Faulks's first novel since the extraordinary success of Birdsong is written with the same passion, power and breadth of vision. Set in England and France during the darkest days of World War II, Charlotte Gray, like Birdsong, depicts a complex love affair that is both shaped and thwarted by war. It is 1942. London is blacked out, but France is under a greater darkness, as the occupying Nazi forces encroach ever closer in a tense waiting game. Charlotte Gray, a volatile but determined young woman, travels south from Edinburgh. Working in London, she has a brief but intense love affair with an RAF pilot. When his plane is lost over France, she contrives to go there herself to work in the Resistance and to search for him--but then is unwilling to leave as she finds that the struggle for the country's fate is intimately linked to her own battle to take control of her life. Faulks's novel is an examination of lost paradises, politics without belief, the limits of memory, the redemptive power of art and the existence of hope beyond reason. It is also a brilliant evocation of life in Occupied France and, more significantly, a revelation of the appalling price many Frenchmen paid to survive in unoccupied, so-called Free France. As the men, women and children of Charlotte's small town prepare to meet their terrible destiny, the truth of what took place in wartime France is finally exposed. When private lives and public events fatally collide, the roots of the characters' lives are torn up and exposed. These harrowing scenes are presented with the passion and narrative force that readers will recall from Birdsong. Charlotte Gray will attract even more readers to Faulks's remarkable fiction.
No event in our history is more legendary than the Yukon Gold Rush of 1896. On August 16, when rich gold deposits were discovered in Bonanza Creek, 100,000 prospectors set off for the newly created Dawson City in search of instant wealth. Hungry miners hoped for the one big strike; others, for prosperity in this instant boom town; some, for the adventure of a lifetime. Charlotte Gray, one of our best writers of non-fiction, tells the story of the Gold Rush through the intimate lives of six extraordinary people: the saintly priest Father Judge; the feisty entrepreneur Belinda Mulrooney; the struggling writer Jack London; the imperious British journalist Flora Shaw; the legendary Sam Steele of the Mounties; and the prospector William Haskell. Brilliantly interweaving their stories, Gray creates a fascinating panorama of a frontier town where desperados, saloon keepers, gamblers, dance hall girls, churchmen and law-makers were thrown together in a volatile time. Beautifully illustrated with period photographs and documents of the Gold Rush, Gold Diggers is a colourful and entertaining journey into a world gone mad for gold.
In Vintage Living Texts teachers and students will find the essential guide to the works of Sebastian Faulks. This guide will deal with his themes, genre and narrative technique, and a close reading of the texts will be accompanied with likely exam questions, and contexts and comparisons - as well as providing a rich source of ideas for intelligent and inventive ways of approaching the novels.
On the night of the 22 September 1943 Pearl Witherington, a twenty-nine-year-old British secretary and agent of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), was parachuted from a Halifax bomber into Occupied France. Like Sebastian Faulks' heroine, Charlotte Gray, Pearl had a dual mission: to fight for her beloved, broken France and to find her lost love. Pearl's lover was a Parisian parfumier turned soldier, Henri Cornioley, who had been taken prisoner while serving in the French Logistics Corps and subsequently escaped from his German POW camp. Agent Pearl Witherington's wartime record is unique and heroic. As the only woman agent in the history of SOEs in France to have run a network, she became a fearless and legendary guerrilla leader organising, arming and training 3,800 Resistance fighters. Probably the greatest female organiser of armed maquisards in France, the woman whom her young troops called 'Ma Mère', Pearl lit the fires of Resistance in Central France so that Churchill's famous order to 'set Europe ablaze', which had brought SOE into being, finally came to pass. Pearl's story takes us from her harsh, impoverished childhood in Paris, to the lonely forests and farmhouses of the Loir-et-Cher where she would become a true 'warrior queen'. Shortly before Pearl's death in 2008, the Queen presented her with a CBE in Paris. While male agents and Special Force Jedburghs received the DSO or Military Cross, an ungrateful country had forgotten Pearl. She had been offered a civilian decoration in 1945 which she refused, saying 'There was nothing civil about what I did.' But what pleased her most was to receive her Parachute Wings, for which she had waited over 60 years. Two RAF officers travelled to her old people's home and she was finally able to pin the coveted wings on her lapel. Pearl died in February 2008 aged 93.
Feminist, politician, and social activist, Nellie McClung altered Canada's political landscape, leaving a legacy that has long survived her. She had a wicked wit, and her convictions and campaigns helped shape the Canada we live in today. Acclaimed writer Charlotte Gray, who has forged a distinguished career exploring the lives of such notable women as Susanna Moodie and Pauline Johnson, is the perfect writer to reinterpret McClung.
What does it mean to be a Canadian? What great ideas have changed our country? An award-winning writer casts her eye over our nation’s history, highlighting some of our most important stories. From the acclaimed historian Charlotte Gray comes a richly rewarding book about what it means to be Canadian. Readers already know Gray as an award-winning biographer, a writer who has brilliantly captured significant individuals and dramatic moments in our history. Now, in The Promise of Canada, she weaves together masterful portraits of nine influential Canadians, creating a unique history of our country. What do these people—from George-Étienne Cartier and Emily Carr to Tommy Douglas, Margaret Atwood, and Elijah Harper—have in common? Each, according to Charlotte Gray, has left an indelible mark on Canada. Deliberately avoiding a top-down approach to history, Gray has chosen Canadians—some well-known, others less so—whose ideas, she argues, have become part of our collective conversation about who we are as a people. She also highlights many other Canadians from all walks of life who have added to the ongoing debate, showing how our country has reinvented itself in every generation since Confederation, while at the same time holding to certain central beliefs. Beautifully illustrated with evocative black-and-white historical images and colorful artistic visions, and written in an engaging style, The Promise of Canada is a fresh, thoughtful, and inspiring view of our historical journey. Opening doors into our past, present, and future with this masterful work, Charlotte Gray makes Canada’s history come alive and challenges us to envision the country we want to live in.
'Charlotte Gray' is a remarkable story of a young Scottish woman who becomes caught up in the effort to liberate Occupied France from the Nazis while pursuing a perilous mission of her own. In blacked-out, wartime London, Charlotte Gray develops a dangero