Planet 224

Kate Jones reviews
The Flight of Sarah Battle by Alix Nathan &
The Shadow of Nanteos by Jane Blank

The Flight of Sarah Battle

Parthian, £8.99

‘The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there’, wrote L.P. Hartley in his 1953 novel, The Go-Between, encapsulating the challenge faced by writers of historical novels: how to bring that difference alive while allowing readers to identify with characters from a different age. The eponymous heroine of The Flight of Sarah Battle is coming of age as the 18th century draws near to its close. Her home is a London coffee house in the aptly named Change Alley. It is a time of political turbulence when the social contract between state and citizen is breaking down in the face of the extreme social inequalities of the age, a theme that resonates today.

Sign in to read more
Subscribe here