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Tea with Mr Rochester

by Frances Towers
Persephone book no:

43 44 45


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A Well Full of Leaves
Regular price £14.00
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AFTERWORD BY FRANCES THOMAS
184pp
ISBN 9781903155349

When these captivating and at times bizarre stories were published posthumously in 1949, Angus Wilson wrote: 'It appears no exaggeration to say that Frances Towers's death in 1948 may have robbed us of a figure of more than purely contemporary significance. At first glance one might be disposed to dismiss Miss Towers as an imitation Jane Austen, but it would be a mistaken judgment, for her cool detachment and ironic eye are directed more often than not against the sensible breeze that blasts and withers, the forthright candour that kills the soul. Miss Towers flashes and shines now this way, now that, like a darting sunfish.' 'At her best her prose style is a shimmering marvel,' wrote the Independent on Sunday, 'and few writers can so deftly and economically delineate not only the outside but the inside of a character…There's always more going on than you can possibly fathom.' And the Guardian said: 'Her social range may not be wide, but her descriptions are exquisite and her tone poised between the wry and the romantic.' Five of the stories were read on BBC Radio 4.

Endpaper

A 1949 design for a block-printed cretonne designed by the late Humphrey Spender, who very kindly allowed this fabric in his collection to be photographed for us.

Picture Caption

The George (1932) by John Kynnersley Kirby at Leamington Spa


Read What Readers Say

Bookmarks magazine

This exquisite collection of short stories represents everything ever published by Towers, who died in 1948. Tragic, comic, and uncanny, the stories here are part of a world where the mundane and the domestic coexist with the bizarre and the enigmatic. Each sentence is a perfectly crafted wonder, and each ending is a wallop. This is the collection that showed me what short stories are capable of.

poetryandbluebells via Instagram

A short story collection about ‘literary daughters’ that is just adorable and very moving.

caro.reads.books via Instagram

Towers had a real talent for her writing is rich with interesting characters and beautiful interiors. The stories often end with a pleasant or thought-provoking surprise. The settings tend to be the drawing room, her characters intelligent unmarried women with deep interior lives… This is a gem of a book.

CH via Instagram

Towers’ writing is vivid and visual. An exquisite read.

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