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Charlotte Moore rss

1920s Jewellery

In love with the lodger

30 August 2014
The Paying Guests Sarah Waters

Virago, pp.563, £20, ISBN: 9780349004366

Champion Hill, Camberwell, 1922. A mother and daughter, stripped of their menfolk by the Great War, struggle to make ends meet in their genteel villa. Servantless, Mrs Wray keeps up… Read more

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The Russian literary celebrity who begged Tolstoy to spare Prince Andrei

19 July 2014
Subtly Worded Teffi

Pushkin Press, pp.240, £12, ISBN: 978-1782270379

Nadezhda Alexandrovna Lokhvitskaya was a literary celebrity in pre-revolutionary St Petersburg. She chose the pen-name ‘Teffi’ because it was androgynous, and because it was the kind of name a ‘lucky’… Read more

Charlotte Moore 2

Start with a torpedo, and see where you go from there

19 April 2014
The Temporary Gentleman Sebastian Barry

Faber, pp.270, £17.99, ISBN: 9780571276950

Sebastian Barry’s new novel opens with a bang, as a German torpedo hits a supply ship bound for the Gold Coast. We experience everything through the senses of ‘temporary gentleman’… Read more

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina Photo: Getty

Did Hurricane Katrina have an angel of mercy — or an angel of death? 

15 February 2014
Five Days at Memorial Sheri Fink

Atlantic Books, pp.558, £14.99, ISBN: 97817823893740

On 28 August 2005 — Sheri Fink’s Day One — Hurricane Katrina reached New Orleans. The National Weather Service warned that ‘human suffering will be incrdible by modern standards’. Fink’s… Read more

Communal, comforting and calming: tobacco in a war zone has always been important, says Kate Adie

Why Jeremy Paxman's Great War deserves a place on your bookshelf

2 November 2013
Great Britain’s Great War Jeremy Paxman

Viking, pp.368, £25, ISBN: 9780670919611

Fighting on the Home Front Kate Adie

Hodder, pp.416, £20, ISBN: 9781444759679

The Great War involved the civilian population like no previous conflict. ‘Men, women and children, factory, workshop and army — are organised in one complete unity of social resistance, to… Read more

The Son, by Philipp Meyer - review

3 August 2013
The Son Philipp Meyer

Simon & Schuster, pp.561, £18.99, ISBN: 9780857209429

Colonel Eli McCullough, formerly known as Tiehteti, is a living legend. The first male child born in the Republic of Texas, wrested from Mexico in 1836, Eli has miraculously reached… Read more

The Professor of Poetry, by Grace McCleen - review

29 June 2013
The Professor of Poetry Grace McCleen

Sceptre, pp.304, £14.99, ISBN: 9781444769951

Elizabeth Stone, English professor at UCL,  has long lived on ‘paper and words and thin air’. Single, friendless, dessicated, respected, she passes out during a faculty meeting and wakes to… Read more

Jacob Barnett.

The Spark, by Kristine Barnett - review

8 June 2013
The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius Kristine Barnett

Fig Tree, pp.272, £18.99, ISBN: 9780241145623

Jacob Barnett is a youthful prodigy. His IQ tested off the scale. At nine he began work on an original theory in astrophysics; aged 12 he became a paid academic… Read more

Big Brother, by Lionel Shriver - review

18 May 2013
Big Brother Lionel Shriver

HarperCollins, pp.344, £16.99, ISBN: 9780007271092

‘I am white rice’ states Pandora Half-danarson, narrator of Lionel Shriver’s obesity fable. ‘I have always existed to set off more exciting fare.’ The exciting fare on offer is the… Read more

Washing-board

Servants: A Downstairs View of Twentieth-century Britain, by Lucy Lethbridge – review

16 March 2013
Servants: A Downstairs View of Twentieth-century Britain Lucy Lethbridge

Bloomsbury, pp.385, £19.99, ISBN: 9780747590170

The first illustration in this absorbing survey of domestic service in 20th-century Britain is a group photograph of the household servants at Erdigg, the Yorke family home in Wales. Each… Read more

'Mimi', by Lucy Ellmann - review

9 March 2013
Mimi Lucy Ellmann

Bloomsbury, pp.352, £12.99, ISBN: 9781620400203

Harrison Hanafan is a plastic surgeon in New York. Every day, he slices and stitches deluded women, reshaping healthy flesh to pander to 21st-century aesthetics. One Christmas Eve, absent-minded Harrison… Read more

Chills, but no thrills

12 January 2013
Light Shining in the Forest Paul Torday

Weidenfeld, pp.350, £12.99, ISBN: 9780297867470

‘Mary and Geordie have lost a child …Why should they feel they are entitled to grieve? It’s so commonplace.’ Paul Torday’s latest novel is full of such assertions. We are… Read more

Mother of sorrows

27 October 2012
The Testament of Mary Colm Tóibín

Viking, pp.105, £12.99, ISBN: 9780670922093

This novella tells the story of the Crucifixion from the point of view of Mary. Contrary to art historical belief she was not, we are now told, kneeling at the… Read more

Another Restoration romp

1 September 2012
Merivel: A Man of His Time Rose Tremain

Chatto, pp.352, £18.99, ISBN: 9780701185206

Robert Merivel made his first appearance in 1989, in Restoration, Rose Tremain’s popular and acclaimed Carolingian novel. The passage of time has left the Everyman doctor sadder and theoretically wiser,… Read more

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My Dear Governess, edited by Irene Goldman Price

18 August 2012
My Dear Governess Irene Goldman Price

Yale, pp.296, 18.99, ISBN: 9780300169898

‘I have finished Julius Caesar since I last wrote & I cannot say that it left a very glowing impression on me. It was too much like my own earliest… Read more

Welsh wizardry

23 June 2012
After Brock Paul Binding

Seren, pp.268, £8.99, ISBN: 9781854115683

After Brock is a slightly eccentric rite-of-passage novel rooted firmly in the Marches. In September 2009, we are told, an 18-year-old boy called Nat Kempsey disappeared for five days into… Read more

Cry freedom

21 April 2012
Scenes from Early Life Philip Hensher

Fourth Estate, pp.320, 18.99

Scenes From Early Life is a rather dull title for a deeply interesting book. It is a novel; this is stated on the jacket, as if anticipating the possibility that… Read more

Tragedy of Antigone

3 March 2012
The House on Paradise Street Sofka Zinovieff

Short Books, pp.336, 12.99

Sofka Zinovieff’s absorbing first novel has two narrative voices. Maud is the English widow of Nikitas, whose death in a mysterious accident leads her to contact Antigone, the mother-in-law she… Read more

Intrigue and foreboding

11 February 2012
A Small Circus by Hans Fallada, translated by Michael Hofmann

Penguin Classics, pp.578, 20

In 2009, Alone in Berlin, Hans Fallada’s masterpiece about civilian resistance to Nazism, appeared in English for the first time. Now A Small Circus, Fallada’s literary breakthrough, makes its English… Read more

The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue

12 November 2011
The Sealed Letter Emma Donoghue

Picador, pp.398, 18.99

Emily ‘Fido’ Faithfull, a stout, plain, clever Victorian, founder-member of the feminist Langham Place group, manager of the ground-breaking Victoria Press which extends employment possibilities for women, has her story… Read more

All in a night’s work

27 August 2011
We Are Besieged Barbara Fitzgerald

Somerville Press, pp.400, 12.99

This inter-war story of an Anglo-Irish family in crisis opens with a bang. Caroline Adair, recovering from measles at Butler’s Hill, her aunt and uncle’s lovely house in the South-west,… Read more

Fun-loving feminist

16 July 2011

How to be a Woman is a manifesto memoir. Feminism, says the Times journalist Caitlin Moran, ‘has ground to a halt … shrunk down to a couple of increasingly small… Read more

All shook up

28 May 2011
The Trouble with Alice Olivia Glazebrook

Short Books, pp.277, £12.99

Olivia Glazebrook’s first novel begins with a disaster. Olivia Glazebrook’s first novel begins with a disaster. Kit, painter of meretricious society portraits, has whisked Alice, his younger, pregnant girlfriend, off… Read more

The nature of evil

21 May 2011
Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty Simon Baron Cohen

Allen Lane, pp.208, 20

Simon Baron-Cohen has spent 30 years researching the way our brains work. His study of autism led to The Essential Difference, which asked, ‘Are you an empathiser or a systemiser?’… Read more

In Di’s guise

16 April 2011
Untold Story Monica Ali

Doubleday, pp.345, 16.99

What if Princess Diana hadn’t died, but, aided by her besotted press secretary, had faked her death and fled to America to live under an assumed identity? Is this an… Read more