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Beryl Bainbridge Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Weekend with Claude (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Another Part of the Wood (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
Harriet Said... (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Secret Glass (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bottle Factory Outing (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dressmaker (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sweet William (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Quiet Life (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Injury Time (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Young Adolf (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Winter Garden (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Watson's Apology (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Forever England (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Awfully Big Adventure (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Birthday Boys (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dolphin Connection (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Something Happened Yesterday (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Every Man for Himself (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Master Georgie (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
According to Queeney (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Claire with Fair Hair (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Mum and Mr. Armitage (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Collected Stories (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

English Journey (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Scott's Last Expedition (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Scott's Last Journey (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Front Row (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Winter's Tales(1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Winter's Tales 26(1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories(1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Northern Stories(1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ice: Stories of Survival from Polar Exploration(1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Campfire Collection: Spine-tingling Tales to Tell in the Dark(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Book of Liverpool(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stories for Christmas and the Festive Season(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Beryl Bainbridge was a British historical fiction author that was best known for her blockbuster historical novels.

The author was born in 1932 in Liverpool and grew up in a small village near the city. According to the author, she had to endure the mutual incompatibility of sometimes hard-pressed but respectable parents.

In earlier years, her father had experienced modest success in shipping and went bankrupt. However, he still had enough money to send his daughter Beryl to a Hertfordshire boarding school.

She studied at the very school where Julie Andrews had gone to study Arts. Beryl proved herself exceptional in drama and went on to have a haphazard career in London and Liverpool, with stints working for several repertory companies.

The author had been exposed to films and drama from a very early age and this made her appreciate the written word more than the spoken one. This would perhaps explain why she would become so obsessed with rhythmic prose and how it needed to sound when spoken out loud.

Craving emotional turbulence, she was also known to have a tendency for relentless exaggeration.

The gorgeously cheek-boned and doe-eyed Beryl Bainbridge had issues with self-esteem and believed herself unattractive. She perhaps developed her impossible romantic perspective of love from the very unhappy marriage of her parents.

For the longest time, she had a fierce desire for men’s love and could never have the reassurance that she could get it. In fact, she had said that jealously is a hallmark of love.

Following a series of reconciliations and breakups, she finally got married to Austin Davies the painter. He never was a good choice for marriage as his biggest motivation in life was his art rather than human relationships.

The two lived in the bohemian district in Liverpool where Bainbridge started writing fiction and Davies taught art to impressionable students such as John Lennon.

The pair would then divorce in 1959 even though Beryl Bainbridge had relationships with several men during and after her marriage.

Some of these included the single American urban planner, a German prisoner of war, the married American medical student, the married antique dealer, and the fat physics professor.

She also has a daughter with Alan Sharp the Scottish writer in the mid-1960s.

By the time Beryl Bainbridge was 40 years old, she had managed to achieve financial and critical success with her fiction.

Her books would get nominations for prestigious awards including the Booker Prize. She also had an arrangement with Duckworth her publisher who gave her a lot of freedom in writing style.

However, her business was always imbued with personal drama. In fact, Anna Haycraft the editor even conceived and aborted a baby with Beryl’s husband Austin Davies.

Beryl also had an affair with the owner of Duckworth at a time when she was being edited by his wife Haycraft.

Through all the mayhem and muddle, Bainbridge was always a driven author, who continued to pen critically acclaimed fiction works.

She posthumously published “The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress” her last novel in 2011. This was a work that was compiled from journals he used to keep during the 1960s when she went on her famous road trip.

In her later life, she had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and soon after had cancer that resulted in her death aged 77.

Beryl Bainbridge’s novel “Master Georgie” is a compelling historical fiction novel that was the winner of many accolades and prizes. Making use of photography, the author takes much of his material from several plates set in 1854 Crimea and 1850 Liverpool.

George Hardy is the man from whom the novel takes its title from. He is a photographer and surgeon and a very complex character that is attracted to both men and women.

Given that he lives in Victorian society, he has to live with the associated guilt of living a very unorthodox lifestyle.

The story is told from the perspective of three other characters. One of these is a foundling named Myrtle who had been found by George but was brought up by the Hardy’s.

Myrtle idolizes George but the circumstances of their relationship are not that clear. When Myrtle turns 20 in 1854, they embark on a sexual relationship even though George is married.

On the other hand, is Dr. Potter a geologist who is the husband to Beatrice who is George’s sister. He is a little pompous and a verbose man who is very observant too.

Pompey is the last narrator who starts out as a street urchin who crosses paths with George over the years and ends up a photographer’s assistant in Crimea.

Beryl Bainbridge’s novel “The Bottle Factory Outing” is a brilliant black comedy set in a London wine bottling plant.

The Italian-owned factory, for the most part, employs Italian workers but Brenda and Freda the lead protagonists who have an uneasy friendship are English.
The two women could not be any more different in their personalities and have nothing in common with their Italian colleagues that they have to work with at the factory.

Freda is a troublesome, independent, and fierce romantic while Brenda is a woman plagued by dependency, shyness, and victim mentality, even though she can also be troublesome.

Freda falls in love with the nephew of her employer while Brenda spends much of her time brushing off the advances of the factory manager.

When several men and the girls go on a company outing, something terrible happens while they are having a picnic. This is what triggers a huge conflagration that sends all the characters into a tailspin.

The work takes a headfirst dive into the mentalities of women and men combined with the tensions particular to the times.

“Every Man for Himself” by Beryl Bainbridge is a Booker Prize shortlisted work that was published in 1996 and was the winner of the Whitbread Prize.
The work follows the life and times of Morgan who feels that his destiny is to be a participant as opposed to a spectator of major events. He could not expect any less, given that he is related to the great J.P. Morgan.

Just before he returns to the United States, a man dies in his arms and he decides to sneak out of his uncle’s house and heads to Southampton on a milk train. He is just about to go on the maiden voyage of the Titanic, one of the biggest world events of that year.

It is soon clear that Morgan is very different from his upper-class friends as he has quite an unknown and troubled family background. Still, some of the other passengers in the first-class cabins also come with secrets.

Bainbridge shows how all the characters are trapped in the ship in some kind of unhappy large family. He tells their lives as they traveled to the same schools, same places, shared mistresses, and social lives.

It is a great story of life aboard the Titanic, with all the gossip, love affairs, and intrigues.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Beryl Bainbridge

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