Format:
Book
Author:
Title:
Edition:
1st U.S. ed.
Publisher, Date:
New York : Harcourt, c2002.
Description:
838 p. ; 25 cm.
Subjects:
Genre:
Other Title:
Notes:
4 7 14 18 20 21 22 31 46 52 54 72 78 96 101 103 105 116 124 129 131 134 135 136 141 144 145 146 150 151 159 164 165 166 167 172 173 175 215 220 236 267
Web Site:
LCCN:
2002024138
ISBN:
015100692X (alk. paper)
Other Number:
49611026
System Availability:
11
Current Holds:
0
# Local items:
11
Control Number:
495181
Call Number:
823/.914
Course Reserves:
0
# Local items in:
9
# System items in:
9
Find It
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Awards
2003 - Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Historical -- Best Historical Novel nominee
Characters
Sugar (Female), Prostitute, Ambitious
William Rackham (Male), Businessman, Married, Father, Wealthy, Perfume magnate
Agnes Rackham (Female), Married, Mother, William's wife; delicate; manipulative
Henry Rackham (Male), William's brother; pious; morally conflicted
Genre
Domestic
Fiction
Historical
Love story
Topics
Perfume industry
Family businesses
Wealthy lifestyles
Extended families
Victorian society
Social classes
Prostitutes
Ambition
Lust
Setting
London, England - Europe
Time Period
1870s -- 19th century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

The publisher has great expectations of this Dickensian jaunt, which award-winning novelist Faber has been researching and writing for 20 years. The setting is 1870s London, and the action centers on an ambitious young whore named Sugar, whose fight to escape her predicament brings her (and us) into the extended family of a perfume magnate. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Faber's bawdy, brilliant third novel tells an intricate tale of love and ambition and paints a new portrait of Victorian England and its citizens in prose crackling with insight and bravado. Using the wealthy Rackham clan as a focal point for his sprawling, gorgeous epic, Faber, like Dickens or Hardy, explores an era's secrets and social hypocrisy. William Rackham is a restless, rebellious spirit, mistrustful of convention and the demands of his father's perfume business. While spying on his sickly wife's maid, whom he suspects of thievery, he begins a slow slide into depravity: he meets Sugar, a whore whose penetrating mind and love of books intrigues him as much as her beauty and carnal skills do. Faber (Under the Skin) also weaves in the stories of Agnes, William's delicate, mad and manipulative wife, and Henry, his pious, morally conflicted brother, both of whom seek escape from their private prisons through fantasies and small deceptions. Sin and vice both attract and repel the brothers: William, who becomes obsessed with Sugar, rescues her from her old life, while Henry, paralyzed by his love for Emmeline Fox, a comely widow working to rescue the city's prostitutes, slowly unravels. Faber's central characters, especially the troubled William and the ambitious Sugar, shine with life, and the author is no less gifted in capturing the essence of his many minor characters-the evil madam, Mrs. Castaway, and William's pompous father-in-law, Lord Unwin. The superb plot draws on a wealth of research and briskly moves through the lives of each character-whether major or minor, upstairs or downstairs-gathering force until the fates of all are revealed. A marvelous story of erotic love, sin, familial conflicts and class prejudice, this is a deeply entertaining masterwork that will hold readers captive until the final page. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
At the heart of this panoramic, multidimensional narrative is the compelling struggle of a young woman to lift her body and soul out of the gutter. Faber leads us back to 1870s London, where Sugar, a nineteen-year-old whore in the brothel of the terrifying Mrs. Castaway, yearns for escape to a better life. Her ascent through the strata of Victorian society offers us intimacy with a host of lovable, maddening, unforgettable characters. They begin with William Rackham, an egotistical perfume magnate whose ambition is fueled by his lust for Sugar, and whose patronage brings her into proximity to his extended family and milieu: his unhinged, childlike wife, Agnes, who manages to overcome her chronic hysteria to make her appearances during "the Season"; his mysteriously hidden-away daughter, Sophie, left to the care of minions; his pious brother, Henry, foiled in his devotional calling by a persistently less-than-chaste love for the Widow Fox, whose efforts on behalf of The Rescue Society lead Henry into ever-more disturbing confrontations with flesh; all this overseen by assorted preening socialites, drunken journalists, untrustworthy servants, vile guttersnipes, and whores of all stripes and persuasions. Twenty years in its conception, research, and writing, The Crimson Petal and the White is teeming with life, rich in texture and incident, with characters breathtakingly real. In a class by itself, it's a big, juicy, must-read of a novel that will delight, enthrall, provoke, and entertain young and old, male and female.
Table of Contents
Part 1The Streetsp. 1
Part 2The House of Ill Reputep. 125
Part 3The Private Rooms and the Public Hauntsp. 275
Part 4The Bosom of the Familyp. 495
Part 5The World at Largep. 669
Librarian's View
Book
2002

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