Rumer-Godden-books

A classic author loved by generations

Rumer Godden

New to the Virago Modern Classic list
Classic author, Rumer Godden, joins the Virago list
Virago

Black Narcissus

By Rumer Godden, Rosie Thomas

High in the Himalayas near Darjeeling, the old mountaintop palace shines like a jewel. When it was the General's 'harem' palace, richly dressed ladies wandered the windswept terraces; at night, music floated out over the villages and gorges. Now, the General's son has bestowed it on an order of nuns, the Sisters of Mary.

Well-intentioned yet misguided, the nuns set about taming the gardens and opening a school and dispensary for the villagers. They are dependent on the local English agent of Empire, Mr Dean; but his charm and insolent candour are disconcerting. And the implacable emptiness of the mountain, the ceaseless winds, exact a toll on the Sisters.When Mr Dean says bluntly, 'This is no place for a nunnery,' it is as if he foresees their destiny...

The basis for Powell & Pressburger's Academy Award-winning 1947 film, Rumer Godden's much-admired classic novel tells the story of a sisterhood of nuns on a mission in Himalayan India.Rumer Godden (1907-98) was the acclaimed author of over sixty works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Born in England, she and her siblings grew up in Narayanganj, India, and she later spent many years living in Calcutta and Kashmir. Several of her novels were made into films, including Black Narcissus, The Greengage Summer and The River, which was filmed by Jean Renoir. She was appointed OBE in 1993

'A remarkable and beautiful book' Daily Telegraph

'Like Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca or Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, Black Narcissus is one of those rare novels that combine huge popular appeal with emotional subtlety and literary skill' Anne Chisholm

High in the Himalayas, the old mountaintop palace shines like a jewel. Built for the General's harem, laughter and music once floated out over the gorge. But now it sits abandoned; windswept and haunting.

The General's son bestows the palace to the Sisters of Mary, and 'the House of Women', as it was once known, becomes the Convent of St Faith. Close to the heavens, the nuns feel inspired, working fervently to establish their school and hospital. But the isolation and emptiness of the mountain become increasingly unsettling, and passions long repressed emerge with tragic consequences . . .

Rumer Godden is a major new addition to the Virago Modern Classics - we will bring 15 of her novels for adults and young readers back into print in 2012-14.Introduced by Rosie Thomas, bestselling author of The Kashmir Shawl.

High in the Himalayas near Darjeeling, the old mountaintop palace shines like a jewel. When it was the General's 'harem' palace, richly dressed ladies wandered the windswept terraces; at night, music floated out over the villages and gorges. Now, the General's son has bestowed it on an order of nuns, the Sisters of Mary.

Well-intentioned yet misguided, the nuns set about taming the gardens and opening a school and dispensary for the villagers. They are dependent on the local English agent of Empire, Mr Dean; but his charm and insolent candour are disconcerting. And the implacable emptiness of the mountain, the ceaseless winds, exact a toll on the Sisters.When Mr Dean says bluntly, 'This is no place for a nunnery,' it is as if he foresees their destiny...

Virago

Kingfishers Catch Fire

By Rumer Godden, Rosie Thomas
Sophie, an English ingénue with two children, arrives in Himalayan Kashmir to set up home in a tumbledown cottage surrounded by flowers and herbs. Settling down to live quietly, frugally and peacefully with her new neighbours, she is unaware of the turmoil her arrival provokes as the villagers compete fiercely for her patronage. Sophie's cook makes a drastic bid to secure his position, and the unwanted consequences are catastrophic . ..Rumer Godden's classic novel tells the story of a young English woman's dramatic and disturbing experiences in Himalayan Kashmir.Rumer Godden (1907-98) was the acclaimed author of over sixty works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Born in England, she and her siblings grew up in Narayanganj, India, and she later spent many years living in Calcutta and Kashmir. Several of her novels were made into films, including Black Narcissus, The Greengage Summer and The River, which was filmed by Jean Renoir. She was appointed OBE in 1993.

'Rumer Godden's novels pulse with life . . . A collision of England and India familiar to readers of Forster's A Passage to India' Daily Telegraph


Sophie, an English ingénue with two children, arrives in Himalayan Kashmir to set up home in a tumbledown cottage surrounded by flowers and herbs. Settling down to live quietly, frugally and peacefully with her new neighbours, she is unaware of the turmoil her arrival provokes as the villagers compete fiercely for her patronage. Sophie's cook makes a drastic bid to secure his position, and the unwanted consequences are catastrophic . . .

Rumer Godden is a major new addition to the Virago Modern Classics - we will bring 15 titles for adults and younger readers back into print in 2012-14.Introduced by Rosie Thomas, bestselling author of The Kashmir Shawl.
Virago

Breakfast with the Nikolides

By Rumer Godden, Rosie Thomas
For Emily Pool, India is a magical place where she has the freedom to escape her mother's suffocating influence. Her days are spent exploring the canals and gardens of East Bengal, and admiringly observing her glamorous, dignified neighbours, the Nikolides. But just as the cracks in Emily's family home are papered over, so do the Pools strive to maintain an outward impression of respectability, and it is through the Nikolides that Emily is exposed to a world of adult deceit and attrition. And when her beloved dog dies, the event forces a confrontation and reveals to Emily that nothing in the town is quite as it seems . ..Rumer Godden's coming-of-age story set in post-colonial East Bengal is a vivid and haunting classic.Rumer Godden (1907-98) was the acclaimed author of over sixty works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Born in England, she and her siblings grew up in Narayanganj, India, and she later spent many years living in Calcutta and Kashmir. Several of her novels were made into films, including Black Narcissus, The Greengage Summer and The River, which was filmed by Jean Renoir. She was appointed OBE in 1993.

'Rumer Godden is a master storyteller, a genius at conveying a sense of place' Observer

For Emily Pool, India is a magical place where she has the freedom to escape her mother's suffocating influence. Her days are spent exploring the canals and gardens of East Bengal, and admiringly observing her glamorous, dignified neighbours, the Nikolides. But just as the cracks in Emily's family home are papered over, so do the Pools strive to maintain an outward impression of respectability, and it is through the Nikolides that Emily is exposed to a world of adult deceit and attrition. And when her beloved dog dies, the event forces a confrontation and reveals to Emily that nothing in the town is quite as it seems...

Rumer Godden is a major addition to the Virago Modern Classics - we will publish 15 of her titles for adults and younger readers in beautiful new editions in 2012-14.Introduced by Rosie Thomas, bestselling author of The Kashmir Shawl.Rumer Godden's novels have legions of devoted readers, and will be loved by fans of e.g. Jane Gardam too.For Emily Pool, India is a magical place where she has the freedom to escape her mother's suffocating influence. Her days are spent exploring the canals and gardens of East Bengal, and admiringly observing her glamorous, dignified neighbours, the Nikolides. But just as the cracks in Emily's family home are papered over, so do the Pools strive to maintain an outward impression of respectability, and it is through the Nikolides that Emily is exposed to a world of adult deceit and attrition. And when her beloved dog dies, the event forces a confrontation and reveals to Emily that nothing in the town is quite as it seems . . .
Virago

China Court

By Rumer Godden
Tracy Quinn, daughter of a screen star and raised on film sets around the world, returns to her adored family home, a country house named China Court. Her grandmother's recent death has set in motion events that threaten Tracy's future and the very existence of China Court. As Tracy fights to save the old house, inhabited by five generations of Quinns, the ancestors who created it are evoked: profligate, faithless Jared; Eliza, the embittered spinster; and Ripsie, an outcast orphan who rose to become the powerful matriarch.Rumer Godden's classic novel China Court, first published in the 1960s, is a compelling story of a century of love, ambition and endurance.Rumer Godden (1907-98) was the acclaimed author of over sixty works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Born in England, she and her siblings grew up in Narayanganj, India, and she later spent many years living in Calcutta and Kashmir. Several of her novels were made into films, including Black Narcissus, The Greengage Summer and The River, which was filmed by Jean Renoir. She was appointed OBE in 1993.

'One of our best and most captivating novelists' Philip Hensher

Tracy Quinn, daughter of a screen star and raised on film sets around the world, returns to her adored family home, a country house named China Court. Her grandmother's recent death has set in motion events that threaten Tracy's future and the existence of China Court. As Tracy fights to save the old house, inhabited by five generations of Quinns, the ancestors who created it are evoked: profligate, faithless Jared; Eliza, the embittered spinster; and Ripsie, an outcast orphan who rose to become the powerful matriarch.

Rumer Godden's classic, first published in the 1960s, is a compelling story of a century of love, ambition and endurance.

Rumer Godden is a major addition to the Virago Modern Classics - we will bring 15 titles for adults and younger readers back into print in 2012-14.
Virago

In this House of Brede

By Rumer Godden

'The motto was Pax but the word was set in a circle of thorns. Peace, but what a strange peace, made of unremitting toil and effort.'

Bruised by tragedy, Philippa Talbot leaves behind a successful career with the civil service for a new calling: to join an enclosed order of Benedictine nuns. In this small community of fewer than one hundred women, she soon discovers all the human frailties: jealousy, love, despair. But each crisis of heart and conscience is guided by the compassion and intelligence of the Abbess and by the Sisters' shared bond of faith and ritual. Away from the world, and yet at one with it, Philippa must learn to forgive and forget her past . . .

Rumer Godden's classic 1960s novel is a vivid portrait of a woman's encounter with faith as she enters an order of Benedictine nuns.Rumer Godden (1907-98) was the acclaimed author of over sixty works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Born in England, she and her siblings grew up in Narayanganj, India, and she later spent many years living in Calcutta and Kashmir. Several of her novels were made into films, including Black Narcissus, The Greengage Summer and The River, which was filmed by Jean Renoir. She was appointed OBE in 1993.

'The motto was Pax but the word was set in a circle of thorns. Peace, but what a strange peace, made of unremitting toil and effort.'

Bruised by tragedy, Philippa Talbot leaves a successful career in the civil service for a new calling. She joins an enclosed order of Benedictine nuns. In this small community of fewer than one hundred women, she soon discovers all the human frailties: jealousy, love, despair. But each crisis of heart and conscience is guided by the compassion and intelligence of the Abbess and by the Sisters' shared bond of faith and ritual. Away from the world, and yet at one with it, Philippa must learn to forgive and forget her past . . .

Rumer Godden is a major new addition to the Virago Modern Classics - we will bring 15 titles for adults and younger readers back into print in 2012-14.

'The motto was Pax but the word was set in a circle of thorns. Peace, but what a strange peace, made of unremitting toil and effort.'

Bruised by tragedy, Philippa Talbot leaves behind a successful career with the civil service for a new calling: to join an enclosed order of Benedictine nuns. In this small community of fewer than one hundred women, she soon discovers all the human frailties: jealousy, love, despair. But each crisis of heart and conscience is guided by the compassion and intelligence of the Abbess and by the Sisters' shared bond of faith and ritual. Away from the world, and yet at one with it, Philippa must learn to forgive and forget her past . . .

Virago

A Fugue in Time

By Rumer Godden

Grizel Dane, a bold young servicewoman in the US army, arrives at the London home of her great-uncle Sir Rollo Dane seeking refuge from the chaos of wartime. Through the old man, Grizel learns the surprising history of the Dane family and Lark Ingoldsby.

Orphaned by a train crash, Lark was taken in by the Danes as an adoptive daughter but soon found herself caught in a web of sibling rivalry, love and attrition. Selina Dane, racked with jealousy, set out to destroy Lark's dreams of love. When Grizel falls for Pax Masterson, a wounded airman, Rollo urges her to seize her chance for happiness, as he was not able to. Rumer Godden's dramatic story of romance and tragedy was the basis for the classic film Enchantment starring David Niven.

A genius for storytellingOne of our best and most original novelists.Rumer Godden's classic wartime love story is a dramatic tale that was the basis for the film Enchantment starring David Niven.Rumer Godden (1907-98) was the acclaimed author of over sixty works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Born in England, she and her siblings grew up in Narayanganj, India, and she later spent many years living in Calcutta and Kashmir. Several of her novels were made into films, including Black Narcissus, The Greengage Summer and The River, which was filmed by Jean Renoir. She was appointed OBE in 1993.

Grizel Dane, a bold young servicewoman in the US army, arrives at the London home of her great-uncle Sir Rollo Dane seeking a refuge in the chaos of wartime. Through the old man, Grizel learns the surprising history of the Dane family and Lark Ingoldsby.

Orphaned by a train crash, Lark was taken in by the Danes as an adoptive daughter but soon found herself caught in a web of sibling rivalry, love and attrition. When Grizel falls for Pax Masterson, a wounded airman, her great-uncle urges her to seize her chance for happiness as he was himself unable to do. Rumer Godden's dramatic story of romance and tragedy inspired the classic film Enchantment starring David Niven.

Rumer Godden is a major addition to the Virago Modern Classics - we will bring 15 titles for adults and younger readers back into print in 2012-14.
Virago

Cromartie vs The God Shiva

By Rumer Godden
A revered effigy of the god Shiva is missing from the Patna Hall Hotel on south India's exquisite Coromandel coast. Was it stolen, and to whom does it belong? Young lawyer Michael Dean, sent from London to argue the case for the defence, falls under the spell of Artemis, a graceful archaeologist who is staying at the hotel; but she proves as elusive as the mystery of the theft he is working on. Rumer Godden's classic novel is a magical, evocative exploration of art, love, class and greed in her beloved India.Rumer Godden's classic novel is a vivid evocation of love and class in south India.Rumer Godden (1907-98) was the acclaimed author of over sixty works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Born in England, she and her siblings grew up in Narayanganj, India, and she later spent many years living in Calcutta and Kashmir. Several of her novels were made into films, including Black Narcissus, The Greengage Summer and The River, which was filmed by Jean Renoir. She was appointed OBE in 1993.

'One of our best and most captivating novelists' Philip Hensher

A revered effigy of the god Shiva has gone missing from the Patna Hall Hotel on south India's exquisite Coromandel coast. Was it stolen, and to whom does it belong? Young lawyer Michael Dean, sent from London to argue the case for the defence, falls under the spell of Artemis, a graceful archaeologist who is staying at the hotel; but she proves as elusive as the mystery of the theft he is working on.

Rumer Godden's classic novel is a magical, evocative exploration of art, love, class and greed in her beloved India.

Rumer Godden is a major addition to the Virago Modern Classics - we will bring 15 titles for adults and younger readers back into print in 2012-14.
Virago

Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy

By Rumer Godden
The Sisters of Béthanie, a French order of Dominican nuns, dedicate themselves to caring for the outcasts of society - criminals, prostitutes and drug addicts. Lise, an English girl who after the liberation of Paris was employed in one of the city's smartest brothels and rose to become a successful madame, finds herself joining the Sisters. Master storyteller Rumer Godden weaves a deeply moving tale of Lise's prison sentence, her conversion and the agonising work among women whose traumatic experiences often outstrip even her own.A gripping novel about convent life from master storyteller Rumer Godden.Rumer Godden (1907-98) was the acclaimed author of over sixty works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Born in England, she and her siblings grew up in Narayanganj, India, and she later spent many years living in Calcutta and Kashmir. Several of her novels were made into films, including Black Narcissus, The Greengage Summer and The River, which was filmed by Jean Renoir. She was appointed OBE in 1993.

'One of our best and most captivating novelists' Philip Hensher

The Sisters of Béthanie, a French order of Dominican nuns, dedicate themselves to caring for the outcasts of society: criminals, prostitutes and drug addicts. Lise, an English girl who after the liberation of Paris was employed in one of the city's smartest brothels and rose to become a successful madame, finds her life at a turning point as she joins the Sisters. Master storyteller Rumer Godden weaves a vivid and deeply moving tale of Lise's prison sentence, her conversion and the agonising work among women whose traumatic experiences often outstrip even her own.

Rumer Godden is a major addition to the Virago Modern Classics - we will bring 15 titles for adults and younger readers back into print in 2012-14.
Virago

Thursday's Children

By Rumer Godden

Doone Penny is a child with a gift - he was born to dance. But though others recognise his talent, there is little encouragement from his family. His mother preens over his pretty sister, Crystal, also a dancer, but fiercely competitive and vain. Doone's father would never allow a son of his to have ballet lessons, and his brothers think he's a sissy.

But Doone has passion and ambition beyond his years, and knows he can succeed, if only he is given the chance. If he can make it into Queen's Chase, Her Majesty's Junior Ballet School, he'll show them all . ..

Rumer Godden's classic coming of age story about a boy who longs to dance ballet will delight young readers.Rumer Godden (1907-98) was the acclaimed author of over sixty works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Born in England, she and her siblings grew up in Narayanganj, India, and she later spent many years living in Calcutta and Kashmir. Several of her novels were made into films, including Black Narcissus, The Greengage Summer and The River, which was filmed by Jean Renoir. She was appointed OBE in 1993

Doone Penny is a child with a gift - he was born to dance. But though others recognise his talent, there is little encouragement from his family. His mother preens over his pretty sister, Crystal, also a dancer, but fiercely competitive and vain. Doone's father would never allow a son of his to have ballet lessons, and his brothers think he's a sissy.
But Doone has passion and ambition beyond his years, and knows he can succeed, if only he is given the chance. If he can make it into Queen's Chase, Her Majesty's Junior Ballet School, he'll show them all . . .

Rumer Godden is a major new addition to the Virago Modern Classics - we will publish 15 titles for adults and young readers in 2012-14.A beautiful ballet classic - perfect for fans of e.g. Noel Streatfeild's Ballet Shoes.Listen to the Nightingale and Thursday's Children mark a new and exciting departure for the Virago Modern Classics: stories for younger readers to treasure.Approximate age range: 9-12
Virago

Listen to the Nightingale

By Rumer Godden

'Never forget, Charlotte, you were born to be a dancer . . . Never forget. Promise.'

Before her ballet teacher died, Lottie promised Madame Holbein to be the dancer her mother never lived to become. Orphaned at birth, Lottie has been brought up by her aunt, and though she is loved, she is lonely. Then she finds Prince, a spaniel puppy, and discovers a love and loyalty that is boundless.

When Lottie passes the tough audition for Queen's Chase, Her Majesty's Junior Ballet School, everybody is thrilled - except, surprisingly, Lottie. She will have to board at school, and what will happen to her beloved dog? To choose between the two is breaking her heart.

Rumer Godden's enchanting classic about a girl who overcomes the odds to become a ballet dancer will thrill young readers.Rumer Godden (1907-98) was the acclaimed author of over sixty works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Born in England, she and her siblings grew up in Narayanganj, India, and she later spent many years living in Calcutta and Kashmir. Several of her novels were made into films, including Black Narcissus, The Greengage Summer and The River, which was filmed by Jean Renoir. She was appointed OBE in 1993.

'Never forget, Charlotte, you were born to be a dancer . . . Never forget. Promise.'

Before her ballet teacher died, Lottie promised Madame Holbein to be the dancer her mother never lived to become. Orphaned at birth, Lottie has been brought up by her aunt, and though she is loved, she is lonely. Then she finds Prince, a beautiful puppy, and discovers a love and loyalty that is boundless.

When Lottie passes the tough audition for Queen's Chase, Her Majesty's Junior Ballet School, everybody is thrilled - except, surprisingly, Lottie. She will have to board at school, and what will happen to her beloved dog? To choose between the two is breaking her heart.

Rumer Godden is a major addition to the Virago Modern Classics - we will bring 15 of her titles for adults and young readers back into print in 2012-14.Listen to the Nightingale and Thursday's Children mark a new and exciting departure for the Virago Modern Classics: stories for younger readers to treasure.A beautiful ballet classic - perfect for fans of e.g. Noel Streatfeild's Ballet Shoes.Approximate age range: 9-12