The Fair Fight
I sat before my tambour hoop but I did not sew. I thought of split lips, flying teeth and red blood on white linen.
Born in a Bristol brothel at the end of the eighteenth century, Ruth Webber, her toe upon the scratch, is ready to face all comers.
Lady Charlotte Sinclair, scarred with small pox and bullied by her boorish brother, is on the verge of smashing the bonds of convention that have held her for so long.
George Bowden, without inheritance or title, is prepared to do whatever it takes to make his way in the world.
Let the fight begin . . .
'[The] novel, though written in a fashion long past, feels quite natural and free. She [Anna Freeman] has taken the late 18th century, language and all, and pummelled life into it. THE FAIR FIGHT breathes, shouts and swears, confident in its form and bold as brass in its execution. If Anna Freeman ever puts up her fives and takes to milling, I'll not volunteer as an opponent.' * New York Times * The Fair Fight is, I think, just about the most well-written novel I have read in five years. The depiction of the situation and characters is very clearly done with great economy of effort. Even the title is clever. ..this is an excellent read, and one that will stay with you for a long time. -- Alan Fisk * HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY * A brilliant, bold and unforgettable debut. Freeman transports us to a history we'd never have imagined and makes it viscerally real. * NATHAN FILER * this highly enjoyable read that packs a punch. * HISTORY REVEALED * This truly bears comparison with Michel Faber's THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE as first-time author Freeman (a performance poet who has appeared at Latitude and Glastonbury) brings the 18th century to throbbing life, in an immersive novel rich with extraordinary characters and a cracking plot. * THE BOOKSELLER * Freeman's first novel is shocking but a cracker. The writing is good and the characters totally believable. I loved it. -- LESLEY PEARSE * SAINBURYS MAGAZINE * Passion and pugilism ...(an) original, memorable debut novel. -- Nick Rennison * BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE * lively and original * THE SUNDAY TIMES * An accomplished first novel that reminded me somewhat of Peter Carey's Jack Maggs. -- NED DENNY * DAILY MAIL * (Anna's) enthusiasm for the subject matter and her skill at creating powerful narrative voices are in strong evidence in this gritty, vividly evoked historical novel. Fans of Sarah Waters and Emma Donoghue, take note. * DIVA MAGAZINE * For lovers of the evocative historical romps of Sarah Waters and Michel Faber this is a visceral and funny debut. * EMERALD STREET * This storming debut is fiction at its most absorbing. It'll be first in line for Freeman's next offering. -- Kat Poole * STYLIST * Anna Freeman's familiarity with this rough and raunchy period of history and her wonderfully imagined cast of characters, often down but never out, makes this a brilliant debut novel. -- Rose Wild * THE TIMES * (A) cracking debut... It is a lively, rambunctious read which captures Bristol street life brilliantly and niftily sets the scene for a memorable collection of characters who are prepared to gamble everything to gain hope and some form of happiness. -- Eithne Farry * SUNDAY EXPRESS * The Fair Fight is a hugely exciting and entertaining novel, written with warmth, charm, authority and, above all, terrific flair. I loved it. * SARAH WATERS *
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