus

Hangover Square

Patrick Hamilton
Authors:
Patrick Hamilton

The seventy-fifth anniversary edition, with a new introduction by Anthony Quinn.'I recommend Hamilton at every opportunity, because he was such a wonderful writer and yet is rather under-read today. All his novels are terrific' Sarah Waters'If you were looking to fly from Dickens to Martin Amis with just one overnight stop, then Hamilton is your man' Nick HornbyLondon, 1939, and in the grimy publands of Earls Court, George Harvey Bone is pursuing a helpless infatuation. Netta is cool, contemptuous and hopelessly desirable to George. George is adrift in a drunken hell, except in his 'dead' moments, when something goes click in his head and he realises, without a doubt, that he must kill her. In the darkly comic Hangover Square Patrick Hamilton brilliantly evokes a seedy, fog-bound world of saloon bars, lodging houses and boozing philosophers, immortalising the slang and conversational tone of a whole generation and capturing the premonitions of doom that pervaded London life in the months before the war.

Orbit

Imprudence

Gail Carriger
Authors:
Gail Carriger

From New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger comes the stunning sequel to Prudence. Rue and the crew of the Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England's scientific community. Queen Victoria is not amused, the vampires are tetchy, and something is wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue's best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most unacceptable military types. Rue has family problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue's beginning to suspect that what they really are . . . is frightened.

Virago

Mossy Trotter

Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Ross
Contributors:
Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Ross