The Bohemian Girl (1988), Frances Vernon's fourth novel, transports us to 1890s London to meet the young Diana Blentham, whom Vernon first introduced to readers - as a celebrated grande horizontale - in the opening pages of her 1982 debut Privileged Children.
Diana fears that the lot of an intelligent woman is to simply be married and never again open a book. Her father wonders - not incorrectly - if Diana's brains may lead her 'to some grave lapse in good behaviour'. So it comes to pass one day when, riding on her bicycle in Battersea Park, she knocks over a handsome Irish painter...
'A pretty, witty little parable about Victorian values, and the hazards of being female and intelligent in a country as sexist and anti-intellectual as the United Kingdom... This romance has teeth... it bites the eternal issues of class, and sex, and freedom.' Philip Howard, The Times
|Publisher:||Faber and Faber|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||409 KB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
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.