Rachel Redford

An epic performance that brings a lost novelist back to life

A review of The Herries Chronicles, by Hugh Walpole, narrated by Peter Joyce. Walpole’s dramatic chronicle of the Herries family is brilliantly recreated

Hugh Walpole, now almost forgotten, was a literary giant. Descended from the younger brother of the 18th-century prime minister Robert Walpole, he was a prodigiously fast writer who seldom revised his work, producing at least a book a year between 1909 and his death in 1941. But who reads him these days? His books sold in vast numbers, including in America, where on his lecture tours in the 1920s he was more lionised than Dickens had been 80 years earlier.

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