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Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781473681026

Price: £9.99

ON SALE: 2nd May 2019

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Historical Fiction

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The extraordinary story of Frieda von Richthofen, wife of D. H. Lawrence and the inspiration for Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

The Times
‘A convincing evocation of a remarkable woman’ Sunday Times
‘Clever and deeply humane’ Observer
A lush and absorbing portrait of a fascinating woman who refused to compromise on what really matters: to be known, to love, to be beloved’ Polly Clark, author of Larchfield

Germany, 1907
Aristocrat Frieda von Richthofen has rashly married English professor Ernest Weekley. Visiting her sisters in Munich, she is captivated by a city alive with ideas of revolution and free love, and, goaded by sibling rivalry with her sisters and the need to be more than mother and wife, Frieda embarks on a passionate affair that is her sensual and intellectual awakening.

England, 1912
Trapped in her marriage to Ernest, Frieda meets the penniless but ambitious younger writer D. H. Lawrence. Their scandalous affair and tempestuous relationship unleashes a creative outpouring that influences the course of literature forever. But for Frieda, this fulfilment comes at a terrible personal cost.

‘Hard to put down thanks to its heroine’s audacity and strength’ Stylist
‘Another absolutely superb novel from Annabel Abbs’ Historical Novel Society
‘An incredible piece of storytelling’ The Lady
A compassionately imagined tale’ Daily Mail
Fascinating’ Red


Poignant . . . Abbs' novel emphasises Frieda's own sense of being a person in continual construction
The Australian
A lush and absorbing portrait of a fascinating woman who refused to compromise on what really matters: to be known, to love, to be beloved. She, and all those connected with her, live and breathe in Abbs's beautifully crafted novel
Polly Clark, author of LARCHFIELD
Frieda really is an outstanding novel . . . glorious, vivid and immersive
Theresa Smith Writes blog
A read that combines literary research with a skill for creating a fascinating narrative, Frieda breathes new life to a literary figure, and sheds new light on a literary classic. Fascinating, beautifully written and hugely gripping, it's a read that has changed my understanding of D.H. Lawrence, and comes highly recommended
Luke Marlowe, The Bookbag
When she meets the young writer, D. H. Lawrence, she falls so passionately in love that she gives up everything in order to be with him . . . the true and fascinating story of the real-life inspiration for Lady Chatterley's Lover
In her first novel, The Joyce Girl, Annabel Abbs explored life in the shadows of literary fame. In her second, we are again in the sphere of early 20th-century literature, but with a very different protagonist who left her echoes in the often controversial works of D. H. Lawrence . . . Frieda is an extraordinary woman who incites remarkable passions in the men who love her . . the narrative is both skilful and restrained throughout. Another absolutely superb novel from Annabel Abbs.
Historical Novel Society
A compassionately imagined tale
Daily Mail
Annabel Abbs has done a superb job of chronicling Frieda's early life . . . Abbs is brilliant at showing the tensions between Frieda's numbing role as mother to three children, and her desire to live a sensuous, vivid life . . . I adored her
The Times
Abbs succeeds in portraying Frieda as a true bohemian and the themes of gender, identity and class are as poignant here as they were in Lawrence's novel. An important book with a strong narrative, it offers an insight into a woman's psyche and the many roles she played in society, in the home, and as a literary muse. An incredible piece of storytelling.
The Lady
A lushly written second novel that contrives to be at once mischievous and testing. No reader will think of DH Lawrence in quite the same way again . . . Frieda emerges as a woman at once scandalously out of step with the #MeToo movement and wholly herself and it is this contradiction that gives Abbs's exuberant novel its compelling charge
A brilliant example of its genre ... Frieda is hard to put down thanks to its heroine's audacity and strength
The fascinating life of Frieda von Richthofen, wife of D.H. Lawrence and inspiration for Lady Chatterley's Lover
Good Housekeeping
Effervescent . . . a wonderful portrait of an extraordinary woman
The Times
An enticing and well-constructed story that is also a fine study of Edwardian social mores, female sexuality and political awakening. Frieda's struggle to find her place in the world -- balancing the love for her children with wanting to break free of stifling social constructs -- is utterly compelling and also feels relevant to a modern audience. Glorious!
The Reading Agency
A convincing evocation of a remarkable woman
The Sunday Times
A compelling story . . . Abbs' book brilliantly conveys the turmoil and anguish her choice (if indeed she felt she had any choice) caused Frieda, and recreates her complex, tumultuous inner world with skill, empathy and a refreshing lack of judgement.
Viva Lewes
A sharp new novel ... She emerges as a warm, intelligent woman in this nuanced, layered portrait
Mail on Sunday
Another superbly written biographical novel by an author who probes deep into her characters' lives in a way that makes them instantly accessible . . . Rush out and buy Frieda as soon as the shops are open.
Sussex Express
I loved it.
Clare Clarke, author of In the Full Light of the Sun
Frieda's complex character is brought vividly to life, while the underlying debates about feminism and the nature of emancipation still resonate today.
Hexham Courant
A picture of a woman . . . with a very open and naive heart, searching for something, yet never really finding her true "self" . . . a multi-faceted novel that drew me in and took me on quite a journey.
Trip Fiction
Abbs has a healthy disregard for the "great man" theory of literary history, and this clever and deeply humane book enables Frieda to emerge from her husband's shadow as she becomes fascinated by ideas of self-fulfilment and empowerment. With a fine eye for period detail, Abbs confirms her standing as one of the best historical novelists today.