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A Winter In China

RRP $23.99

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Able, bored and just down from Cambridge in the summer of 1937, Sally Marsden contemplates her future without enthusiasm. So many have assumed she will marry Hugh Jerrold, it is practically, an engagement. When Hugh returns from his diplomatic posting to China there will be a wedding and a thoroughly respectable settling down.

One afternoon Sally's father, impelled by a mixture of his own dissatisfaction, compassion for his daughter's predicament, a newspaper advertisement in "The Times" and a passing desire to spite his wife, suggests that she travel to China herself. Sally can spend a winter in China and she and Hugh can return together the next spring.

Sally accepts a last adventure before submitting to the strictures of upper-middle-class English female life. By the time she arrives in the East, it is not long before the Sino-Japanese war begins to lap around the edges of the isolated and complacent western settlements.

A move inland to Nanking restores the peace. But only a few weeks pass before a disastrous miscalculation separates Sally from Hugh and leaves her trapped in the city, one of two dozen Europeans and Americans to witness the capture and sack of the Chinese capital by the Japanese Imperial Army.

About the Author

Douglas Galbraith was born in Glasgow in 1965 and educated at the University of St Andrews. His first novel The Rising Sun was published in 2000. He has two sons and lives in Fife.


The Importance Of Being Earnest

RRP $18.99

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The Importance of Being Earnest

A Trivial Comedy for Serious People

Oscar Wilde

The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February 1895 at the St James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personae to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways. Contemporary reviews all praised the play's humour, though some were cautious about its explicit lack of social messages, while others foresaw the modern consensus that it was the culmination of Wilde's artistic career so far. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde's most enduringly popular play.

The successful opening night marked the climax of Wilde's career but also heralded his downfall. The Marquess of Queensberry, whose son Lord Alfred Douglas was Wilde's lover, planned to present the writer with a bouquet of rotten vegetables and disrupt the show. Wilde was tipped off and Queensberry was refused admission. Soon afterwards their feud came to a climax in court, where Wilde's homosexual double life was revealed to the Victorian public and he was eventually sentenced to imprisonment. His notoriety caused the play, despite its early success, to be closed after 86 performances. After his release, he published the play from exile in Paris, but he wrote no further comic or dramatic work.



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