The New Life


John Addington is married to Catherine, but has spent his life trying to navigate his desires for men. Now there is Frank, the working-class printer he meets at the Serpentine swimming lake. Henry Ellis is married to Edith, but she has fallen in love with Angelica, who wants Edith all for herself. These two Victorian marriages, each an unexpected love triangle, are stalked by guilt and shame. But they are also in the vanguard of new ideas for social equality, women’s rights and relationships which break convention. ‘The New Life’ explores the possibilities of love and life, set against the riveting backdrop of the Oscar Wilde trial.

Out of stock

Email when stock available


* ‘Subtle, sexy and beautifully crafted’ Sarah Waters * ‘Enthralling’ Sunday Times * ‘Electrifying Anne Enright * ‘Filled with nuance and tenderness’ Colm Tóibìn * ‘Virtuoso’ Guardian * ‘A very fine new writer’ Kate Atkinson * ‘Powerful Telegraph *

‘It was as if this man in front of him were an invisible door and he was paused on the threshold’

London, 1894. John and Henry have a vision for a new way of life. But as the Oscar Wilde trial ignites public outcry, everything they long for could be under threat.

After a lifetime navigating his desires, John, married to Catherine, has met Frank. Meanwhile Henry’s wife Edith has fallen for Angelica.

A shared vision for the future brings John and Henry together to write a revolutionary book in defiance of convention and the law.

Their daring book threatens to throw John and Henry, and all those around them, into danger. How far should they go to win personal freedoms? And how high a price are they willing to pay for a new way of living?

**Winner of the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2023**
**Winner of the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Literature 2023**
**GRANTA Best Young Novelist 2023**
**Shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2023**