Tipping the Velvet (Virago V)

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9781860495243: Tipping the Velvet (Virago V)

Lavishly crammed with the songs, smells, and costumes of late Victorian England (The Daily Telegraph), this delicious, steamy debut novel chronicles the adventures of a young girl whose fortunes are forever changed when she falls in love with a cross-dressing music-hall singer.

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Review:

The heroine of Sarah Waters's audacious first novel knows her destiny, and seems content with it. Her place is in her father's seaside restaurant, shucking shellfish and stirring soup, singing all the while. "Although I didn't long believe the story told to me by Mother--that they had found me as a baby in an oyster-shell, and a greedy customer had almost eaten me for lunch--for eighteen years I never doubted my own oysterish sympathies, never looked far beyond my father's kitchen for occupation, or for love." At night Nancy Astley often ventures to the nearby music hall, not that she has illusions of being more than an audience member. But the moment she spies a new male impersonator--still something of a curiosity in England circa 1888--her years of innocence come to an end and a life of transformations begins.

Tipping the Velvet, all 472 pages of it, is as saucy, as tantalizing, and as touching as the narrator's first encounter with the seductive but shame-ridden Miss Kitty Butler. And at first even Nancy's family is thrilled with her gender-bending pal, all but her sister, best friend, and bedmate, Alice, "her eyes shining cold and dull, with starlight and suspicion." Not to worry. Soon Nancy and Kitty are off to London, their relationship close though (alas for our heroine) sisterly. We know that bliss will come, and it does, in an exceptionally charged moment. A lesser author would have been content to stop her story there, but Waters has much more in mind for her buttonholing heroine, and for us. In brief, her Everywoman with a sexual difference goes from success onstage to heartbreak to a stint as a male prostitute (necessity truly is the mother of invention) to keeping house for a brother and sister in the Labour movement. And did I mention her long stint as a plaything in the pleasure palace of a rich Sapphist extraordinaire? Diana Lethaby is as cruel as she is carnal, and even the well-concealed Cavendish Ladies' Club isn't outré enough for her. Kitting Nancy out in full, elegant drag, she dares the front desk to turn them away. "We are here," she mocks, "for the sake of the irregular."

Only after some seven years of hard twists and sensual turns does Nancy conclude that a life of sensation is not enough. Still, Tipping the Velvet is so entertaining that readers will wish her sentimental--and hedonistic--education had taken twice as long. --Kerry Fried

About the Author:

Sarah Waters is the New York Times–bestselling author of The Little Stranger, The Night Watch, Fingersmith, Affinity, and Tipping the Velvet. She has three times been short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, twice been a finalist for the Orange Prize, and was named one of Granta’s best young British novelists, among other distinctions. Waters lives in London.

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SARAH WATERS
Published by Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom (1999)
ISBN 10: 1860495249 ISBN 13: 9781860495243
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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 126 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 . Bookseller Inventory # AA29781860495243

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SARAH WATERS
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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 126 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 . Bookseller Inventory # AA29781860495243

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SARAH WATERS
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Book Description Virago. 1 Paperback(s), 1998. soft. Book Condition: New. Suffused with the songs, smells, and dress of late Victorian England, this debut novel from the author of the subsequent Man Booker Prize finalists Fingersmith, The Night Watch, and The Little Stranger is a feast for the senses. Nancy King, an oyster girl from the provinces, unexpectedly falls in love with a cross-dressing music-hall singer named Miss Kitty Butler, and follows her to London as her dresser and secret lover. When Kitty betrays her, the broken-hearted Nan reinvents herself as a butch roué, navigating her way through London's seamy and flourishing gay demimonde as she pursues her thrilling and varied sexual education, until she finally finds friendship and love in a most unlikely place."Erotic and absorbing. If lesbian fiction is to reach a wider readership, [Sarah] Waters is the person to carry the banner."—NYTBR 472. Bookseller Inventory # 64848

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Book Description 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 133mm x 197mm x 33mm. Paperback. 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 .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 480 pages. 0.376. Bookseller Inventory # 9781860495243

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Book Description Virago Press Ltd 1999-03-04, 1999. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-GRD-00578606

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Book Description Virago. Book Condition: New. 2003. New Ed. Paperback. * 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 Num Pages: 480 pages. BIC Classification: 5SL; FV. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 126 x 32. Weight in Grams: 378. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781860495243

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; 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 Ki. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9781860495243_rkm

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Book Description Virago, 2003. Book Condition: New. 2003. New Ed. Paperback. * 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 Num Pages: 480 pages. BIC Classification: 5SL; FV. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 126 x 32. Weight in Grams: 378. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9781860495243

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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters, 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'. Bookseller Inventory # B9781860495243

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