The Camberwell Beauty and Other Stories. V. S. Pritchett, William Trevor, Clifford Harper, Intro., Illust.

The Camberwell Beauty and Other Stories

London: The Folio Society, 2011.

Hardcover. 9 1/2" X 6 1/2". xiii, 387pp. Very mild shelf wear to covers, corners, and edges of decorative cloth over boards. Blind stamp to half-title page. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is firm and sound. Slipcase is clean and sound.

Pritchett skilfully evokes the tiny acts of courage, betrayal and deception that make up the petty tragedies of ordinary life. In his dense, many-layered tales, whole vistas exist just beyond the story's confines; characters and plot linger in the mind long after the final page is turned. Hilda in 'When My Girl Comes Home' is feared dead in a Japanese POW camp. Only her mother keeps faith, and slaves to save money for her lost daughter. Hilda returns at last, well-groomed and sleek, talking of the man who will write a book of her life. Is she a fantasist? A whore, as other women whisper? Or a loving daughter desperate for a chance of freedom and happiness? In 'The Camberwell Beauty', the beautiful but damaged Isabel has married an elderly antiques dealer: 'He likes to look at me. I am the most precious thing he has'. 'That isn't love,' cries the narrator, but his own passion mirrors the antique dealer's lust to possess another's 'treasure'. Pritchett inspired generations of short-story writers, and William Trevor is one of many to acknowledge a debt. Trevor has personally selected and introduced 25 stories for this collection, taken from every stage in Pritchett's luminous career.(Publisher). Very good +. Item #7862

Price: $45.00