Join us as we launch two unmissable new books this September exploring the lives and stories – both real and fictional – of some very special women in the 20th century.
Bestselling novelist Rachel Hore (Last Letter Home, The Silent Tide) brings us a page-turning new novel, The Love Child – the story of a mother’s ultimate sacrifice during World War One. Acclaimed writer D J Taylor (Rock and Roll is Life, Orwell: The Life) presents The Lost Girls, the remarkable biography of four young women who shook the literary and art world in the 1940s.
Rachel Hore and D J Taylor both live and write in Norwich and are married with 3 sons. Join us for an evening of conversation and celebration of these two inspired new books.
About The Love Child
London, 1917: When seventeen-year-old Alice falls pregnant, she is forced by her father and stepmother to give up the baby. She simply cannot be allowed to bring shame upon her family. But all Alice can think of is the small, kitten-like child she gave away, and how the father, a young soldier, so beloved, will never have the chance to know his daughter.
Meanwhile, Edith and Philip, a couple unable to have children of their own, secretly adopt a baby girl, Irene, given up by a young unmarried mother. Irene grows up knowing that she is different from other children but no one will tell her the full truth.
As two extraordinary stories intertwine across two decades, will secrets long-buried at last come to light?
About Rachel Hore:
Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she teaches publishing and creative writing at the University of East Anglia. She is married to the writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons. Her previous novels are The Dream House, The Memory Garden, The Glass Painter's Daughter, which was shortlisted for the 2010 Romantic Novel of the Year award, A Place of Secrets, which was picked by Richard and Judy for their book club, A Gathering Storm, which was shortlisted for the RONA Historical Novel of the Year 2012, The Silent Tide and Last Letter Home, another Richard and Judy book club pick.
About The Lost Girls
By acclaimed Orwell biographer D. J. Taylor, this is the story of the Lost Girls, the missing link between the first wave of newly-liberated young women of the post-Great War era and Dionysiac free-for-all of the 1960s.
Who were the Lost Girls? At least a dozen or so young women at large in Blitz-era London have a claim to this title. But Lost Girls concentrates on just four: Lys Lubbock, Sonia Brownell, Barbara Skelton and Janetta Parlade.
Chic, glamorous and bohemian, as likely to be found living in a rat-haunted maisonette as dining at the Ritz, they cut a swathe through English literary and artistic life in the 1940s. Three of them had affairs with Lucian Freud. One of them married George Orwell. Another became the mistress of the King of Egypt and was flogged by him on the steps of the Royal Palace. And all of them were associated with the decade's most celebrated literary magazine, Horizon, and its charismatic editor Cyril Connolly.
The Lost Girls were the product of a highly artificial environment. After it came to an end - on Horizon's closure in 1950 - their careers wound on. Later they would have affairs with dukes, feature in celebrity divorce cases and make appearances in the novels of George Orwell, Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Powell and Nancy Mitford. The last of them - Janetta - died as recently as three months ago. However tiny their number, they are a genuine missing link between the first wave of newly-liberated young women of the post-Great War era and the Dionysiac free-for-all of the 1960s.
About D J Taylor:
D.J. Taylor’s novels include Trespass (1998) and Derby Day (2011), both long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. He is also the author of two acclaimed biographies, Thackery (1999) and Orwell: The Life, winner of the 2003 Whitbread Biography Prize. David is also well-known as a critic and reviewer, and his other books include Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940 (2007) and The Prose Factory: English Literary Life since 1918 (2016). His journalism appears in the Times Literary Supplement, The Times, the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, The Tablet and, anonymously, in Private Eye. He is married to the novelist Rachel Hore. They have three sons and live in Norwich, UK.