Piercing the shadows of the naked stage was a single shaft of rosy limelight, and in the centre of this was a girl: the most marvellous girl - I knew it at once! - that I had ever seen. A saucy, sensuous and multi-layered historical romance, Tipping the Velvet follows the glittering career of Nan King - oyster girl turned music-hall star turned rent boy turned East End 'tom'.
About the Author
Sarah Waters was born in Wales in 1966. She has a PhD in English Literature and has published articles on lesbian and gay writing and cultural history. She has worked in bookshops and libraries and has taught for the Open University, though has given up full-time academic work in order to concentrate on writing fiction. She is currently working on her third novel.
* Sarah Water's wonderfully lush, sensuous and bawdy debut novel set in the music halls of the late 19th century - reissued with a stunning new jacket
'An unstoppable read, a sexy and picaresque romp through the lesbian and queer demi-monde of the roaring Nineties. Could this be a new genre? The bawdy lesbian picaresque novel?' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'This could be the most important debut of its kind since that of Jeanette Winterson' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'A delightful novel which sets a new standard for lesbian historical fiction, and should entice new readers to the genre' EMMA DONOGHUE
Most lesbian books I've read have been thoroughly disappointing. They're quite outlandish with their premise and it's poorly executed. The author tries to make the relationship seem strange, alien, and overly sexualised. 'Look at these women,' they seem to say, 'and look at how strange they are!' The closest book I've been able to find where this doesn't happen and approaches lesbian relationships as, well, real lesbian relationships has been Journey to a Woman.
Tipping the Velvet is very close. In fact, in some areas it's spot on. Sarah Waters approaches the relationships her characters find themselves in as real relationships, with ups and downs and all the turmoil of emotions that go along with it. Even with the last relationship, Nancy and Florence's, the 'ever after' relationship, isn't without its problems. They will need to work towards their relationship, to help build its foundations, to strive towards commitment. There's no horse-drawn carriage, no fairy godmother.
One problem I had throughout the whole book was the big lesbian underground movement. I understand that when writing certain liberties can be taken, but I found having such a large, open lesbian population in Victorian London just a bit hard to swallow. Aside from that, I loved this book.
Funnily enough, I can't say I really liked any of the characters. I would start to like them- Zena (I preferred named Blake), Kitty and so on- but I couldn't find myself enjoying them after a period of time. I didn't like Florence. I find her goodness left a bad taste in my mouth. I can understand Nancy's initial naivete charming, but then she decided to hop into a carriage with a woman she didn't know and, well, I found myself disliking her more and more. I can't say I hated any of the characters, and they were all shockingly real, but when I finished the book, I can't say there was one character I'd choose as my favourite.
I loved the way Waters wrote of the era. Unlike so many books that can't seem to plunge into the ye olde speech (see: A Great and Terrible Beauty and add so many modernisms. Waters will lead you to believe that it was actually written during that time.
So how to finish? It's a refreshing look at lesbian literature, and if more authors took to understanding that a relationship is a relationship, no matter the gender of those involved, then maybe lesbian literature wouldn't be so bad.
This is another book I read after having seen the mini-series, but this is one story that is powerful enough to assert itself despite the imagery of the screen. The characters were believable and likable (including Kitty) and Nan and Florence and Ralph were delightful. This book also gave me quite an education in lesbian sex - I blushed reading it! But don't get me wrong, it is much more an emotional and psychological journey with sympathetic and human characters who despite mistakes manage to discover a kernel of truth about their lives.
This is a gorgeous book for anyone! I saw it first on TV as it was made into a BBC drama (which I now own on DVD) and I only watched it because it had lesbian themes but it is so much more than that. On reading the book I found so many more stasfying layers to the characters and events that happen in this historical tale. The characters are believable, I laughed, I cried, I rooted for the underdog! Sarah Waters is a fabulous writer, though I think this is her best work.
The story of Kit Butler, male impersonator is well told in this neat novel. Made into an excellent telemovie by the BBC, the story of the fishmongers daughter who becomes a stage star is well worth reading! Kit's is a rags to riches to rags novel that takes you into her life, amazed when it finanly comes to a satisfying end
You can earn a 5% commission by selling Tipping the Velvet paperback book on your website. It's easy to get started - we will give you example code. After you're set-up, your website can earn you money while you work, play or even sleep!
Are you the Author/Publisher? Improve sales by submitting additional information on this title.
This item ships from and is sold by Fishpond World Ltd.