Furrowed Middlebrow, Persephone, Virago, Stella Gibbons, Barbara Pym, Bronte

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In the schoolroom in Lowndes Square, a child, in her ugly, unsuitable frock of plum-coloured satin, cut down when discarded from one of her mother’s, bent over the cutting out of a doll and its cardboard wardrobe, and shivered as she worked.

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Description

In the schoolroom in Lowndes Square, a child, in her ugly, unsuitable frock of plum-coloured satin, cut down when discarded from one of her mother’s, bent over the cutting out of a doll and its cardboard wardrobe, and shivered as she worked.

Hilarious, shocking, and heartbreaking in turn, A Harp in Lowndes Square is like no other Rachel Ferguson novel. Perhaps her most personal work – and the closest she ever came to a ghost story – it tells of Vere and James, twins gifted with ‘the sight,’ which allows them to see and even experience scenes from the past (including one, at Hampton Court, involving royalty).

The twins are already aware of their mother’s troubled relationship with her own mother, the formidable Lady Vallant, but the discovery of an Aunt Myra, who died young and of whom their mother has never spoken, leads them to uncover the family’s tragic past. Against the backdrop of World War I and Vere’s unexpected relationship with an aging actor (and his wife), and rife with Ferguson’s inimitable wit, the novel reaches a powerful and touching denouement when the twins relive the horrifying events of many years before …

A Harp in Lowndes Square was originally published in 1936. This new edition features an introduction by social historian Elizabeth Crawford.

Praise

‘It is only (now) that I realise how much … my work owes to the delicacy and variety of Rachel Ferguson’s exploration of the real and the dreamed of, or the made up, or desired.’A.S. BYATT

‘A wonderful concoction … the true stuff of storytelling.’GILLIAN TINDALL

Bibliographic Data

Category: General Fiction
Publication Date: October 2016
Territories: World
ISBN: 978 1 911413 73 8 (paperback)/978 1 911413 74 5 (ebook)

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The peacock displayed himself and paraded the lawn, sometimes pausing to look up at the sky.

Waiting? Listening? Guiding. No. Signalling.

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This book was written for those who don’t despise children’s parties, Edwardian actresses, dancing classes and the scent of lilac over sun-warmed fences.

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