Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 33 results

Sort by:

Filter by:


Article Types



Charging about in Brogues

Jenny Turner: Sarah Waters

23 February 2006
The Night Watch 
by Sarah Waters.
Virago, 472 pp., £16.99, February 2006, 1 84408 246 6
Show More
Show More
... bombsites, the new species of bird, all of that – it had got terribly boring.’ It is as though one of those muddy, confused old photographs has come alive and started to talk. The Night Watch is SarahWaters’s fourth novel, her first to abandon the ‘frissony’, ‘pastiche’, ‘lesbo-Victorian’ theme developed, to great popular and critical success, in Tipping the Velvet (1998), Affinity ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Blurbs and puffs

20 July 2006
... Y and Z; I therefore will/won’t bother to buy/flick through/ borrow/steal X. This kind of decision-making is easiest when X, Y and Z have been written by the same person. You see The Night Watch by SarahWaters, remember how much you enjoyed SarahWaters’s other books – it’s a no-brainer. And just in case you’re the kind of person who remembers the titles of novels more easily than the names ...


Thomas Jones: Sarah Waters

9 July 2009
The Little Stranger 
by Sarah Waters.
Virago, 501 pp., £16.99, June 2009, 978 1 84408 601 6
Show More
Show More
... sad; but I doubt it ever crossed any of their minds that what they’d done to her might have been anything other than a normal way for the patriarchs of a respectable middle-class family to behave. SarahWaters’s novels – the first three set in the Victorian era, the more recent two in the 1940s – have always been interested in the ways in which English society has disposed of its more awkward ...

Hoist that dollymop’s sail

John Sutherland: New Victorian Novels

31 October 2002
by Sarah Waters.
Virago, 549 pp., £12.99, February 2002, 1 86049 882 5
Show More
The Crimson Petal and the White 
by Michel Faber.
Canongate, 838 pp., £17.99, October 2002, 1 84195 323 7
Show More
Show More
... Have you ever tried to write a Victorian novel? Here’s a beginning, with apologies to SarahWaters and Michel Faber (and a nod to George MacDonald Fraser): London, 1860. November. A pea-souper billowing up from the flotsam bobbing in the Thames. The gas lamps already blearing. Good things of day ...

A Perfect Eel

Elaine Showalter: ‘Lady Audley’s Secret’

21 June 2012
Lady Audley’s Secret 
by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, edited by Lyn Pykett.
Oxford, 448 pp., £9.99, January 2012, 978 0 19 957703 3
Show More
Show More
... and stress the influence of her novels on a flourishing genre in contemporary fiction known as ‘neo-Victorianism’ or sometimes ‘neo-sensationalism’, whose exponents include A.S. Byatt, SarahWaters and Michel Faber. M.E. Braddon’s secrets would make a sensational novel of their own. Brought up and educated by her mother, she was ‘a keen, precocious and eclectic reader’ of ...
26 July 2017
... In​ the course of a year beginning in late 2013, I found myself at five separate places called the Meeting of the Waters. The first was the confluence of the Greta and the Tees on the Rokeby estate in Teesdale, thought to have been named by Walter Scott after the song of that title by the Irish Romantic poet Thomas ...

A good God is hard to find

James Francken: Jenny Diski

4 January 2001
Only Human: A Divine Comedy 
by Jenny Diski.
Virago, 215 pp., £15.99, October 2000, 1 86049 839 6
Show More
Show More
... of King Solomon. Jenny Diski’s latest novel is a third-person account of misadventure in Genesis: Only Human rattles through the lives of Adam, Cain and Noah and retells the story of Abraham and Sarah. But the omniscient third-person narrative is interrupted; the novel’s central character is God and Diski lets her deity have a point of view. In extended monologues, God looks down on the world ...

Period Pain

Patricia Beer

9 June 1994
by Stella Tillyard.
Chatto, 462 pp., £20, April 1994, 0 7011 5933 2
Show More
Show More
... is an enormous account of four 18th-century female aristocrats, from which we may draw as many inferences about aristocracy as we can or wish to. The women are Caroline, Emily, Louisa and Sarah Lennox, daughters of the second Duke of Richmond, the grandson of Charles II and his mistress Louise de Kéroualle. The main story starts with the birth of Caroline in 1723 and ends with the death of ...
7 January 1993
Pause and Effect: An Introduction to the History of Punctuation in the West 
by M.B. Parkes.
Scolar, 327 pp., £55, September 1992, 0 85967 742 7
Show More
Show More
... and bright; The birds are singing in the distant woods; Over his own sweet voice the Stock-dove broods; The Jay makes answer as the Magpie chatters; And all the air is filled with pleasant noise of waters. A roman numeral designates the stanza and initial capitals mark the beginnings of each line; other capitals (litterae notabiliores) highlight and personalise the names of the birds, in contrast to ...

Roman Fever

Sarah​ Perry

26 September 2019
Malaria and Victorian Fictions of Empire 
by Jessica Howell.
Cambridge, 238 pp., £75, October 2018, 978 1 108 48468 8
Show More
Show More
... set in. Dread of the disease could cause a parent to desecrate the body of a child or an army to retreat: it was an atavistic fear then, and remains so now, despite its locus moving from pestilential waters, or the ‘bad air’ which gives the disease its name, to the bite of an infected anopheles mosquito. In 2009, at a conference in California, Bill Gates released a swarm of mosquitoes into the ...

At the tent flap sin crouches

James Wood: The Fleshpots of Egypt

23 February 2006
The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary 
by Robert Alter.
Norton, 1064 pp., £34, November 2004, 0 393 01955 1
Show More
Show More
... or the deed, but the face. ‘Darkness was upon the face of the deep,’ runs the King James Version in the second verse of the opening of Genesis. ‘And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.’ Two uses of ‘face’ in one verse, and a third implied face, surely: God’s own, hovering over the face of his still uncreated world. The ...
6 April 1995
Shark-Infested WatersThe Saatchi Collection of British Art in the Nineties 
by Sarah​ Kent.
Zwemmer, 270 pp., £19.95, November 1994, 0 302 00648 6
Show More
The Reviews that Caused the Rumpus, and Other Pieces 
by Brian Sewell.
Bloomsbury, 365 pp., £12.99, November 1994, 0 7475 1872 6
Show More
Show More
... artists, but between critics and curators, and the battle-lines are not too clearly drawn. You can make lists. In favour of ‘contemporary art’: Nicholas Serota (at the Tate), Charles Saatchi, Sarah Kent (Time Out), Richard Dorment (Daily Telegraph, oddly enough). Against: Modern Painters, Brian Sewell (Evening Standard), Giles Auty (Spectator), Glynn Williams (at the RCA) and any number of ...


E.S. Turner

22 January 1998
Shipwrecks of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Eras 
by Terence Grocott.
Chatham, 430 pp., £30, November 1997, 1 86176 030 2
Show More
Show More
... the wine, their main source of sustenance. Sometimes events were such as to inspire a career change. Men of the merchantman Hercules, wrecked off South Africa, decided to abandon business in great waters and signed on with Dutch farmers, leaving their captain to walk 150 miles to Cape Town. In waters nearer to home a friendly reception for the shipwrecked was by no means guaranteed. There are two ...
27 September 1990
Jane Fairfax 
by Joan Aiken.
Gollancz, 252 pp., £12.95, September 1990, 0 575 04889 1
Show More
Lady’s Maid 
by Margaret Forster.
Chatto, 536 pp., £13.95, July 1990, 0 7011 3574 3
Show More
Mary Swann 
by Carol Shields.
Fourth Estate, 313 pp., £12.99, August 1990, 1 872180 02 7
Show More
Show More
... its scope for polemic, for the subversive imagining of what life was like for domestic servants, would have been much greater: but then this novel has already been written – it is called Esther Waters. In its scenic aspects – its depiction of Victorian landscapes and interiors, of social and private life in both England and Italy – the novel is a deep disappointment. It is no good saying that ...
19 March 1998
by Timothy Hyman.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £7.95, February 1998, 0 500 20310 5
Show More
by Sarah​ Whitfield and John Elderfield.
Tate Gallery, 272 pp., £35, June 1998, 1 85437 243 2
Show More
Show More
... visiting Bonnard to ‘steal his tricks’. She had a ‘weirdly savage, harsh voice’, and ‘hopped about on very high heels like some bright-plumaged bird’. It is not that Hyman’s Bonnard or Sarah Whitfield’s essay in the Tate catalogue – both excellent, and usefully complementing each other – gives a very different account of the relationship from the one that limited anecdotal evidence ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences