This collection of Penelope’ Fitzgerald’s reviews, essays and autobiographical pieces includes writing on classic novelists, and contemporary writers (including Anne Enright, Carol Shields, Rose Tremain, and Roddy Doyle) as well as accounts of her schooldays and her childhood in Hampstead.
It is the 1960s, in London’s West End, and Freddie is the formidable proprietress of the Temple Stage School. Freddie is a skirt-swathed enigma – a woman who by sheer force of character and single-minded thrust has turned herself and her school into a national institution. Anyone who is anyone must know Freddie.
THE BEGINNING OF SPRING
It is March 1913, and the grand old city of Moscow is stirring herself to meet the beginning of spring. But at 22 Lipka Street, Nellie Reed disappears from her home and her husband Frank, suspecting she has returned to England, must raise their three young children with the help of beautiful Lisa Ivanovna.
THE BLUE FLOWER
Set in the small provincial towns between Leipzig and Berlin at the end of the eighteenth century, young and brilliant graduate, Fritz von Hardenburg needs his father's permission to announce his engagement to twelve-year-old Sophie von Kühn. It is a betrothal which amuses, astounds and disturbs his family and friends.
In a small East Anglian town, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop. Hardborough becomes a battleground. Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result, she has to take on not only the people who have made themselves important, but natural and even supernatural forces too. Her fate will strike a chord with anyone who knows that life has treated them with less than justice.
THE GATE OF ANGELS
A young scientist and junior Fellow at a 'male only' Cambridge college become involved with a mysterious young woman.