The Beauties and Furies

Christina Stead
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ISBN 9780571256129 Format Paperback
Published 10/12/2009 Length 390 pages

About Book

'She laughed naughtily. ''Really, you don't think we spend all our time worshipping you! Perhaps old maids do; not a married woman. We make men, we don't worship them'' '

Elvira Western, a dark English beauty, is solidly and boringly married to bourgeois doctor Paul. On a whim she runs away to Paris to meet her student lover Oliver: tall, thin and romantic, the embodiment of every woman's dream. But life is not as Elvira imagined it would be. Sitting in cafes listening to interminable discussion on left-wing politics, living in a dingy hotel room, spending hours on her own: this is not Elvira's idea of romantic bliss. And Elvira is in love with a vagabond lover, passion she has found, but at what price? Elvira begins to long for home...

Enacted against a backdrop of the legendary Paris between the wars The Beauties and Furies has a cast of fabulous, eccentric characters. There are dancers and prostitutes, radicals, artists and coquettes, poets and paupers. In this, her second novel, first published in 1936, Christina Stead is at her mordant, witty best.

  • About Christina Stead

    Christina Stead (1902-1983) was an Australian-born novelist and short-story writer acclaimed for her satirical wit and penetrating psychological characterisations. She wrote fifteen novels and several volumes of short stories in her lifetime, during which she spent many years living abroad in Europe and the USA, returning to Australia to live only late in life. Considered by many to have been one of Australia's greatest novelists, Stead's best-known and most acclaimed novel, The Man Who Loved Children, is largely based on her own childhood, and was first published in 1940.

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