Noel Streatfeild's Christmas Stories
By 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
New Treasure Seekers
By E. Nesbit
'Endlessly surprising and inventive ... She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had' Frank Cottrell-Boyce'Nesbit belongs with those writers of children's books who are successful because of their skills as storytellers. Indeed, she was one of the first. She speaks to the reader, and it's almost as though you can hear her voice' Quentin BlakeNo matter how hard the Bastable children try to be good, they almost always fail spectacularly. Whether making a disastrous Christmas pudding for charity, spending a dark night in an empty windmill or fortune-telling at a fete, the Bastables cannot help getting into all sorts of mischief.Edith Nesbit was one of the most influential children's writers ever to have lived, and her timeless books include The Railway Children and Five Children and It. A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. 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), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.
By Elena Lappin
Natasha Kaplan, a giggly, overeducated thirty-something New Yorker, is now married and living in London. Her life seems quite settled until she accepts the job of editor on an Anglo-Jewish magazine called The Nose. Things here are not what they seem, and Natasha soon discovers that The Nose is a battlefield of near-mythic proportions. As she pieces together a shocking connection between the magazine's founder, the enigmatic Franz Held, and her own family's hidden past, history merges with the present and looms darkly over her life, incriminating in unexpected ways, its taint extending to the very people she loves most.
By Angela Thirkell
As the war continues it brings its own set of trials to the the village of Northbridge. Eight officers of the Barsetshire Regiment have been billeted at the rectory, and Mrs Villars, the Rector's wife, is finding the attentions of Lieutenant Holden (who doesn't seem to mind that she is married to his host) quite exhausting. The middle-aged ladies and gentlemen who undertake roof-spotting from the church tower are more concerned with their own lives than with any possible parachutist raids. There is the love triangle of Mr Downing, his redoubtable hostess Miss Pemberton and the hospitable Mrs Turner at the Hollies. And, to add to Mrs Villar's woes, egocentric, imperious Mrs Spender, the Major's wife, is foisted on the rectory when she is bombed out of her London home. First published in 1941, Northbridge Rectory is a captivating comedy of an English village in the War years.
Naked at the Albert Hall
By Tracey Thorn
In her bestselling autobiography Bedsit Disco Queen, Tracey Thorn recalled the highs and lows of a thirty-year career in pop music. But with the touring, recording and extraordinary anecdotes, there wasn't time for an in-depth look at what she actually did for all those years: sing. She sang with warmth and emotional honesty, sometimes while battling acute stage-fright.Part memoir, part wide-ranging exploration of the art, mechanics and spellbinding power of singing, NAKED AT THE ALBERT HALL takes in Dusty Springfield, Dennis Potter and George Eliot; Auto-tune, the microphone and stage presence; The Streets and The X Factor. Including interviews with fellow artists such as Alison Moyet, Romy Madley-Croft and Green Gartside of Scritti Politti, and portraits of singers in fiction as well as Tracey's real-life experiences, it offers a unique, witty and sharply observed insider's perspective on the exhilarating joy and occasional heartache of singing.
New York Mosaic
By Isabel Bolton
On their first publication, Isabel Bolton's novellas won high praise from such reviewers as Edmund Wilson and Diana Trilling (who in 1946 called her 'the most important new novelist in the English language to appear in years'). Highly poetic, evocative stories of city life, the characters in these novellas are mirrored by the complexities of New York itself. Out of print for many years, New York Mosaic, brings together the finest fiction from this unique and timeless writer.
No Priest but Love
By Anne Lister
Following from The Secret Diaries of Anne Lister (published by Virago) this volume continues her story. Anne Lister arrives in post-revolutionary Paris in 1824, attempting to recover from a doomed love affair with a married woman. There she becomes emotionally entangled with a young widow. Anne's efforts, firstly to extricate herself from this new 'scrape' and then to make a choice between the two women in her life, provides an absorbing sexual and social drama.We follow Anne Lister to Buxton, Derbyshire, where a husband appears in hot pursuit of his straying wife who has, in turn, followed Anne there; in Halifax, the Yorkshire town of Anne's birth; to London; and, lastly, to post-revolutionary Paris, a city alive with political intrigue. Anne's descriptive powers bring each scene vividly to life, providing a brilliant, kaleidoscopic background to her story.
By Mary Renault
On holiday in the North Devon countryside, Neil Langton looks back on the wreckage of his past. He has come to believe that all happiness is behind him; the wounds from his former marriage - in which his wife cheated on him and his young daughter died - are still raw. While rock-climbing, he meets Ellen, a young woman whom he saves from a mountainside accident. Ellen, too, is looking to escape her painful past, struggling to deal with her feelings for the man she loved - a pilot who died in service. Set in postwar Britain, and filled with a memorable cast of characters, North Face is a love story rich in atmosphere and tension.
Never Mind Miss Fox
By Olivia Glazebrook
Clive and Martha have been together since they met at university; they have a young daughter, Eliza. Their marriage appears serene and content but when Eliza's adored new piano teacher turns out to be a woman from Clive and Martha's past, the enigmatic Eliot Fox, Clive becomes desperate to keep Eliot - and what she knows - away from his family.
Nothing that Meets the Eye
By Patricia Highsmith
'These tales should not be glanced at by those with even the slightest history of poor mental health . . . Highsmith's dark humour oozes through this new collection like a particularly delicious poison' Andrew Wilson, Independent on SundayThis volume of stories spans almost fifty years of Highsmith's career, allowing us to see how she evolved from a struggling freelance writer in New York to one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. The stories assembled in Nothing That Meets the Eye, written between 1938 and 1982, are vintage Highsmith: a gigolo-like psychopath preys on unfulfilled career women; a lonely spinster's fragile hold on reality is tethered to the bottle; an estranged postal worker invents homicidal fantasies about his coworkers. While some stories anticipate the diabolical narratives of the Ripley novels, others possess a sweetness that forces us to see the author in a new light.These are suspenseful, playful, taut and psychologically gripping stories, evidence of an extraordinary talent.
A Natural Woman
By Carole King
A memoir by the iconic singer-songwriter chronicling her story from her beginnings in Brooklyn through her remarkable success as one of the world's most acclaimed musical talents, to her present day as a leading performer and activist. From her marriage to Gerry Goffin, with whom she wrote dozens of songs that hit the charts, to her own achievements, notably with 'Tapestry', which remained on the charts for more than six years, to her experiences as a mother, this memoir chronicles one of music's most successful and fascinating stars. The book includes dozens of photos from King's childhood, her own family, and behind-the-scenes images from her performances over the years.
No One But a Woman Knows
By Margaret Llewelyn Davies
'I was married at twenty and a mother of three by twenty-three . . . When I look back at the first three years of my marriage, I wonder how I lived through it.'When it was published in 1915 No One But a Mother Knows provoked a sensation - for the first time, working women were able to put across their view of maternity. These humbling autobiographical portraits are as valuable today as they were almost 100 years ago: in their own words these women tell of the horrors of bringing ten children into the world in as many years; of not being able to afford a doctor or nurse; of the physical and emotional strain of bringing up large families with very little help. These extraordinary and inspiring stories of poverty and hardship remind us of the astounding endurance of woman and of the strength of a mother's love.
By Stella Gibbons
Life is not quite a fairytale for poor Viola. Left penniless, the young widow is forced to live with her late husband's family in a joyless old house. There's Mr Wither, a tyrannical old miser, Mrs Wither, who thinks Viola is just a common shop girl, and two unlovely sisters-in-law, one of whom is in love with the chauffeur. Only the prospect of the charity ball can raise Viola's spirits - especially as Victor Spring, the local prince charming, will be there. But Victor's intentions towards our Cinderella are, in short, not quite honourable . . .
No Fond Return Of Love
By Barbara Pym
Dulcie Mainwearing is always helping others, but never looks out for herself - especially in the realm of love. Her friend Viola is besotted by the alluring Dr Aylwin Forbes, so surely it isn't prying if Dulcie helps things along? Aylwin, however, is smitten by Dulcie's pretty young niece. And perhaps Dulcie herself, however ridiculous it may be, is falling, just a little, for Aylwin. Once life's little humiliations are played out, maybe love will be returned, and fondly, after all . . .
The Night Watch
By Sarah Waters
Shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize'Brilliantly done... the period detail never overwhelms the simple, passionate human story. It's a tour-de-force of hints, clues and dropped threads' Suzi Feay, Independent on SundayMoving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked out streets, illicit liaisons, sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch is the work of a truly brilliant and compelling storyteller.This is the story of four Londoners - three women and a young man with a past, drawn with absolute truth and intimacy. Kay, who drove an ambulance during the war and lived life at full throttle, now dresses in mannish clothes and wanders the streets with a restless hunger, searching . . . Helen, clever, sweet, much-loved, harbours a painful secret . . . Viv, glamour girl, is stubbornly, even foolishly loyal, to her soldier lover . . . Duncan, an apparent innocent, has had his own demons to fight during the war. Their lives, and their secrets connect in sometimes startling ways. War leads to strange alliances . . . Tender, tragic and beautifully poignant, set against the backdrop of feats of heroism both epic and ordinary, here is a novel of relationships that offers up subtle surprises and twists. The Night Watch is thrilling. A towering achievement.
A Nice Change
By Nina Bawden
Amy thought the Hotel Parthenon in Greece would be a nice change for her husband, Labour MP Tom Jones. He is convinced that it's a bad idea as soon as they arrive and he spots Portia, his ex-mistress, in the minibus to the hotel. Also on board are an American publisher, a young doctor, a shady pair from London and two enigmatic, elderly twins. The scene is set for a wonderful comedy.
The Naming Of Eliza Quinn
By Carol Birch
This is an extraordinarily haunting novel, inspired by a true story. In the late 1960s, in the hollow of an ancient oak tree beyond a derelict cottage in Cork, were found the bones of a three-year-old girl. It was thought that they dated back to the time of the great potato famine of the mid 1800s. The bones were discovered by an American woman, who had inherited the cottage which had lain empty and broken for forty years. Local searches reveal that the house had originally belonged to The Quinns. Eliza Quinn was their baby.This is a story that speaks of generations and of landscapes: abandoned villages, famine graves, old potato ridges sinking back into the earth, traces of a population that fell by two and a half million in less than ten years. It is also about hunger, both physical and emotional. But above all, it is the story of the Quinn family. And it is Carol Birch's tour de force.'Deeply rooted humanity and highly intelligent understanding of the simulataneous complexity and simplicity of individual lives' Alex Clark. TLS
No More Than Human
By Maura Laverty
Delia spends her early years living in the village of Ballyderring on the edge of the Bog of Allen, her life enriched by the beauty of the Irish countryside. Then one cold November day, Delia stands poised for independance and Spain.
Never No More
By Maura Laverty
When Delia's family moves away, Delia goes to live with her grandmother in a farmhouse in the Irish countryside. Here, she experiences the happiest years of her life as she watches the seasons come and go until, one November day, she stands poised for independence - and Spain.
By Jenny Diski
Nothing Natural centres with illuminating precision on a sado-masochistic relationship. Rachel is in her thirties, a single parent admired by her friends for her self-sufficiency ... But when she meets the compelling, sinister Joshua she discovers another side to herself ... In a sense which horrifies her, she has found herself ... An outstandingly well-written novel' New StatesmanAn addictive story of a dangerous love affair with a shocking denoument, this is a complex examination of the relations between the sexes at their most combatative and collusive. It is a clever book with much to tell us about the nature of desire and what should or should not be permissable.