The New Life
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Published: 12th Jan '23
John Addington is married to Catherine, but has spent his life trying to navigate his desires for men. Now there is Frank, the working-class printer he meets at the Serpentine swimming lake. Henry Ellis is married to Edith, but she has fallen in love with Angelica, who wants Edith all for herself. These two Victorian marriages, each an unexpected love triangle, are stalked by guilt and shame. But they are also in the vanguard of new ideas for social equality, women’s rights and relationships which break convention. ‘The New Life’ explores the possibilities of love and life, set against the riveting backdrop of the Oscar Wilde trial.
Two Victorian marriages, two dangerous love affairs, one extraordinary partnership . . .
‘A very fine new writer’ Kate Atkinson
‘Electrifying’ Anne Enright
After a lifetime spent navigating his desires, John Addington, married to Catherine, has met Frank, a working-class printer.
Meanwhile Henry Ellis’s wife Edith has fallen in love with Angelica – and Angelica wants Edith all to herself.
When in 1894 John and Henry decide to write a revolutionary book together, intended to challenge convention and the law, they are both caught in relationships stalked by guilt and shame. Yet they share a vision of a better world, one that will expand possibilities for men and women everywhere.
Their daring book threatens to throw John and Henry, and all those around them, into danger. How far should they go to win personal freedoms? And how high a price are they willing to pay for a new way of living?
‘Filled with nuance and tenderness . . . charting the lives of men and women who inspired not only political progress but an entire new way of living and loving’ Colm Tóibìn