Habits of the House
A book by Fay Weldon
Announcing the much anticipated new novel, the first in a trilogy, from the queen of social drama
One of Britain’s sharpest observers of humanity explores the life of an aristocratic household at number 17 Belgrave Square in turn-of-the-century London. Early one October morning in 1899, the house of Lord and Lady Dilberne is rudely awakened by the jangling of the grand front door bell. On learning that their invested fortune is lost, the family find themselves navigating hushed rumours, gossiping staff and the complex social protocol of the time in an attempt to save their name.
Lady Dilberne, well aware that times are changing, and that “the acceptance of vulgarity is the beginning of wisdom”, decides that the only answer is for her son Arthur to marry a wealthy American heiress, Minnie. With wit and sympathy – and no small measure of mischief – Fay Weldon plots the interplay of restraint and desire, manners and morals, reason and instinct, as Minnie and Arthur, thrown together by their parents’ desperate attempts to salvage reputations, strive to determine their own destinies.
In this brilliantly executed historical novel, Weldon’s trademark empathy, insight and wit inform a pitch-perfect story of life above and below stairs at the end of the nineteenth century.
‘Weldon can’t write a boring sentence’ Sunday Times
‘Beautiful characters and wonderful stories’ Sunday Express
‘Sparkles with wit and acute observation’ Guardian
One of the most successful advertising copywriters of her generation, Fay Weldon’s credits as writer of fiction include classic novels like The Life and Loves of a She Devil and Growing Rich, and the pilot episode of the original TV series Upstairs Downstairs. In 2001 she was awarded a CBE for services to literature. She has seven sons and stepsons and one stepdaughter, and lives on a hill in the West of England.
Habits of the House by Fay Weldon
Published 19th July 2012
Love and Inheritance Trilogy (Book One)
Habits of the House
Here are some radio and television links featuring Fay Weldon
Loose Ends – Radio 4 (Fay at around 35 minutes)
Fay’s two Desert Island Discs appearances, decades apart: