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The New Life (Compact Disc)

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The New Life By Tom Crewe, Freddie Fox (Read by) Cover Image
By Tom Crewe, Freddie Fox (Read by)
$39.99
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Staff Reviews


The New Life is the fictionalized account of John Addington Symonds and Havelock Ellis, two men who boldly conceived of “a new life” for homosexual men in 1890’s England with the publication of sexual inversion, their revolutionary medical textbook on homosexuality, one of the first texts to suggest the possibility of love between men (Walt Whitman’s “manly love of comrades”) free of shame, persecution, and criminal prosecution. Using meticulously researched period details to great effect, Crewe has a rich and engrossing style, expertly dramatizing a world on the brink of social and sexual change, and with the novel’s tight pacing, I found The New Life exciting to read, combining literary fiction with the thrill of a page-turner. From the novel’s extremely erotic opening scene, the characters of John Addington and Henry Ellis come alive on the page, as they break with tradition (and propriety!) while attempting to bring homosexual love out of the shadows. In alternating chapters, we hear each of their stories—their own nontraditional marriages and unconventional lives—as the novel beautifully captures the remarkable historical moment when, at the turn of the 20th century, conventions were being re-defined and taboos broken, men and women seeking an entire new way of living and loving. Ed loved and highly recommends, especially for fans of Colm Toibin’s The Magician!

— Ed

January 2023 Indie Next List


“Crewe pays great tribute to those throughout history who have braved the battles to rightfully normalize homosexuality. Addington and Ellis boldly believed in a New Life for everyone. Their legacy is nothing less than inspiring.”
— Barbara Hall, Readers' Books, Sonoma, CA

Description


A brilliant and captivating debut, in the tradition of Alan Hollinghurst and Colm T ib n, about two marriages, two forbidden love affairs, and the passionate search for social and sexual freedom in late 19th-century London.In this powerful, visceral novel about love, sex, and the struggle for a better world, two men collaborate on a book in defense of homosexuality, then a crime--risking their old lives in the process. In the summer of 1894, John Addington and Henry Ellis begin writing a book arguing that what they call "inversion," or homosexuality, is a natural, harmless variation of human sexuality. Though they have never met, John and Henry both live in London with their wives, Catherine and Edith, and in each marriage there is a third party: John has a lover, a working class man named Frank, and Edith spends almost as much time with her friend Angelica as she does with Henry. John and Catherine have three grown daughters and a long, settled marriage, over the course of which Catherine has tried to accept her husband's sexuality and her own role in life; Henry and Edith's marriage is intended to be a revolution in itself, an intellectual partnership that dismantles the traditional understanding of what matrimony means. Shortly before the book is to be published, Oscar Wilde is arrested. John and Henry must decide whether to go on, risking social ostracism and imprisonment, or to give up the project for their own safety and the safety of the people they love. Is this the right moment to advance their cause? Is publishing bravery or foolishness? And what price is too high to pay for a new way of living? A richly detailed, insightful, and dramatic debut novel, The New Life is an unforgettable portrait of two men, a city, and a generation discovering the nature and limits of personal freedom as the 20th century comes into view.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781797149271
ISBN-10: 179714927X
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2023
Language: English
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