Related to: 'The People On Privilege Hill'

Abacus

The Stories

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

Throughout her career, prize-winning novelist Jane Gardam has been writing glorious short stories, each one hallmarked with all the originality, poignancy, wry comedy and narrative brilliance of her longer fiction. Passion and longing, metamorphosis and enchantment are Gardam's themes, and like a magician she plucks them from the quietest of corners: from Wimbledon gardens and cold churches, from London buses and industrial backstreets. A mother watching her children on the beach dreams of a long-lost lover, an abandoned army wife sees a ghost at a moorland gate, a translator adrift in Geneva is haunted by the unspeakable manifestation of her own fears, and a colonial servant wreaks a delicious revenge on her monstrous masters. Gardam's cast is wide and wonderful, saints and mystics, trollops and curmudgeons, yearning mothers and lost children, beloved figures such as Old Filth and less familiar - but equally unforgettable - characters like Signor Settimo, the sad-eyed provincial photographer marooned in Shipley or Florrie Ironside, the ferocious matron he seduces. With a mischievous ear for dialogue, a glittering eye for detail and a capacious understanding of the vagaries of the human heart, Jane Gardam's stories will captivate, sadden and delight.

Abacus

Last Friends

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

'It's a cliche to compare novelists to Jane Austen, but in the case of Jane Gardam it happens to be true. Her diamond-like prose, her understanding of the human heart, her formal inventiveness and her sense of what it is to be alive - young, old, lonely, in love - never fades' Amanda Craig'Her work, like Sylvia Townsend Warner's, has that appealing combination of elegance, erudition and flinty wit' Patrick Gale'Sharp, humane, generous and wonderfully funny, she is one of our very finest writers' Hilary MantelShortlisted for the 2014 Folio Prize.Old Filth and The Man in the Wooden Hat told with bristling tenderness and black humour the stories of that Titan of the Hong Kong law courts, Old Filth QC, and his clever, misunderstood wife Betty. Last Friends, the final volume of this trilogy, picks up with Terence Veneering, Filth's great rival in work and - though it was never spoken of - in love. Veneering's were not the usual beginnings of an establishment silk: the son of a Russian acrobat marooned in northeast England and a devoted local girl, he escapes the war to emerge in the Far East as a man of panache, success and fame. But, always, at the stuffy English Bar he is treated with suspicion: where did this blond, louche, brilliant Slav come from? Veneering, Filth and their friends tell a tale of love, friendship, grace, the bittersweet experiences of a now-forgotten Empire and the disappointments and consolations of age.

Abacus

The Man In The Wooden Hat

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam
Abacus

Old Filth

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

'It's a cliche to compare novelists to Jane Austen, but in the case of Jane Gardam it happens to be true. Her diamond-like prose, her understanding of the human heart, her formal inventiveness and her sense of what it is to be alive - young, old, lonely, in love - never fades' Amanda Craig'I love Jane Gardam, especially Old Filth' Nina Stibbe'Her work, like Sylvia Townsend Warner's, has that appealing combination of elegance, erudition and flinty wit' Patrick Gale'One of the finest writers around. Old Filth has stayed with me for years...Can't think of anyone who achieves so much with so few words' Sathnam SangheraSir Edward Feathers has had a brilliant career, from his early days as a lawyer in Southeast Asia, where he earned the nickname Old Filth (Failed In London, Try Hong Kong) to his final working days as a respected judge at the bar. Yet through it all he has carried with him the wounds of a difficult and emotionally hollow childhood. Now an eighty-year-old widower living in comfortable seclusion in Dorset, Feathers is finally free from the demands of his work and the sentimental scaffolding that has sustained him throughout his life. He slips back into the past with ever mounting frequency and intensity, and on the tide of these vivid, lyrical musings, Feathers approaches a reckoning with his own history. Not all the old filth, it seems, can be cleaned away.Jane Gardam has written a literary masterpiece that retraces much of the twentieth century's torrid and momentous history. Feathers' childhood in Malaya during the British Empire's heyday, his schooling in pre-war England, his professional success in Southeast Asia and his return to England toward the end of the millennium, are vantage points from which the reader can observe the march forward of an eventful era and the steady progress of that man, Sir Edward Feathers, Old Filth himself, who embodies the century's fate.

Virago

The Vet's Daughter

Barbara Comyns
Authors:
Barbara Comyns

Growing up in Edwardian south London, Alice Rowlands longs for romance and excitement, for a release from a life that is dreary, restrictive and lonely. Her father, a vet, is harsh and domineering; his new girlfriend brash and lascivious. Alice seeks refuge in memories and fantasies, in her rapturous longing for Nicholas, a handsome young sailor, and in the blossoming of what she perceives as her occult powers. A series of strange events unfolds that leads her, dressed in bridal white, to a scene of ecstatic triumph and disaster among the crowds on Clapham Common. The Vet's Daughter is a uniquely vivid, witty and touching story of love and mystery.

Little, Brown

Facing the Music

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

A delightful short story from Jane Gardam, revisting that Titan of the Hong Kong law courts, Edward Feathers (known to many as Old Filth) in the days after he loses his beloved wife, Betty.

Abacus

Missing The Midnight

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

Jane Gardam reveals again her brilliant diversity and deep understanding of the human condition. In 'Light', an evocative, lyrical piece of magic realism, a beautiful Himalayan girl defies the destiny laid out for her by her mother, but in so doing destroys the village in which she was born. In 'Missing the Midnight', a young woman having failed her exams and lost the man she loves, journeys home to the family she despises, on Christmas Eve. In 'Grace', an apparently ordinary man lives his whole life with a diamond under his skin at the back of his neck, and dies when it is finally removed. Jane Gardam weaves strange and magical occurrences into the fabric of beautifully realised lives in this stunning collection.

Abacus

Crusoe's Daughter

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

In 1904, when she was six, Polly Flint went to live with her two holy aunts at the yellow house by the marsh - so close to the sea that it seemed to toss like a ship, so isolated that she might have been marooned on an island. And there she stayed for eighty-one years, while the century raged around her, while lamplight and Victorian order became chaos and nuclear dred. Crusoe's Daughter, ambitious, moving and wholly original, is her story.

Abacus

Showing The Flag

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

The flag that is shown, literally and metaphorically, by these characters is always the Union Jack. Gardam's stories are acutely observed social commentaries on Englishness, its weaknesses and its illusions.

Abacus

A Long Way From Verona

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

I ought to tell you at the beginning that I am not quite normal having had a violent experience at the age of nine'Jessica Vye's 'violent experience' colours her schooldays and her reaction to the world around her- a confining world of Order Marks, wartime restrictions, viyella dresses, nicely-restrained essays and dusty tea shops. For Jessica she has been told that she is 'beyond all possible doubt', a born writer. With her inability to conform, her absolute compulsion to tell the truth and her dedication to accurately noting her experiences, she knows this anyway. But what she doesn't know is that the experiences that sustain and enrich her burgeoning talent will one day lead to a new- and entirely unexpected- reality.

Abacus

God On The Rocks

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam
Abacus

Faith Fox

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam
Abacus

The Flight Of The Maidens

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam
Abacus

The Pangs Of Love

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

With her customary accuracy, Jane Gardam reveals the extraordinariness of ordinary people as she deals with the pangs of love- fulfilled or hopeless, sexual or spiritual, tortured or hilarious- in these eleven stories.Paraded here are ladies with a 'thing' about vicars, strange events happening in ornate downstairs lavatories (and in ornate upstairs ones), and the English abroad, desperate and dotty. The glum and impossible Edna haunts the supermarket- and dispenses an unlikely kiss of life. The younger sister of Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid declares her sibling 'very silly' and turns her story on its tail, an old maid forms a curious liason with a tramp, and small moments of temptation fill hotel rooms as histories glance briefly off each other.

Abacus

Going Into A Dark House

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam
Abacus

The Queen Of The Tambourine

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam
Abacus

Summer After The Funeral

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam
Abacus

Black Faces, White Faces

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam
Abacus

The Sidmouth Letters

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam
Abacus

Bilgewater

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

Marigold Green calls herself 'hideous, quaint and barmy'. Other people calle her Bilgewater, a corruption of Bill's daughter. Growing up in a boys' school where her father is housemaster, she is convinced of her own plainness and peculiarity. Groomed by the wise and loving Paula, upstaged by bad, beautiful Grace and ripe for seduction by entirely the wrong sort of boy, she suffers extravagantly and comically in her pilgrimage through the turbulent, twilight world of alarming adolescence