Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The Beth book (Grand)

Based partly on the life of the author, Sarah Grand, The Beth book is an autobiographical novel covering the life of Beth. Set in the Victorian times, the book gives a fantastic insight into the life of a middle-class Victorian girl, and all the frustrations thereof. The book opens in Ireland, but after her father dies, the family move to England to live with her mother's family. Beth eventually gets married, but the marriage is stifling. The book takes a turn towards the end when Beth leaves her husband and sets up as an author, living in a room of her own, and finally begins to achieve fulfilment outside the Victorian norms.

I found this book slightly twee at times, and very dated, but it was an interesting read. It's the only book by Sarah Grand published by Virago, and has only been published once with this cover.


  1. I haven't read this one yet, but I've had the idea that I would like it. I just picked up a copy of another Virago last month that I think would make a great companion read: Darling Madam: Sarah Grand and Devoted Friend (1983). I know this isn't on the VMC list, but it's still a Virago...

  2. BIP - that sounds interesting, I'll have to watch out for that - thanks!