About the book
Beryl Bainbridge’s latest novel is a masterly evocation of the last years of Dr Johnson, arguably Britain’s greatest Man of Letters. The time is the 1770s and 1780s and Johnson, having completed his life’s major work (he compiled the first ever Dictionary of the English Language) is running an increasingly chaotic life. Torn between his strict morality and his undeclared passion for Mrs Thrale, the wife of an old friend, ACCORDING TO QUEENEY reveals one of Britain’s most wonderful characters in all his wit and glory. Above all, though, this is a story of love and friendship and brilliantly narrated by Queeney, Mrs Thrale’s daughter, looking back over her life.
Reviewed by Southsea Literature Group:
Some found it hard to get into and felt they couldn’t engage with the characters. However, all agreed that Bainbridge’s command of language is to be envied. Her phrasing is tight and a lot is packed, very effectively, into a small book. A fascinating look too at 18th century life and views and there is much humour and not a little pathos.
Star rating: ***