Related to: 'The Perpetual Curate'

Virago

Miss Marjoribanks

Margaret Oliphant

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 . . .

Virago

Hester

Margaret Oliphant
Virago

The Harsh Voice

Rebecca West
Abacus

Venice: Tales Of The City

Michelle Lovric
Sphere

Soft Touch

Maeve Haran

Like all her nice liberal friends Catherine Hope is determined to bring up her children with Tolerance, Understanding and without Fear. It seems to be working: Catherine's teenage daughter, Rachel, looks all set to get 'A's in everything.Suddenly Rachel wants to spend every weekend at her grandmother's country cottage, a place she had previously done everything she could to avoid. The reason? Marko: sultry, sexy countryside campaigner, out to save a threatened woodland from destruction, a woodland on the doorstep of Catherine's conventional and disapproving mother-in-law, Lavinia, who already reckons Catherine is a soft touch. What will Lavinia say apart from 'I told you so' about Rachel becoming a teenage road rebel?While Catherine's precious liberalism goes out of the window and she yearns to lock her daughter in her bedroom, Lavinia turns out to have hidden passions of her own. As the protest erupts around them, friendships are severed, loyalties divided and lives endangered. The dutiful daughter, model mother and gracious grandmother all find themselves changed for ever in this entertaining and moving story of the war between the generations.

New Harbinger

Insecure in Love

Leslie Becker-Phelps
Sphere

The Verdict

Nick Stone
Abacus

Attack Of The Unsinkable Rubber Ducks

Christopher Brookmyre
Constable

Ruth Ellis: My Sister's Secret Life

Muriel Jakubait, with Monica Weller

The secret double-life of Ruth Ellis and the Establishment cover-up that led to her unjust hanging Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, was convicted fifty years ago for shooting her lover David Blakely. The case became a notorious part of British criminal history and was turned into the film, Dance with a Stranger. The story that has been perpetuated ever since is that of a peroxide tart who killed in a fit of passion. Yet, crucial questions were left unasked in the original trial. Ruth Ellis's sister, Muriel Jakubait, knew her longest of all. She has never given up her search for justice. Now after fifty years she has decided to reveal the hard facts about their shared upbringing, and seek to piece together the full true story of her sister. As she is at pains to point out, the jealous killer tag has never been substantiated. This is a story of power, espionage, lies, loyalty, poverty, sex and betrayal. It suggests a third man may have pulled the trigger for the fatal shots. And that he belonged to a web of espionage into which Ruth Ellis fell long before the shooting. Above all, it indicates that Ruth was being run by Stephen Ward, at least a decade before his name became public in the Profumo Scandal. Muriel's motive is about more than proving her sister Ruth's innocence. It's about reclaiming the right to tell the story of her own family, stripped bare of the many tabloid myths that have accrued over the decades. She shows that Ruth was somebody damaged at a very early age - who strove to make something of herself, only to be caught up in something much bigger and end up paying with her life.

Virago

Some Tame Gazelle

Barbara Pym

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.

Virago

Vera Brittain: A Life

Mark Bostridge, Paul Berry

Vera Brittain is most widely known as the woman who immortalized a lost generation in her haunting autobiography of the Great War, TESTAMENT OF YOUTH.Writer, pacifist and feminist, she condemned her provincial background but remained acutely conscious of the conventional elements in her own character; she revealed a richly emotional life in her writing but was outwardly sober and reserved; she possessed a fierce desire for fame and recognition but was ready to sacrifice both on matters of principle.This biography - comprehensive, authoritative and immensely readable - confirms Vera Brittain's stature as one of the most remarkable women of our time.

Robinson

A Brief Guide to Jeeves and Wooster

Nigel Cawthorne

A comprehensive guide to P. G. Wodehouse's two best-loved comic characters, Bertram Wilbeforce Wooster and his valet ('Reggie') Jeeves, Bertie's friends and relatives and their world of sunshine, country houses and champagne. Although the stories may seem quintessentially English, they were for the most part written in the United States by a man who spent more than half his adult life there, eventually becoming a citizen in 1955. The first stories involving the two characters are even set in New York, while those that aren't are set in an England that has never existed, contrived to appeal to an American audience. Cawthorne offers fascinating insights into Wodehouse's world, his life - on Long Island and elsewhere - the wonderful short stories and novels and the many adaptations for stage and screen.

Chapter One

The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds

Read the first chapter of the latest book in Alexander McCall Smith's Sunday Philosophy Club series. The victim of an important art theft appeals to Isabel Dalhousie, Edinburgh philosopher and sleuth, for help.

Virago

August Folly

Angela Thirkell
Corsair

Boomsday

Christopher Buckley

Outraged over the mounting Social Security debt, Cassandra Devine, a charismatic 29-year-old blogger and member of Generation Whatever, incites massive cultural warfare when she politely suggests that Baby Boomers be given government incentives to kill themselves by age 75. Her modest proposal catches fire with millions of citizens, chief among them "an ambitious senator seeking the presidency." With the help of Washington's greatest spin doctor, the blogger and the politician try to ride the issue of euthanasia for Boomers (called "transitioning") all the way to the White House,over the objections of the Religious Right, and of course, the Baby Boomers, who are deeply offended by demonstrations on the golf courses of their retirement resorts.

Virago

Remember, Remember!

Winifred Holtby

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.

Virago

Phoebe Junior

Margaret Oliphant

Piatkus

Across The Sapphire Seas

Heather Graves
FaithWords

Ties That Bind

Kristin Armstrong
Little, Brown US

The Ornament Of The World

Maria Rosa Menocal