Patricia Hampton , The Binder of Lost Stories , Amazon Crossing two women, centuries apart, are bound by a love of books and a longing for self-discovery. Andrew Caldecott, Wyntertide , Jo Fletcher welcome back to Rotherweird, where an ancient plot is about to come to fruition — and this time the forces of darkness might actually win. Jerome Charyn, Cesare: A Novel of War-Torn Berlin , Bellevue Literary Press , a year-old German naval sub-cadet is wandering along the seawall when he stumbles upon a gang of ruffians beating up a tramp, whose life he saves.
Eoin Dempsey, Toward the Midnight Sun , Lake Union adventure, suspense, and romance set against the rich and ruthless backdrop of the Klondike gold rush. Julia Drosten, trans. Caroline Dunford, Hope for the Innocen t, Accent new historical crime series set in Huie, Spitfire , Crooked Lane a new historical mystery series set in post-war England.
Julia Kelly, The Whispers of War , Gallery start of World War II looms over three friends who struggle to remain loyal as one of them is threatened with internment by the British government. Sarah E. James L. May, The Body Outside the Kremlin , Delphinium a political prisoner incarcerated on the island of Solovetsky, in the s, is mysteriously conscripted to solve the murder of a fellow inmate.
Chris McCormick, The Gimmicks , Harper set in the waning years of the Cold War, debut novel about a trio of young Armenians that moves from the Soviet Union, across Europe, to Southern California, and at its center, one of the most tragic cataclysms in twentieth-century history—the Armenian Genocide. And should the secret ever be revealed? Lance Olsen, My Red Heaven , Dzanc Books imagines the intersection of historic figures — artists, actors, physicists, and autocrats — on a single day in Berlin, Daniel Overdorf, A Death Well Lived , Crosslink tale set in first century Judea that offers hope for the worst among us and the worst within us.
Steph Post, Miraculum , Polis Books part southern gothic, part noir, part magical realism set on the Texas-Louisiana border in Bonnie Proudfoot, Goshen Road, Swallow Press beginning in novel captures one working-class family in rural West Virginia as they balance on the dividing line between Appalachia old and new. Nancy E. A hidden stop on the underground road to freedom, if you can make it there. Tessa Afshar, Daughter of Rome , Tyndale a love story and an immersive journey through first-century Rome and Corinth.
Ali Aragi, Agha , Melville House multi-generational debut tells the story of a centuries-old curse carrying one family to the brink of the Iranian revolution. Bernardo Atxaga, trans. Margaret Jull Costa , Memoirs of a Basque Cow , Dedalus set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, story paints a portrait of friendship and freedom and the sometimes-difficult process of finding oneself. Shaun Curry, The Swords of Silence , Harper Inspire — based on historical events, this action adventure is a glimpse into the world of samurai-dominated Japan.
Epic family saga. Elizabeth Elo, Finding Katarina M. Tina May Hall, The Snow Collectors , Dzanc a bereaved contemporary woman delves into the mystery of a centuries-old letter regarding the Franklin expedition, which disappeared into the ice in Colin Hester, Death and the Butterfly , Counterpoint London — multigenerational story centered around endless heartbreak and enduring love.
Juris Jurjevics, Play the Red Queen , Soho Crime posthumous masterwork—the story of two American GI cops caught in the corrupt cauldron of a Vietnamese civil war stoked red hot by revolution. Jess Kidd, Things in Jars , Atria Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.
Set in s Britain and France. Paul M. Levitt, Death at the Dacha , Lyons Press as Stalin lies dying, this novel records his last thoughts, which he renders as a movie about the people he believes envenomed his life, namely, Lenin and certain women. Julian Mayfield, The Hit c. Scott Oden, Twilight of the Gods , St. Jean-Pierre Ohl, trans. Georges Perec trans. Philip Terry , I Remember , Gallic Perec records a stream of individual memories of a childhood in post-war France, while posing wider questions about memory and nostalgia.
Melissa Anne Peterson, Vera Violet , Counterpoint explores themes of poverty, violence, and environmental degradation as played out in the young lives of a group of close-knit friends. Alice Quinn, trans. A new century is dawning, and two young friends are about to enter into a world of money, privilege and family secrets. Constance Sayers, A Witch in Time , Redhook a young witch is cursed to relive a doomed love affair through many lifetimes, as both troubled muse and frustrated artist.
Herbert J. Stern, Alan A. Winter, Wolf , Skyhorse researched and illustrated historical novel about a man who is not yet a monster, but will soon become the ultimate one: Adolf Hitler. Sarah Sundin, The Land Beneath Us , Revell when an Army Ranger and a librarian are bound together by a marriage of convenience, neither suspects it might lead to love. Set in s. Liz Trenow, Under a Wartime Sky , Pan based on real-life events at a top-secret wartime research station, and describes an invention whose significance matched that of the more famous code-breakers of Bletchley Park.
Margaret Verble, Cherokee America , Mariner Books follows a web of complex family alliances and culture clashes in the Cherokee Nation, during the aftermath of the Civil War. Rikke Villadsen , Cowboy , Fantagraphics a rugged outlaw rides into a typical nineteenth-century Western town, swinging his six-guns and stirring up trouble. Ibrahim al-Koni, trans. Elliot Colla , Gold Dust , Hoopoe classic story of the fight to endure in a world of limitless and waterless wastes, and a parable of the struggle to survive in the most dangerous landscape of all: human society.
Laura Beatty, Lost Property , Atlantic UK a disaffected writer roadtrips through 10, years of civilisation, watching humanity repeat itself with wars over borderlines. Gretchen Berg, The Operator , Wm Morrow debut novel, set in a small Midwestern town in the early s, about a nosy switchboard operator who overhears gossip involving her own family, and the unraveling that discovery sets into motion.
John Buchan, Midwinter , Polygon the Jacobite army marches into England and Alistair Maclean, close confident of Charles Edward Stewart embarks on a secret mission to raise support for the cause. Amanda Cabot, Out of the Embers , Revell when a fire destroys the orphanage where she worked, Evelyn Radcliff flees to the Texas Hill Country with an orphan in tow and a killer in pursuit. Paul Colt, Destiny , Five Star son of a shipping magnate is determined to make his fortune in the news industry. Then a child arrives.
Murder and mayhem prowl the highways and coffin paths of medieval England in the Hugh Corbett series Olivier Dufault, trans. Petra Durst-Benning, trans. Edwin Miles , The Photographer , Amazon Crossing historical saga of a female photographer who must defy convention to live her dreams in turn-of-the-century Germany. Anne Enright, Actress , W.
Bernardine Evaristo, Lara c. Romesh Gunesekera, Suncatcher , The New Press coming-of-age novel about difficult friendships and sudden awakenings set among the tumult of s Sri Lanka. Rebecca James, The Woman in the Mirror , Minotaur a chilling modern gothic novel of a family consumed by the shadows and secrets of its past.
Adel Kamel, trans. Alma Katsu, The Deep , G. Thomas Keneally, The Book of Science and Antiquities , Washington Square exploration of community and country, love and morality, set in both prehistoric and modern Australia. Alexandra Lapierre, The Woman of a Thousand Names , Atria tale based on the true story of the Mata Hari of Russia, featuring a beautiful aristocrat fighting for survival during the deadly upheaval of the Russian Revolution.
Kassandra Luciuk, illus. Karen McQuestion, Dovetail , Lake Union multi-period novel of enduring love, family secrets, and mysterious death. Pola Oloixarac, trans. Sharon K. A comic tale of greed, ambition, and gunboat diplomacy. Ed Ruggero, Blame the Dead , Forge set against the heroism and heartbreak of World War II, novel captures the evocative and timeless stories of ordinary people swept up in extraordinary times.
Katy Simpson Smith, The Everlasting , Harper set in Rome in four different centuries; explores love in all its various incarnations and ponders elemental questions of good and evil, obedience and free will that connect four lives. Thomas-Peter, The Kissing Fence , Caitlin Press two generations grapple with identity, oppression, and redemption rooted in the chilling history of the s and 60s conflict between the BC government and the Doukhobor community.
Rupert Thomson, Never Anyone But You , Other Press traces the real-life love affair of two women, recreating the surrealist movement in Paris and the horrors of the world wars. But this is an historical novel with a difference. Barbara Barnett, Alchemy of Glass , Pyr an historical fantasy with magical realism drawing upon cutting edge science and the most ancient of Celtic mythology.
Juliet Bates, The Colours , Little,Brown living in a tiny town in the north-east of England, in a world on the cusp of war, no one has time for an orphaned girl who seems a little strange. Albert A. Why did he leave in such a hurry—and why did he never come back?
Megan Campisi, The Sin Eater , Atria novel about a shunned orphan girl in 16th century England who is ensnared in a deadly royal plot and must turn her subjugation into power. Mari Coates, The Pelton Papers , She Writes based on the life of artist Agnes Pelton, novel covers everything from her shrouded Brooklyn childhood to her early success in , subsequent retreat to a contemplative life and the flowering of her deeply spiritual art.
Lynn A. Seth Coleman, Peppino , Elm Hill a story of good versus evil, religion versus God, and hypocrisy versus righteousness set in 19th-c Italy. Corram, The Auguries , Severn House in the s an almanac full of magic spells was put together by someone intent on bringing about The End Times. It has resurfaced and is being used indiscriminately. The following morning everyone is found dead. Pamela Binnings Ewen, The Queen of Paris , Blackstone based on the real life of Coco Chanel, novel reveals an unseen side to the celebrated icon as she trades fashion for espionage during WW II to protect her name, her business, and her legend.
Katie Flynn, Liverpool Daughter , Century series about a young girl trying to make her way in war-torn Liverpool — s. Nino Haratischvili, trans. Cyr investigates the mysterious life and death of a nobleman accused of murder in this 15th in series.
Reinhard Jirgl, trans. Iain Galbraith , The Unfinished , Seagull a tale of four generations plays out between the ruins of Nazi Germany and the rise and fall of communist East Germany, the birth of the Berlin Republic, and the shadow of a new millennium. Serge Joncour, trans. Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu, trans. Returning to Istanbul he is well-educated and at home in the city, but is taunted and teased because of his disability. She composes and sings songs, talks to an angel and tells other women to stand up for themselves.
Sue Monk Kidd, The Book of Longings , Viking story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny in a time of great despair and great hope. Keith Ross Leckie, Cursed! Wu Ming-Yi, trans. Darryl Sterk , The Stolen Bicycle , Text a writer finds himself ensnared in the strangely intertwined stories of Lin Wang, the oldest elephant who ever lived, the soldiers who fought in the jungles of South-East Asia during World War II, and the secret world of butterfly handicraft makers in Taiwan.
Zvi Preigerzon, trans. Binyamin Shalom , When the Menorah Fades , Cherry Orchard describes the life of the simple Jewish people and their suffering under the Nazis, with a Kabbalistic spiritual touch. Christine Raafat, The Will to Succeed , Unicorn tells the story of Lady Anne Clifford, chronicles her brave attempt to take back what she was owed and gives readers a glimpse into some of the issues that women faced in the 17th-C.
Polly Samson, A Theatre for Dreamers , Bloomsbury novel set on s Hydra, a place and a bohemian society that has captivated the world for decades. William Sirls, The Crown Lord , Rare Bird alternative history — after a successful revolt in that reversed the roles of slaves and masters, modern-day America is now dominated by a wealthy, black ruling class.
Lee Smith, Blue Marlin , Blair book centers on the Blue Marlin Motel in , where Jenny, her beautiful socialite mother, and chastened father share their sunny days with movie stars. Karin Tanabe, A Hundred Suns , SMP novel set in s Indochina about an American who journeys there in the name of family fortune, the glamorous world she finds herself in—and the truth she may be running from. Larry Tremblay, Impurity , Talonbooks bestselling author Alice Livingston is dead, leaving her philosopher husband, Antoine, dealing with a legacy towards which he has felt increasingly estranged.
Jennifer Smith Turner, Child Bride , SparkPress in the segregated South of the mids — coming-of-age journey of a young girl from the South who joins the African American great migration to the North. Szczepan Twardoch, trans. Hitler is rising. Fascism is escalating. As a specter of violence hangs over Poland like a black cloud, its marginalized and vilified Jewish population hopes for a promise of sanctuary in Palestine.
Brian Van Norman, Against the Machine , Guernica at war against Napoleon near bankrupt English mill-masters experiment with a new factory system acquiring machines to replace men. Martha Waters, To Have and to Hoax , Atria historical rom-com in which an estranged husband and wife in Regency England feign accidents and illness in an attempt to gain attention.
Jerri Westerson, Sword of Shadows , Severn House a quest to find the ancient sword Excalibur quickly turns into a hunt for a determined killer for Crispin Guest. Sarah Ackerman, Red Sky Over Hawaii , Mira story of a woman who has to put her safety and her heart on the line when she becomes the unexpected guardian of a misfit group.
Jane A. Heather Babcock, Filthy Sugar , Inanna set in the mids— tells the story of Wanda Whittle, a nineteen-year-old dreamer who models fur coats in an uptown department store. Amanda Barratt, The White Rose Resists , Kregel inspired by the true story of a group of ordinary men and women who dared to stand against evil.
Tania Bayard, In the Company of Fools , Severn House a baby abandoned in the palace gardens leads scribe-sleuth Christine de Pizan into a mystery involving murder in 14th-century France. Johanna Bell, The Bobby Girls , Hodder ; while their men fight in France, at home in Britain women are finally seizing the opportunity to make a difference.
Sophie Bienvenu, trans. Barbara Miller Biles, Dear Hearts , Inanna collection of short stories that focus on the ways in which girls and women who were teenagers in the s experienced the changing cultural values shaped by feminism. Sarah Burton, The Strange Adventures of H , Legend Press friendless, pregnant and destitute — H is forced to fend for herself on the rapidly emptying streets of London under quarantine.
Charles Causey, Trains to Treblinka , Elm Hill an historical fiction which is an authentic look at Treblinka written as a suspense novel. Janie Chang, The Library of Legends , Wm Morrow third in a loosely-connected trilogy—in which a young woman travels across China with a convoy of student refugees, fleeing the hostilities of a brutal war with Japan.
Jennifer Chiaverini, Mrs. Jill McCroskey Coupe, Beginning with Cannonballs , She Writes in segregated s Knoxville, Tennessee, Hanna black and Gail white share a crib as infants and remain close friends into their teenage years.
Brenda Davies, T he Girl Behind the Gates , Hodder dual-narrative tale of a young woman cut down in her prime, and of the woman who finally brings her back to life. Dan Davin, Janet Wildon ed. David C. Downing, Looking for the King , Paraclete Press in a year-old graduate student, is in England researching the historical evidence for the legendary King Arthur. Amanda Dykes, Set the Stars Alight , Bethany House reeling from the loss of her parents, Lucie Clairmont discovers an artifact under the floorboards of their London flat, leading her to an old seaside estate.
Loren D. Estleman, Indigo , Forge film detective Valentino is summoned to the estate of Ignacio Bozel to collect a film from the classic noir period, thought lost for more than sixty years. Jessie Redmon Fauset, There is Confusion c.
Lauren Francis-Sharma, book of the little axe , Atlantic Monthly a journey, spanning decades and oceans from Trinidad to the American West during the tumultuous days of warring colonial powers and westward expansion. Ann H. Gabhart, An Appalachian Summer , Revell in Louisville, most people are focused on the Great Depression but all Piper Danson can think about is how to get out of being a debutante.
In a damp, run-down farmhouse on the island of Jura, George Orwell is embarking on his greatest work — Nineteen Eighty-Four. Gail Godwin, Old Lovegood Girls , Bloomsbury the story of two remarkable women and the complex friendship between them that spans decades. Adrien Goetz, trans. Natasha Lehrer , Villa of Delirium , New Vessel Press on the French Riviera in the early s, an illustrious family builds a villa—a replica of a Greek palace, complete with marble columns and frescoes depicting mythological gods.
Conn Iggulden, The Gates of Athens , Michael Joseph set in the bloody, brutal world of Ancient Persia, an age of ever-shifting loyalties and epic battles. Athenian book 1. Catherine Jinks, Shepherd , Text thirteen-year-old shepherd Tom must defend himself against a ruthless killer, tracking him through the outback.
Set in colonial era Australia Stephen P. Kiernan, Universe of Two , Wm Morrow fictionalized account of the life of Charlie Fisk, a gifted mathematician who was drafted into the Manhattan Project and ordered to build the detonator for the atomic bomb. In England, Vee Katchatourian is training to be a ferry pilot and, in spite of her sex and her foreign name, she is determined to get her Wings. Linda Lafferty, Fierce Dreamer , Lake Union an historical novel about a defiant seventeenth-century artist who dared to feed her passions and explore the limitless possibilities of art.
Nathaniel Lande, While the Music Played , Blackstone beginning in pre-war Prague, novel focuses on the story of young Max Mueller, a curious bright romantic,-a budding musician, piano tuner, and nascent journalist. Aimee Liu, Glorious Boy , Red Hen Press after five years in the remote Andaman Islands, aspiring anthropologist Claire Durant and her husband Shep, must evacuate with their beloved but mysteriously mute four-year-old.
Kathleen McGurl, The Pearl Locket , HQ Digital when a scrawled message from is found under the wallpaper in her room, Ali begins to question the history of the house left to her by her great-aunt. Egyptologist Imogen Riley desperately wants to know what happened to the ill-fated expedition. Anne Raeff, Only The River , Counterpoint a novel of two families set in New York and Nicaragua over several generations as their lives collide in mysterious ways.
Jan Rehner, The House of Izeiu , Inanna inspired by the life and experiences of Sabine Zlatin who, as a Jew using a fake identity, managed to find families to care for Jewish children in French refugee camps. Lilly Robbins, The Nightingales in Mersey Square , Orion world war two saga of friendship and hope in the face of adversity.
Ralph Rothmann, The God of that Summer , Picador novel of World War II and the final months of a war that forever darkened the souls of the civilians who lived through it. Adania Shibli, trans. Anna Solomon, The Book of V. Ashley E. Arthur Bourne, a junior psychiatrist, is about to jeopardise his future for his closest friend. Dejan Trajkoski, trans. Paul Filev , Infidelity, Dalkey Archive Press set in Macedonia at the beginning of the 20th century, the novel draws on myth and history to tell an unusual story of star-crossed lovers.
Jen Turano, Storing Up Trouble , Bethany House discovers the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos. James Wade, All Things Left Wild , Blackstone a botched robbery sets two men on conflicting journeys across the untamed landscape of the American West. Phyllis Brett Young, The Ravine c. Alice Zeniter, The Art of Losing , Picador novel of family, history, immigration and identity, spanning three generations and some seventy years across the shores of the Mediterranean.
Hope Adams, Conviction , Michael Joseph July — tale about female anger, subservience and strength. Katherine Addison, The Angel of the Crows , Tor in an alternate s London, angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings under a well-regulated truce. Jean-Baptiste Andrea trans. Michael Arditti, The Anointed , Arcadia novel centres on three fascinating, formidable women in Ancient Israel, whose voices have hitherto been silenced.
The Roman invasion from the western seas is imminent, and from the south the Spartans are burning and pillaging their way north. Mathew Carr, Black Sun Rising , Pegasus a sinister detective story of eugenics, racism, and nationalist paranoia set in early s. Cassandra Clark, The Hour of the Fox , Severn House introducing reluctant spy and friar-sleuth Brother Rodric Chandler in the first of a medieval mystery series set in Michael Gear, People of the Canyons , Forge a tale of trapped magic, a tyrant who wants to wield its power…and a young girl who could be the key to save a people.
When a man is found stabbed to death, he provides the link tying together several seemingly random deaths. Michael Januska, St. Luke Road , Dundurn bootleggers, cops, and corruption collide along the Detroit River, where Jack McCloskey smuggles his illegal liquor, in this Prohibition-era mystery. Laurie R.
Cade and Anja have lived in hiding for a decade, training new mages. Then the assassination of President Kennedy triggers a series of murders whose victims are all magicians. Yeats and his wife Georgie, against the backdrop of WWI. David Mitchell, Utopia Avenue , Random House over two years and two albums, novel navigates the dark end of the Sixties: its parties, drugs and egos, political change and personal tragedy; and the trials of life as a working band in London, the provinces.
Allison Montclair, A Royal Affair , Minotaur more goes wrong than could be imagined when Iris Sparks and Gwendolyn Bainbridge are unexpectedly engaged to dig into the past of a suitor of a royal princess. Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Mexican Gothic , Del Rey gothic suspense novel about an isolated mansion in s Mexico—and the brave socialite drawn to its treacherous secrets. Lars Mytting trans. Sten Nadolny trans. Breon and Lynda Mitchell , The Joy of Sorcery , Paul Dry Books, Pahroc writes about his extraordinary life in 20th-c Germany for his young granddaughter, who, like him, has secret magical abilities.
Parry, A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians , Redhook a genre-defying story of magic, war, and the struggle for freedom in the early modern world. David Peace, Tokyo Redux , Knopf novel about a high-profile crime that occurrs in Tokyo during the occupation and goes cold, haunting the lives of both American and Japanese investigators for the next forty years. Tracie Peterson, The Way of Love , Bethany House Faith Kenner is pursuing her dream to become a doctor and use her gift to help the native populations on reservations.
Laura Purcell, The House of Whispers , Penguin Victorian tale set on the Cornish coast in a rambling house by the sea in which a maid cares for a mute old woman with a mysterious past. Karen Quevillon, The Parasol Flower , Regal House working from 19th-c letters and paintings a PhD student reconstructs a year in the life of Hannah Inglis, an unknown artist who slipped from the history books.
Michael R. Eight: , Hermes continues the comic-strip adventures of Johnny Hazard picking up the storyline where Volume Seven left off. Mussolini is in power and war is not far away. Anbara Salam, Belladonna , Berkley coming-of-age novel set in s Italy that looks at the friendships that have the power to save and destroy us.
Connie Schultz, The Daughters of Erietown , Random House hidden desires, long-held secrets, and the sacrifices people make for family are at the heart of this novel about people in a small town. Laura Shepherd-Robinson, Daughters of the Night , Mantle story follows Lady Caroline Corsham as she seeks to avenge the death of a woman who society would rather forget.
Norton multi-period follows daughter and parents on parallel trips up the Bone River, weaving together the hope of June with the injustices of June Luanne G. Cindy K. Sproles, What Momma Left Behind , Revell after the death of her mother, Worri Dressar takes on the care of orphans near their Appalachian mountain home. When a man is found dead along the Cornish coast, Shilly and Anna are asked to investigate.
But then she witnesses something terrible. Peter J. Beatriz Williams, Her Last Flight , Wm Morrow in , photographer and war correspondent Janey Everett arrives on the Hawaiian island of Kauai to research a planned biography of forgotten aviation pioneer Sam Mallory. Jake Wolff, The History of Living Together , Picador this globe-trotting, century-spanning adventure story, follows two young men on separate quests for the Elixir of Life. Alina Adams, The Nesting Dolls , Harper spanning nearly a century, from s Siberia to contemporary Brighton Beach, a family saga centering on three generations of women in one Russian Jewish family—each striving to break free of fate and history.
Megan Campisi, The Sin Eater , Mantle novel about a shunned orphan girl in 16th century England who is ensnared in a deadly royal plot and must turn her subjugation into power. Cooper, All Our Broken Idols , Bloomsbury an epic of worlds ancient and modern, of treasures lost and stolen, of those who make beauty and those who seek to destroy it. Lindsey Davis, The Grove of the Caesars , Minotaur in the sacred grove of Julius Caesar, something deadly stirs in the undergrowth—a serial killer, who haunted the gardens for years, has claimed another victim.
Helen A. When the naked corpse of an unknown man is discovered, Catchpoll and Walkelin head to Wales to confirm his identity. Paulus Hochgatterer trans. Jamie Bulloch , The Day My Grandfather Was a Hero , MacLehose an observation of small shifts from apathy in a community not directly affected by the war, but exhausted by it nonetheless.
Ben Kane, Lionheart , Orion Leslie S. Klinger, Weird Women , Pegasus new volume of supernatural stories showcasing the forgotten female horror writers from — Alex Landragin, Crossings , St. Joe R. Lansdale, More Better Deals , Mulholland s Texas story of a no-nonsense used car salesman ready to turn his life around.
Norton debut novel that follows three generations in Mississippi—fractured by murder, seeking redemption. Civil rights era through present. Stefano Massini trans. Richard Dixon , The Lehman Trilogy , HarperVia spanning years, an epic that tells the story of modern capitalism through the saga of the Lehman brothers and their descendants.
Tiffany McDaniel, Betty , Knopf novel set in the rolling foothills of the Appalachians in which a young girl discovers stark truths that will haunt her for the rest of her life. Perkins, Lineage Most Lethal , Minotaur second mystery in the Ancestry Detective series, in which Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster deals with murders in both the past and present.
Suzanne Rindell, The Two Mrs. Carlyles , G. Anbara Salam, Belladonna , Fig Tree coming-of-age novel set in s Italy that looks at the friendships that have the power to save and destroy us. Christina Schwarz, Bonnie , Atria evokes the fascinating true crime love affair of Bonnie and Clyde in this fictional portrait of Bonnie Parker. Muriel Spark, The Girls of Slender Means , Penguin UK a bevy of well-bred girls of slender means and intriguing morals are plotting amongst themselves for the suitors who call to confer favour.
John Boyne, A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom , Hogarth human stories which intertwine and evolve over the course of years. Emily Brightwell, Mrs. Jeffries Demands Justice , Berkley latest entry in Victorian mystery series. Betsy Carter, Lost Souls at the Neptune Inn , Grand Central quirky, darkly comic historical novel set in the s about three generations of women whose lives are changed when a mysterious stranger comes to town.
Patty Dann, The Wright Sister , Harper Perennial epistolary novel that imagines the life of Katharine Wright and her relationship with her famous brothers. Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis trans. When she finds a job will she find all the answers she needs? Diana Giovinazzo, The Woman in Red , Grand Central life story of Anita Garibaldi, the courageous, headstrong revolutionary who fought for freedom and self-determination in 19th-century Brazil, Uruguay, and Italy.
Jean-Claude Grumberg, The Most Precious of Cargoes , Picador tells a story of the Holocaust and the remarkable acts of kindness of which people are capable. Harrison, An Accidental Corpse , Poisoned Pen the glamor and grit of the s comes to life in a retelling of a murder that rocked the art world. Elsa Hart, The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne , Minotaur new mystery series set as England teeters on the edge of the scientific revolution. I have inserted a few extracts from her letters to Flora Russell, recording some of her doings.
Huth Jackson]. To the same. Lady Arthur's approval is very well worth having, and I am grateful to you for telling me of it. We have spent a racketing fortnight dancing and acting; I am just beginning to fall back into my usual peaceful frame of mind which is rather difficult to regain. I feel to have got rather behindhand with the whole world during the course of it and that I must hurry along very fast to catch it up again.
But it's the old world I really want to catch up. I have just got to an inviting stage in my Latin when I feel there is really no reason I shouldn't read anything-and as a matter of fact I can read nothing without dictionaries and great labour.
The slough of despond is nothing to it. But I mean to wade on diligently for the next fortnight and stumble as best I may over the horrid catching briars of prepositions and conjunctive moods. We spent a madly amusing five days at Canterbury, of which nothing remains to tell except that we danced every night, saw a good deal of cricket and talked a little.
Do you remember discussing what other girls do with their days? I have found out what one particular class does-they spend the entire time in rushing from house to house for cricket weeks, which means cricket all day and dancing all night; your party consists of an eleven and enough girls to pair off with-you discuss byes and wides and Kemp at the wicket and Hearne's batting and any other topic Of a similar nature that may occur to you.
It seems to me to be rather a restless sort of summer. The Lascelles are moved to Teheran which is rather thrilling. They are coming back to England now and my uncle goes to Persia in October, my aunt later, I don't know when.
I should like her to take me out with her, Persia is the place I have always longed to see, but I don't know if she will. I expect my aunt will be rather annoyed for she will hate being so far away, but it is a great promotion. As for me if only I go there this winter everything will have turned out for the best.
I wear a blue-green velvet in my hair which is becoming. I have been reading Latin with great energy. It's a language of which I know very little but whose difficulties must be mastered somehow for I constantly find myself brought up against a blank wall by my ignorance of it.
It is very interesting to learn but I could wish it were a little easier. This is for the private eye: Bentley wishes to publish my Persian things, but wants more of them, so after much hesitation I have decided to let him and I am writing him another six chapters. It's rather a bore and what's more I would vastly prefer them to remain unpublished. I wrote them you see to amuse myself and I have got all the fun out of them I ever expect to have, for modesty apart they are extraordinarily feeble.
Moreover I do so loathe people who rush into print and fill the world with their cheap and nasty work and now I am going to be one of them. At first I refused, then my mother thought me mistaken and my father was disappointed and as they are generally right I have given way. But in my heart I hold very firmly to my first opinion.
Don't speak of this. I wish them not to be read. I read a certain amount of history with the children's lessons, for exercise, and the works of Balzac for amusement. Dante for edification. It's an agreeable and a varied programme. Her letters from Persia, of which there were a good many, are like those from Roumania unfortunately not to be found.
The only one we have is addressed to her cousin Horace Marshall, written from Gula Hek, the exquisite summer resort of the British Legation. Here that which is me, which womanlike is an empty jar that the passer by fills at pleasure, is filled with such wine as in England I had never heard of, now the wine is more important than the jar when one is thirsty, therefore I conclude, cousin mine, that it is not the person who danced with you at Mansfield St.
Anyhow I remember you as a dear person in a former existence, whom I should like to drag into this one and to guide whose spiritual coming I will draw paths in ink. And others there are whom I remember yet not with regret but as one might remember people one knew when one was an inhabitant of Mars 20 centuries ago. How big the world is, how big and how wonderful. It comes to me as ridiculously presumptuous that I should dare to carry my little personality half across it and boldly attempt to measure with it things for which it has no table of measurements that can possibly apply.
So under protest I write to you of Persia: I am not me, that is my only excuse. I am merely pouring out for you some of what I have received during the last two months. Well in this country the men wear flowing robes of green and white and brown, the women lift the veil of a Raphael Madonna to look at you as you pass; wherever there is water a luxuriant vegetation springs up and where there is not there is nothing but stone and desert. Oh the desert round Teheran! I never knew what desert was till I came here; it is a very wonderful thing to see; and suddenly in the middle of it all, out of nothing, out of a little cold water, springs up a garden.
Such a garden! Here sits the enchanted prince, solemn, dignified, clothed in long robes. He comes down to meet you as you enter, his house is yours, his garden is yours, better still his tea and fruit are yours, so are his kalyans but I think kalyans are a horrid form of smoke, they taste to me of charcoal and paint and nothing else. By the grace of God your slave hopes that the health of your nobility is well?
It is very well out of his great kindness. Will your magnificence carry itself on to this cushion? Your magnificence sits down and spends ten minutes in bandying florid compliments through an interpreter while ices are served and coffee, after which you ride home refreshed, charmed, and with many blessings on your fortunate head.
And all the time your host was probably a perfect stranger into whose privacy you had forced yourself in this unblushing way. Ah, we have no hospitality in the west and no manners. I felt ashamed almost before the beggars in the street-they wear their rags with a better grace than I my most becoming habit, and the veils of the commonest women now the veil is the touchstone on which to try a woman's toilette are far better put on than mine.
A veil should fall from the top of your head to the soles of your feet, of that I feel convinced, and it should not be transparent. Say, is it not rather refreshing to the spirit to lie in a hammock strung between the plane trees of a Persian garden and read the poems of Hafiz-in the original mark you!
That is how I spend my mornings here; a stream murmurs past me which Zoroastrian gardeners guide with long handled spades into tiny sluices leading into the flower beds all around. The dictionary which is also in my hammock is not perhaps so poetic as the other attributes let us hide it under our muslin petticoats. This also is pleasant: to come in at 7 o'clock in the morning after a two hours' ride, hot and dusty, and find one's cold bath waiting for one scented with delicious rose water, and after it an excellent and longed for breakfast spread in a tent in the garden.
What else can I give you but fleeting impressions caught and hardened out of all knowing? I can tell you of a Persian merchant in whose garden, stretching all up the mountain side, we spent a long day, from dawn to sunset, breakfasting, lunching, teaing on nothing but Persian foods. He is noted for his hospitality every evening parties of friends arrive unexpectedly "he goes out, entertains them" said the Persian who told me about it, "spreads a banquet before them and relates to them stories half through the night.
Then cushions are brought and carpeted mattresses and they lie down in one of the guest houses in the garden and sleep till dawn when they rise and repair to the bath in the village. In the garden there are big deep tanks where in the evenings between tennis and dinner I often swim in the coldest of cold water. Before we left Teheran when it was too hot to sleep, I used to go out at dawn and swim under the shadow of the willows.
We were very glad to leave Teheran though we liked the house there. It began to be very stuffy and airless; here, though we are only 6 miles away, there is always air, except perhaps between two and four in the afternoon when one generally sleeps.
We are much higher up and much nearer the hills and all round us are watered fields where the corn is almost ripe for cutting The joy of this climate! I do think an English summer will be very nice after it. I learn Persian, not with great energy, one does nothing with energy here.
My teacher is a delightful old person bright eyes and a white turban who knows so little French French is our medium that he can neither translate poets to me nor explain any grammatical difficulties. But we get on admirably nevertheless and spend much of our time in long philosophic discussions carried on by me in French an by him in Persian.
His point of view is very much that of an oriental Gibbon, though with this truly oriental distinction, that he would never dream of acknowledging in words or acts his scepticism to one of his own countrymen. It would be tacitly understood between them and their intercourse would be continued on the basis of perfect agreement. Now this is a great simplification and promotes, I should imagine, the best of good manners.
Goodbye, write to me and tell me how the world goes with you. It practically summarises her impressions. We have further records of them in a book she wrote the year after her return, published by Bentley in , entitled "safar Nameh " i.
The little book attracted attention and was favourably reviewed.. I have dwelt on it here, for the interest of comparing it in one's mind with the books of Eastern travel Gertrude was to publish many years later, when she was no longer a spectator only, but a sharer to the full in the Eastern life that she described.
She had, as we have seen in many of the letters, a special and very valuable gift, that of forming extremely vivid impressions, whether of places or of human beings. She would dive beneath the surface, estimating, judging, characterising in a few words that were not often mistaken. She would ride through a countryside and report on its conditions, human, agricultural, economic, and her report would be adopted. When she came into contact with human beings, whether chiefs of the desert or men and women of her own Western world, she would label them, after her first meeting with them, in a sentence.
I am not pretending that her judgments were always infallible. But on the whole they were correct often enough to enable her to thread her way successfully through the labyrinth of her experiences. It was characteristic of Gertrude, and it was an inestimable advantage to her, that she insisted on learning Persian before going to Teheran.
She arrived there knowing as it is commonly called, the language, i. But she had not yet reached the stage in which the learner of a language finds with rapture that a new knowledge has been acquired, the illuminating stage when not the literal meaning only of words is being understood, but their values and differences can be critically appreciated. It was not long before Gertrude was reading Persian Poetry by this light and with the added understanding brought to her by her knowledge of Western literature.
She was wont when she was at home and someone asked her a question about history to reply with a laugh " Oh! But in literature it would be hard to say offhand what was her " period. The book includes a life of Hafiz, which is practically a history of his times as well as a critical study of his work. These, and the notes on his poems at the end of the book, show how wide was her field of comparison.
She draws a parallel between Hafiz and his contemporary Dante: she notes the similarity of a passage with Goethe: she compares Hafiz with Villon, on every side gathering fructifying examples which link together the inspiration of the West and of the East. The book on its publication was extremely well received. I quote here from two of the translations. Songs of dead laughter, songs of love once hot, Songs of a cup once flushed rose-red with wine, Songs of a rose whose beauty is forgot, A nightingale that piped hushed lays divine: And still a graver music runs beneath The tender love notes of those songs of thine, Oh, Seeker of the keys of Life and Death!
Light of mine eyes and harvest of my heart, And mine at least in changeless memory! Oh Camel-driver, though the cordage start, For God's sake help me lift my fallen load, And Pity be my comrade of the road! He sought a lodging in the grave--too soon! I had not castled, and the time is gone. What shall I play? Gertrude, who was an ardent lover of poetry all her life long, and who kept abreast of the work of the moderns as well as of their predecessors, seemed, strangely enough, after the book of Hafiz had appeared, to consider her own gift of verse as a secondary pursuit, and to our surprise abandoned it altogether.
But that gift has always seemed to me to underlie all she has written. The spirit of poetry coloured all her prose descriptions, all the pictures that she herself saw and succeeded in making others see. It was a strangely interesting ingredient in a character capable on occasion of very-definite hardness and of a deliberate disregard of sentiment: and also in a mental equipment which included great practical ability and statesmanlike grasp of public affairs.
But in truth the real basis of Gertrude's nature Was her capacity for deep emotion. Great joys came into her life, and also great sorrows. How could it be otherwise with a temperament so avid of experience? Her ardent and magnetic personality drew the lives of others into hers as she passed along. She returned to England from Teheran in December of In January we find her starting for Switzerland and northern Italy with Mary Talbot, a beloved friend who had been with her at Lady Margaret Hall. Mary Talbot married the Rev.
Burrows, now Bishop of Chichester, in 18 She died, to Gertrude's great sorrow, in In April she went to Algiers with her father to stay with some of his relations, afterwards going back to Switzerland, and then joining Maurice, who was established in a German family at Weimar that he might learn the language. Needless to say that as soon as Gertrude arrived at Weimar she arranged to have German lessons, and went three times a week to talk with " a delightful old lady living in whose house do you think?
But it is not worth while to take up space by accounts of routes already well- trodden, or places and social surroundings well known. Gertrude came back to England from Germany in the early summer of and does not seem to have gone abroad again until the spring of There are no letters of the two intervening years. In the spring of Gertrude travelled in the north of Italy, first in the company of Mrs.
Norman Grosvenor and then of Mrs. Green, both of whom were her dear friends. Her father was with her part of the time. They stayed in Venice, they stayed in Florence. As might be expected, on her arrival in Italy, Gertrude at once arranged to have Italian lessons. She writes from Venice "At 3 I had my parlatrice until 4.
Sir Reginald and Lady Talbot were staying in Florence, which was a great added enjoyment. Lady Talbot was Mrs. Grosvenor's sister. After Gertrude's return from Italy she was at home until the end of the year. One line to say we had a most amusing party at the Portsmouths yesterday.
I made the acquaintance of Miss Haldane, whom I have long wished to know, and I am going to tea with her tomorrow. Haldane was most complimentary about my book--which I think he hasn't read by the way. A delightful review in the Athenaeum. Loe had just finished reviewing my book! Flora lunched to-day and we went out together afterwards. Tomorrow I have a Buddhist Committee lunch.
I wrote my review of Lafcadio this morning, the sort of blissful morning when one suddenly realises at the end of a few hours that one has been quite unconscious of the passing Of time. I'm just going to finish it now. Moll looked charming last night. I Studied my grammar this morning and went to the London Library where I looked through volumes and volumes of Asiatic Societies.
I had a very nice evening with the Ritchies--Pinkie Was there and she played the piano, and we talked not wile she played and it was very merry. They are looking very well. I think they are coming to you for Easter. I came away rather early for I had a lesson at 5. My Pundit was extremely pleased with me, he kept congratulating Me on my proficiency in the Arabic tongue! I think his other pupils must be awful duffers. It is quite extraordinarily interesting to read the Koran with him-and it is such a magnificent book!
He has given me some Arabian Nights for the next time and I have given him some Hafiz poems to read, so we shall see what we shall see. He is extremely keen about the Hafiz book. This morning I stayed in and read some most illuminating articles on Sufyism. There's a lot to know but I guess I'll know some of it before I've done.
I expect I shall get my reading ticket to-morrow. My Pundit brought back my poems yesterday-he is really pleased with them. I asked him if he thought they were worth doing and he replied that indeed he did. He is full of offers of assistance and wants to read all that I have done, which from a busy man is, I think, the best proof that he likes what he has seen. Arabic flies along-I shall soon be able to read the Arabian Nights for fun. My domino is going to be so nice and it will cost me very little for it is all made of a beautiful piece of white stuff Papa gave me in Algiers.
Lizzie is making it. Give my love to Lisa. Green went in the morning to see Lady Layard, who offered us her gondola to go out and see the arrival of the Emperor. Dorothy and Arnold walked me home. At 2Mrs. Green and I started out in a splendid gondola and went nearly to the Lido amidst a crowd of boats. It was very gorgeous for the Municipio appeared in splendid gondolas hung with streamers and emblems and rowed by 8 gondoliers in fancy dresses of different colours.
About 3 the Hohenzollern steamed in through the Lido port, a magnificent great white ship with all the sailors dressed in white and standing in lines upon the deck. The guns fired, the ships in the harbour saluted and all the people cheered.
The Hohenzollern anchored nearly opposite the Piazzetta and we saw the King and Queen and a crowd of splendid officers Come up in a steam launch all hung with blue. They went on board the Hohenzollern and presently we saw them all go away again with the Emperor and his two little boys.
We were much amused, and for magnificence there never was anything like a festa with the Ducal Palace for background. It was a very imperial way of arriving to steam up in your gorgeous white ship. I only wished it had not been that Particular emperor we were welcoming. Green and I went out in a gondola and saw the sun set behind the Euganean Hills. Caroline [Grosvenor] is a delightful companion-we are particularly happy. I had a real busy morning and settled all my summer clothes and ordered a gown at Mrs.
I hope it will be ready before you come as I should like you to pronounce upon it. Tomorrow I intend to spend an hour or two over my Hafiz things and get them all straight. I went to the British Museum on my bicycle this morning. It adds a great joy to my studies and I feel all the brisker for it. The children have had a tennis court marked in the square. I am just going out to see! They are looking blooming and are such angels!
However we will try not to be too foolish about our family. I was invited to Lady Lockwood's dance but I really couldn't be bothered to hunt up a chaperon and go to it. About the children's flower gowns--we finally decided that the cheapest and best thing we could do was to trim the gowns with field flowers artificial of course , buttercups daisies and forget-me-nots. We have cut a sort of ruche of tulle round the bottom of the skirt with little bunches of flowers tucked into it, and hung flowers from the neck and from the waist in little streams--on the whole I think this plan has made as much show as possible for as little money and the dresses look quite charming.
I hope I've done right about it. The children were extremely anxious to have their gowns very flowery. We had a very merry dinner and started out about ten, along the embankment, the Strand and through the City to the Tower Bridge, then home by Holborn Viaduct and oxford Street. The Strand was pretty full but the City quite empty, all brilliantly lighted and the asphalt pavement excellent good going.
It was a delicious night with a little moon and I enjoyed it extremely. We went back to supper with the Tyrrells and I was not in till However I went off after breakfast to the Museum where I asked for a book they' hadn't got! It is rather funny that I should have exhausted the whole British Museum in a fortnight, but it's also a bore, for I wanted a nice French translation and now I shall have to fall back on the original Persian which they have.
I have told Lizzie about the bonnet and cloak so you will find them ready. Our party last night was a great success, the babies looked charming. I was much complimented upon their appearance. It was most amusing being a chaperon. I sat on a bench and watched them dancing round and knew just what you felt like at Oxford. I think I got at the meaning of it with the help of a Persian dictionary, but a Latin translation is not so clear to me as it might be. Audley Square was amusing.
I am going down to Caroline in Kent for Whitsuntide. I want to bicycle down on Saturday if I can get an escort, it's only 17 miles, and send my luggage by train. London is beginning to feel very Whitsuntidy. Beatrice Clementi came to see me this afternoon just before I went out. She is to be married in November. It is very close here and has been raining a good deal think of ordering a tasteful costume for Ascot consisting of a short skirt, a waterproof and a large umbrella.
Florence and I arranged the flowers at 95 and did the dinner table at 90 most elegantly--I dine there to-night. Then I had a long talk with Auntie Mary, who seems very brisk and well. I took Florence with me to try on my gown and we walked together in the Square until a storm of rain came on and drove us in.
Auntie Maisie asks me to dine with her Friday and go to a ball, and Maurice is to come to dinner if she can possibly find a place for him, and at any rate to come in directly after dinner and go to the ball too. We have had a most delightful day. We started about , Gerald, Florence, Uncle Frank and I, got to Ascot half an hour before the first race, which we saw from the top of the Royal Enclosure Stand; then we lunched in the Bachelors' tent, Billy being our host, and I sat next Colonel Talbot and was much amused.
He had a Carpenter niece with him. Then we went back and saw all the races over the railing of the Royal enclosure, which is just opposite the winning post. The family had small bets on, mostly unsuccessful I didn't bet, I need not say. At the end of all we had tea in the Guards' tent and came home very comfortably, getting in about I am going again to-morrow.
My gown was a dream and was much admired. I am going this evening with Auntie Mary and Florence and the Johnsons to sit out of doors in the Imperial Institute and listen to the band-rather nice as it is very hot. Florence and I did amuse ourselves so much! What a dear Lord Granville is. Thank you very much for your letter and will you thank the little girls for me, I have no time to write to them to-day. Hugo came up in great form and we started off to Lord's together, but on the way discovered that he had lost the blue tassel on his umbrella, which saddened us dreadfully!
So we tried in many shops to get one, and failed alas! However we were Comforted at Lord's when we saw that many many Eton boys had no tassel! We had the most excellent places, we carried our lunch with us and supplemented it with green-gages, after eating which we both made fervent wishes as they were the first we had eaten this year. I asked Hugo what he had wished, to which he replied, "Why I wished Eton might win--what in the world is there to wish for besides?
He was such a darling! I saw Heinemann this morning. He was extremely pleasant. I told him a lot about the book and he expressed a desire to see it. So at any rate it will have a reading. I shall send him the poems and preface from Berlin, Mr. Strong cannot come to town and has not yet finished the preface.
Her first letter is sent from the station at York. YORK, Jan. I can't conceive what I am doing in this station, nor why I am going away. It's too silly. I wish I were stopping quietly at home. All sorts of smart people on this platform! One begins to realise what the world is like when one gets to York, doesn't one. Never mind, I'll be smart too presently! The reason why I had not sent the poems to H. Strong has not yet sent me back the preface. I hope I may get it by the next bag.
Meantime I have sent the 30 poems with their notes to H. To her sister. It was a very fine show. We drove to the Schloss in the glass coach and were saluted by the guard when we arrived. We felt very swell! Then we waited for a long time with all the other dips. We all hastily arranged one another's trains and marched in procession while the band played the march out of Lohengrin.
The Emperor and Empress were standing on a dais at the end of the room and we walked through a sort of passage made by rows and rows of pages dressed in pink. She introduced me and then stood aside while I made two curtseys. The Princess Frederic Leopold's ladies asked when I was going to be introduced to her. We have been skating all the afternoon with surprising energy, A very ridiculous thing happened-I had retired into a secluded corner and put my muff down to make a centre round which to skate a figure, when suddenly I was aware of a short fat German gentleman arriving into the middle of my figure on his back.
He picked up my muff and himself and handed them both to me, so to speak, with a low bow. We propose if the frost lasts making a big party, sledging down to Potsdam and skating there. I hope it will come off, it Would be very amusing. A great 'Probe' at the Kaiserhof to which all the people who were going to dance at the Court Ball came. After the lesson was over there were a couple of waltzes, so I offed with my coat and danced too. There is a rather nice sort of variant of the 'pas de quatre' which they call the 'pas de patineur' which I quickly learnt.
Uncle F. Accordingly we went off by ourselves and sat very comfortably with Countess Keller in the second row of chairs-no one might sit in the front row even when the royalties were not in the box. All the Embassy and a lot of the Court people were with us, the Emperor and Empress were in a little box at the side. The play was very well done. The Falstaff excellent and the whole thing beautifully staged.
There was no pause till the end of the second act when there was a long entr'acte. Countess Keller bustled away and presently came hurrying back and whispered something to Knesebeck and Egloffstein, two of the Court people, and they came and told F. So off we went rather trembling, under the escort of Countess K. We made deep curtseys and kissed the Empress's hand, and then we all sat down, F.
It was rather formidable though they were extremely kind. The Emperor talked nearly all the time; he tells us that no plays of Shakespeare were ever acted in London and that we must have heard tell that it was only the Germans who had really studied or really understood Shakespeare. One couldn't contradict an Emperor, so we said we had always been told so. Egloffstein's chair broke in the middle of the party and he came flat on to the ground which created a pleasing diversion-I was so glad it wasn't mine!
Countess K. After about 20 minutes the Empress got up, we Curtseyed to her, shook hands with the Emperor. Florence thanked him very prettily for sending for us and we bowed ourselves out. Wasn't it amusing! Florence said she felt shy but she looked perfectly self-possessed and had the prettiest little air in the world as she sat talking to the Emperor.
I felt rather frightened, but I did not mind much as I knew I need do nothing but follow Florence's lead. The Empress sits very upright and is rather alarming. He flashes round from one person to the other and talks as fast as possible and is not alarming at all. We go again to-night to the second part. The Court Ball on Wednesday was a fine show. We were asked for eight o'clock and at a quarter past we formed up for waiting. The ambassadresses sat on a line of chairs to the left of the throne in the Weiser Saal, and we stood meekly behind them.
After about half an hour someone tapped tapped on the floor with a wand and in came a long procession of pages followed by the 'Kaiser Paar' and all the 'Furstliche Personen. In to supper. The room was almost empty and the few people that were there were dancing the 'trois temps'--one is only allowed to dance the 'deux temps' when the Empress is there.
It was a very delicious half-hour for the floor is peerless and all these officers dance so well. Then followed the gavotte which Florence danced very prettily. The house is all upside down for the ball. Wherever one goes one finds lines and lines of waiters arranging tables. We can seat people at supper. There are to be tables in all the ball rooms, the Chancery ante-room and even the big bedroom. We all intend to bring our partners up to the big bedroom which makes a delightful supper-room.
Florence and I went into the kitchen this morning and inspected the food. I never saw so many eatables together. Florence and I were of course as it was in our own house covered with bows and loaded with flowers. There were supper tables in all the drawing-rooms--it looked extremely nice. I went to tea with Marie von Bunsen and stayed till past 7. She is most interesting. The Court Ball on Wednesday was much nicer than the first one. The Emperor wore a gorgeous Austrian uniform in honour of an Austrian Archduke who was there--the brother of the man who is heir to the throne.
He will be Emperor himself someday as the heir is sickly and unmarried. The Emperor William is disappointing when one sees him close; he looks puffy and ill and I never saw anyone so jumpy. He is never still a second while he is talking. Uncle Frank is in a great jig about Crete.
He thinks there is going to be red war and an intervention of the Powers and all sorts of fine things. I wonder. Florence and I spent the most heavenly morning at the 'Haupt Probe'. Since then we have been bicycling round the house for exercise as it is raining and we could not go out.
On Friday Mr. Acton, Mr. Spring Rice and Lord Granville dined with us. After dinner we played hide and seek till we were so hot we could play no longer and finished up the evening with pool and baccarat. I went to the National Gallery to see the modern pictures. I had been reading about modern German painters and knew what I wanted to look at. Should like to go out but I mayn't go by myself. So I suppose I can't! We were all sent for in the entr'acte. We had a very agreeable tea with the Emperor and Empress and her sister.
It was like an act out of another historical drama--but a modern one. A sheaf of telegrams were handed to the Emperor as we sat at tea. He and Uncle fell into an excited conversation in low voices; we talked on to the Empress trying to pretend we heard nothing but catching scraps of the Emperor's remarks, " Crete. The Empress kept looking up at him anxiously; she is terribly perturbed about it all and no wonder for he is persuaded that we are all on the brink of war.
My sister Mary Lascelles died on April 3rd, after three days' illness. Her death made a terrible gap in Gertrude's life. I have been to Clarence to-day-it was no use sitting and moping so I thought I had better make myself useful if I could. She was at home with us all the rest of the year. On the 29th December Gertrude and her brother Maurice left home for Southampton, to embark on a voyage round the world. Gertrude kept a diary letter on the voyage.
She posts from Jamaica, Guatemala, San Francisco--wherever she had an opportunity. It is not worth while reproducing all that she and Maurice saw on this well-known route, which has so often been described. They enjoyed it all, taking part in the unpretentious diversions of a voyage.
They asked the Captain's permission to mark out a golf course on board, which had a great success. It was most luxuriously arranged by nature. In September, after a delightful two months in the West of Scotland--we had taken the Manse at Spean Bridge for the summer--Gertrude is at Redcar again, enchanted to return to her books. Hugo has been playing golf and we are now going to have a game of racquets before settling down to our work.
Oh, how I wish I were going to have a month of this. The bliss of being really at work is past words. Herbert Pease stands for Darlington, I see in the evening papers. Saturday 22nd September, I'm going to Rounton on Sunday. I have been at the Infirmary all the afternoon. I've got another engagement--to lecture at the High School. I've been arranging about my lantern slides.
By the way, confided to Lisa that she felt quite anxious about Elsa because she thought we were all so beautiful and so clever that we couldn't all go on living. Elsa won't mind being the 'offer' to the jealous gods, I hope! That angel of a Mr. Vaughan Williams has found me a real Persian-at least he is an Afghan and his name is Satdar and he speaks beautiful Persian. I have written to him to-day. Isn't it interesting. They are rather a blow to me, I admit. He is one of the most lovable and livable with people I have ever come across.
To her sister Elsa. I thought the braid a little too braidy. A modification of it would be lovely. I should have no braid on the coat just the seams strapped. I went to Prince's this morning and skated. Next time I'm in London I shall have a few lessons there. It's silly not to be able to skate well when everybody does.
My new clothes are very dreamy. You will scream with delight when you see me in them! I have sent off the purple dress and a grey one which is nine guineas and very nice indeed. It has a dark coat and everything suitable to Elsa. My only doubt is whether the black trimming is not too black.
There is another most elegant elephant grey costume strapped with grey, but the coat is quite tight fitting so that it might not be so becoming to Elsa. I write from a sofa. This morning at Prince's I fell violently on my knees and when I shortly after took my skates off, I found I couldn't walk. Maclagan, however, says I must lie up for a few days. Isn't it boring?
I'm writing to all the amusing people to come and see me, having dressed the part well in a Japanese tea gown. I shall beguile the time with my pundits while I'm invalided. I've told them all to come. It is so provoking because I was getting to skate really well. A most successful tour altogether. In Athens they find Dr. Hogarth and go the Museum, " where Mr.
Hogarth showed us his recent finds-pots Of B. Doesn't that Make one's brain reel? They listen with breathless interest to his lecture on the Acropolis: "he took us from stone to stone and built up a Wonderful chain of evidence with extraordinary ingenuity until we saw the Athens of B. I never saw anything better done. He will look smart, bless him. Then to Constantinople, and back again to England in May. Chirol now Sir Valentine Chirol. They go to Nuremberg and Rothenburg on the way, enjoying themselves ecstatically everywhere.
She writes] " this is really too charming. You never met a more delightful travelling party. Florence is in the seventh heaven all the time. His Ex. Chirol, and in fact all of us, endlessly cheerful and delighted with everything.
These letters on a subject now almost hackneyed are too long to insert here. She was not, and did not pretend to be, an expert on music but she cared for it very much. Hugo, who was an admirable musician, was conservative in his tastes and was at first prepared to be on the defensive with regard to Wagner. Gertrude also records some personal social experiences. Frau Cosima has asked us all to a party on Friday evening.
Great Larks! The restaurant was crowded when the door opened and in came the whole Wagner family in procession, Frau Cosima first on Siegfried's arm. There was a great clapping as she passed down the room to her table. This morning about half past 8 came a message from the Grand Duke [of Hesse] asking us whether we could be at the theatre at 9 as he would show us the stage.
We bustled up and arrived only a few minutes late. It was most entertaining; we were taken into every corner, above and below. We descended through trap doors and mounted into Valhalla. We saw all the properties, and all the mechanism of the Rhine maidens; we explored the dressing rooms, sat in the orchestra and rang the Parsifal bells!
The Grand Duke was extremely cheerful and agreeable--he's quite young--and of course everyone was hats off and anxious to show us all we wanted to see. It's a very extraordinary place, the stage; the third scene of Siegfried was set. We shall feel quite at home when we see it to-night.
Hugo is delighted with it all. He really is one of the most delightful people in the world. The Harrachs, you will be glad to hear, thought him very beautiful. Well, I'll tell you--it's awful! I think if I had known exactly what was before me I should not have faced it, but fortunately did not, and I look back on it with unmixed satisfaction--and forward to other things with no further apprehension. Two German men turned up at the Refuge. Madame Castillan gave us a very good supper and I went at once to bed.
I got off at and got to the top of the clot at In the afternoon, there arrived a young Englishman called Turner with Rodier as guide and a porter. I went out to watch the beautiful red light fading from the snows and rocks. The Meije looked dreadfully forbidding in the dusk. When I came in I found that Mathon had put my rug in a corner of the shelf which was the bed of us all and what with the straw and my cloak for a pillow I made myself very comfortable.
We were packed as tight as herrings, Mr. Turner next to me, then the two Germans and Rodier. Mathon and the porters lay on the ground beneath us. Our night lasted from 8 till 12, but I didn't sleep at all. Marius lighted a match and looked at his watch. It was ten o'clock. It seemed an odd view of 10 p. We all got up soon after 12 and I went down to the river and washed a little. It was a perfect night, clear stars and the moon not yet over the hills.
We left half an hour later, 1 a. Mathon carried a lantern till we got on to the snow when it was light enough with only the moon. At we reached the glacier and all put on our ropes. This was the first time I had put on the rope. We had about three hours up very nice rock, a long chimney first and then most pleasant climbing. Then we rested again for a few minutes. I had been in high feather for it was so easy, but ere long my hopes were dashed!
We had about two hours and a half of awfully difficult rock, very solid fortunately, but perfectly fearful. There were two places which Mathon and Marius literally pulled me up like a parcel. I didn't a bit mind where it was steep up, but round corners where the rope couldn't help me!
And it was absolutely sheer down. The first half-hour I gave myself up for lost. You see, I had practically never been on a rock before. However, I didn't let on and presently it began to seem quite natural to be hanging by my eyelids over an abyss.
It was not till I was over it that Mathon told me that it was the dreaded place. The Germans got up a quarter of an hour later having climbed up the rock a different way. We left at 9 and reached the summit at , the rock being quite easy except one place called the Cheval Rouge. It is a red flat stone, almost perpendicular, some 15 feet high, up which you swarm as best you may with your feet against the Meije, and you sit astride, facing the Meije, on a very pointed crest.
I sat there while Marius and Mathon went on and then followed them up an overhanging rock of 20 feet or more. The rope came in most handy--! We stayed on the summit until It was gorgeous, quite cloudless. I went to sleep for half-an-hour. It's a very long way up but it's a longer way down-unless you take the way Mathon's axe took.
The cord by which it was tied to his wrist broke on the Cheval Rouge and it disappeared into space. There's a baddish place going down the Grand Pic. The guides fastened a double rope to an iron bolt and let Mr. Turner and me down on to a tiny ledge on which we sat and surveyed the Aiguille d'Arve with La Grave in the foreground.
Then was a very nasty bit without the double rope-how anyone gets down those places I can't imagine. However, they do. Here comes the worst place on the whole Meije. Then Mathon vanished, carrying a very long rope, and I waited. Presently I felt a little tug on the rope.
There were two little humps to hold on to on an overhanging rock and there La Grave beneath and there was me in mid-air and Mathon round the corner holding the rope tight, but the rope was sideways of course-that's my general impression of those ten minutes. Added to which I thought at the time how very well I was climbing and how odd it was that I should not be afraid. The worst was over then, and the most tedious part was all to come.
It took us three hours to get from the Grand Pic to the Pic Central-up and down over endless dents. There was no difficulty, but there was also no moment when you had not to pay the strictest attention.
I felt rather done when we got to the Pic Central. There was an hour of ice and rock till at last we found ourselves on the Glacier du Tabuchet and with thankfulness I put on my skirt again. It was then 3 and we got in at The glacier was at first good then much crevassed. When I got in I found everyone in the Hotel on the doorstep waiting for me and M. Juge let off crackers, to my great surprise.
I went to bed and knew no more till 6 this morning, when I had five cups of tea and read all your letters and then went to sleep again until ten. I'm really not tired but my shoulders and neck and arms feel rather sore and stiff and my knees are awfully bruised.
She comes back to England in the middle of September, well pleased, as shown by her letters, with her progress in climbing. In November she starts for Jerusalem, with many hopes and plans, including learning more Arabic. Fritz Rosen was then German Consul at Jerusalem. He had married Nina Roche, whom we had known since she was a child, the daughter of Mr. Roche of the Garden House, Cadogan Place.
Charlotte Roche was Nina's sister. They made everything easy for Gertrude. On the way she writes a long letter from Smyrna, where everyone was most kind and hospitable. She describes the "Mediterranean race " to which the inhabitants of Smyrna belong]. It speaks no language though it will chatter with you in Half a dozen, it has no native land though it is related by marriage to all Europe, and with the citizens of each country it will talk to its compatriots and itself as " we "; it centres round no capital and is loyal to no government though it obeys many.
Cheerful, careless, contented, hospitable to a fault, it may well be all, for it is divested of all natural responsibilities, it has little to guard and little to offer but a most liberal share in its own inconceivably hugger mugger existence. Kindness is its distinctive quality, as far-as I have sampled it, and I hope I may have many opportunities of sampling it further. The pilgrims are camped out all over the deck.
They bring their own bedding and their own food and their passage from Odessa costs them some 12 roubles. They undergo incredible hardships: one woman walked from Tobolsk, she started in March. Here I am most comfortably installed. I am two minutes' walk from the German Consulate. My apartment consists of a very nice bedroom and a big sitting room, both opening on to a small vestibule which in its turn leads out on to the verandah which runs all along the first story of the hotel courtyard with a little garden in it.
I pay 7 francs a day including breakfast, which is not excessive.
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