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Head of Zeus
Habits of the House
17 Jul 2012 * EBOOK * £4.49 * 9781908800831

A story of life above and below stairs and an elegy to the last days of aristocracy and Empire.

Fiction / FV (Historical Fiction)
Extent: 320 pages
Exclusive: GB CA AU NZ IN ZA SG   Not for sale: US
Long Live the King
The New Countess
Also in Love and Inheritance series
Habits of the HouseLove and Inheritance, 1Fay Weldon

For fans of Downton Abbey comes a ravishing portrait of the late 19th Century family from one of Britain's best-loved authors.

Fay Weldon's new novel takes us inside the lives of an aristocratic household in the last three months of the nineteenth century. It's a time of riot and confusion, social upheaval, war abroad and shortage of money. Tea gowns are still laced with diamonds; there are still nine courses at dinner, but bankruptcy looms for the Dilbernes.

Whilst the Earl, gambler and man about town, must seek a new post in government; his wife Lady Isobel's solution is to marry off their son Arthur to a wealthy heiress, and without delay. But how? It's the end of the season, and choices are few. There's Minnie O'Brien from Chigaco – rich enough, but daughter of a stockyard baron, and with a vulgar mother and dubious past. Hardly suitable...!

Fay Weldon tells this tale of restraint and desire, manners and morals with wit and sympathy – if no small measure of mischief – as young Minnie and Arthur, thrown together by their parents, strive to determine their own destiny.

After hard times and odd jobs as a lone parent, Fay Weldon became one of the top advertising copywriters of her generation. She moved to TV drama (writing the pilot episode of the iconic series Upstairs Downstairs) then turned to novels – including the classic The Life and Loves of a She Devil and The Cloning of Joanna May. Fay's sequence of novels about the Dilberne family, which encompasses her Love and Inheritance trilogy and Before the War, draws to a close with this final instalment, After the Peace. Fay's been made a CBE for services to literature and she's currently a Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

'Hugely enjoyable', Tatler

'A splendidly fun romp', The Times

'Weldon at her most spellbinding', The Spectator

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