A Desirable Husband

Frances Vernon
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ISBN 9780571321636 Format Paperback
Published 29/10/2014 Length 240 pages

About Book

A Desirable Husband, first published in 1987, was the third novel by the prodigiously gifted Frances Vernon (1963-91).

Finola Molloy - first introduced to readers as the daughter of the bohemian Alice in Vernon's acclaimed debut Privileged Children (1982) - has grown up and married Gerard Parnell, barrister and heir to a Derbyshire estate. They are living happily in London with two small children when Gerard, quite unexpectedly, comes into his inheritance. And yet this gracious living - however fortunate it initially appears - will prove to be unexpectedly challenging to both partners in the marriage.

'Frances Vernon is an absolute wonder.' Sunday Mirror

'Subtle hints of Barbara Pym or Ivy Compton-Burnett.' The Lady

  • About Frances Vernon

    Frances Vernon was born on December 1 1963, and raised on the Sudbury Estate in Derbyshire. At the age of 18 she embarked upon a writing career, and would complete six novels in the space of ten years. Privileged Children (1982) won the Author’s Club Award for Best First Novel, and the Daily Express praised its ‘genuine sparkle and invention.’ Gentleman and Players (1984) earned further glowing notices: in the Guardian Robert Nye predicted that ‘Frances Vernon should become a cult figure.’ The Bohemian Girl followed in 1985, A Desirable Husband in 1987, The Marquis of Westmarch in 1989.

    Frances Vernon’s untimely death in 1991, aged just 27, was felt by all who knew her and her work to be especially poignant. Her final novel, The Fall of Doctor Onslow, was published posthumously in July 1994. Lucasta Miller for the Independent hailed it as ‘both a tragic reminder of what she might have gone on to do, and a testimony to what she did achieve.’

    Faber Finds is privileged to reissue Frances Vernon’s entire oeuvre, each edition including a new preface in which her life and work are discussed in interview by her mother Sheila Vernon and her first cousin the photographer and author Michael Marten.

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