Derby Day by D. J. Taylor

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Synopsis

As the shadows lengthen over the June grass, all England is heading for Epsom Downs - high life and low life, society beauties and Whitechapel street girls, bookmakers and gypsies, hawkers and acrobats, punters and thieves. Whole families stream along the Surrey back-roads, towards the greatest race of the year. Hopes are high, nerves are taut, hats are tossed in the air - this is Derby Day. For months people have been waiting and plotting for this day. Even in dark November, when the wind whistles through the foggy London courts, the alehouses and gentlemen's clubs echo to the sound of disputed odds. In Belgrave Square old Mr Gresham is baffled by his tigerish daughter Rebecca, whose intentions he cannot fathom. In the clubs of St James' rakish Mr Happerton plays billiards with his crony Captain Raff, while in darkest Lincolnshire sad Mr Davenant broods over his financial embarrassments and waits for his daughter's new governess. Across the channel the veteran burglar Mr Pardew is packing his bags to return, to the consternation of the stalwart detective Captain McTurk. Everywhere money jingles and plans are laid. Uniting them all is the champion horse Tiberius, on whose performance half a dozen destinies depend. In this rich and exuberant novel, rife with the idioms of Victorian England, the mysteries pile high, propelling us towards the day of the great race, and we wait with bated breath as the story gallops to a finish that no one expects.
 

About D. J. Taylor

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D. J. Taylor is a novelist, critic ,and biographer whose Orwell won the Whitbread Prize for Biography. His most recent books are Kept; Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation; Ask Alice; and Derby Day, which was nominated for the Booker Prize and was selected as a Washington Post Best Book of the Year.
 
Published June 1, 2011 by Random House Export.
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Derby Day

Publishers Weekly

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In Victorian England, a variety of spectators arrive at Epsom Downs for the annual derby, expecting racehorse Tiberius to take home the prize. But as race day approaches, George Happerton, owner of Ti

Jul 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Derby Day

Publishers Weekly

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In Victorian England, a variety of spectators arrive at Epsom Downs for the annual derby, expecting racehorse Tiberius to take home the prize. But as race day approaches, George Happerton, owner of Tiberius and new husband of the entitled Rebecca Gresham, hatches a plan to throw the race—a pla...

Jul 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Derby Day

Express

The novel is richly redolent of the novels of Wilkie Collins, Dickens and Thackeray (his admirable biography of the Vanity Fair author has just been reissued).

Jun 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Derby Day

City Book Review

Sit beside green-eyed Mrs. Rebecca as she scatters scorn over a raffish collection of London artistes or plots to run her gambler husband for Parliament, since she can’t run herself.

Aug 08 2012 | Read Full Review of Derby Day

We Love This Book

His plan rests on the uncertain outcome of the great race day itself, when everyone from the high to the low in society gather together for a great day out and thousands are wagered on the likes of Baldino and Septuagint.

Feb 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Derby Day

Curtis Brown

In the clubs of St James’s rakish Mr Happerton plays billiards with his crony Captain Raff, while in darkest Lincolnshire sad Mr Davenant broods over his financial embarrassments and waits for his daughter’s new governess.

| Read Full Review of Derby Day

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