London, February 1914. Eighteen year-old Grace Campbell arrives in London from Carlisle, her family's hopes pinned on her becoming a secretary. The only job she can find is as a housemaid in the mansion that is Number 35, Park Lane, and soon she is entangling herself in an ever-thickening web of lies. Upstairs, a jilted and humiliated Beatrice Masters is determined not to return to the New York of her childhood before she has salvaged her pride. She secretly joins Emmeline Pankhurst's militant suffragettes and is steadily drawn into the violence rocking the city. But Grace and Beatrice's existences are not as parallel as they seem. Little do they realize that their hidden lives and emotions will soon be revolving around the same man - or that the coming war will change the boundaries of both their worlds forever.
Full Product DetailsAuthor: Frances Osborne
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Imprint: Virago Press Ltd
Edition: Export ed
Dimensions: Width: 15.60cm , Height: 2.50cm , Length: 23.60cm
ISBN 10: 1844084787
Publication Date: 07 June 2012
Audience: General/trade , General
Replaced By: 9781844084777
Publisher's Status: Out of Print
Availability: In Print
Limited stock is available. It will be ordered for you and shipped pending supplier's limited stock.
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Praise for The Bolter 'A tragic and deeply moving tale ... far more gripping than any novel I have read for years' -- Antony Beevor Praise for The Bolter 'Frances Osborne has brilliantly captured not only one woman's life but an entire lost society' -- Amanda Foreman Praise for The Bolter 'An enthralling account of a dazzling, troubled life' -- Julian Fellowes
Shelly writes: Following in the footsteps of 'Downton Abbey' and the revitalised Upstairs Downstairs', this war time novel certainly did not follow the path I was expecting. At its heart are Bea and her sometimes maid Grace, two women who come from extremely different backgrounds. Yet these characters both bring to ‘Park Lane' a different snapshot of what life was for women just prior to WW1 and during. Grace has come to London to make something of herself as a secretary yet finds herself unable to gain employment anywhere but as a maid in Bea's family mansion. Bea is a rich young woman on the scary side of twenty, not yet married and desperate to make her mark on a world where women are decidedly second class citizens. <p>There was a lovely symmetry to this novel, as the notion of class became something of a nonissue in that neither woman was free to follow her dreams and constantly subjected to the mores of a world teetering on the edge. This is a novel that is truly about these women and their experiences, as Bea fights for the vote and then does what she can in France during the war, and Grace struggles with her class and the question of marriage or freedom. It was well written, skipping seamlessly between the two women and back again, and as an example of the world of a young woman prior to WW1 it stands above many of the offerings I've read to date. </p>
Born in London in 1969, Frances Osborne worked as a barrister, investment research analyst and journalist before writing her first book, Lilla's Feast. She is married to George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer
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