The late English novelist Beryl Bainbridge was a favorite among writers. That’s a lovely honor but not a ticket to popular success. Bainbridge had two distinct periods. In the first she wrote about young women and the trials of their working lives, the men they never quite understood and who never quite understood them. Those books often open as conventional comedies before they turn black. When Bainbridge was finished mining her own early years, she began her second period with a series of historical novels that brought her additional acclaim in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Her novel of the doomed Scott expedition to Antarctica, The Birthday Boys, was the first of her books to find a significant audience in the stateside.
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