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3 December 2018


In some ways The Sack of Bath is a slightly left-field book for Persephone to have published. But we think it is a central part of our list. Obviously it is not a novel by a mid twentieth-century woman writer. But it is about the domestic and how to live in a town, and in this respect is a sequel to Middlemarch when Dorothea is so pitied by her sister because she is going to live in a street and, as George Eliot tells us, she will lead ‘a hidden life’. But this was not an unimportant life. It was a domestic life, in a townhouse, with neighbours through the wall and other people all around. And the ‘hidden’ of course refers to the domesticity, crucial but undervalued. For anyone interested in novels by women writers, Bath is an important place to visit, even for the day. This week on the Post: five streets where writers lived or with which they were connected. First of all Widcombe Terrace (photograph from the English Heritage Listing site here) where Virginia Woolf’s great-grandfather stayed, and wrote about, for a few weeks in 1812.

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