Virago Modern Classics Book Club
The Sleeping Beauty
by Elizabeth Taylor
Our book of the month this August is The Sleeping Beauty by Elizabeth Taylor.
Elizabeth Taylor was an English novelist and short-story writer, whom Antonia Fraser called ‘one of the most underrated writers of the 20th century’. The Sleeping Beauty, her sixth novel, is a subtle love story about a quiet, sensible man named Vinny Tumulty. In this novel Taylor took the structure of the classic fairy tale and placed it into the story of an English seaside town.
‘People are different in different places,’ he thought hazily. ‘And if they’re all right in one place, it’s best to leave them there.’
INTRODUCED BY DAVID BADDIEL
'Elizabeth Taylor is finally being recognised as an important British author: an author of great subtlety, great compassion and great depth. As a reader, I have found huge pleasure in returning to Taylor's novels and short stories many times over. As a writer I've returned to her too - in awe of her achievements, and trying to work out how she does it' SARAH WATERS
Vinny Tumulty is a quiet, sensible man. When he goes to stay at a seaside town, his task is to comfort Isabella, a bereaved friend, and and he is prepared for a solemn few days of tears and consolation. But on the evening of his arrival, he looks out of the window at the sunset and catches sight of a beautiful woman walking by the seashore. Before the week is over Vinny has fallen in love, completely and utterly, for the first time in his middle-aged life. Emily, though, is a sleeping beauty, her secluded life hiding bitter secrets from the past.
Plus, click here to discover what else we will be reading this year.