The Shirley of the title is a woman of independent means; her friend Caroline is not. Both struggle with what a woman's role is and can be. Their male counterparts - Louis, the powerless tutor, and Robert, his cloth-manufacturing brother - also stand at odds to society's expectations. The novel is set in a period of social and political ferment, featuring class disenfranchisement, the drama of Luddite machine-breaking, and the divisive effects of the Napoleonic Wars.
Gripping . . . "Sacred Hunger" covers a period between 1752 and 1765 . . . it concerns the entangled and conflicted fortunes of two cousins: Erasmus Kemp, the son of a Lancashire merchant, and Matthew Paris, a scholar and surgeon just released from prison for "denying Holy Writ" . . . the Liverpool Merchant is the vessel on which the whole of the novel hinges, and it carries the reader deep into the history of man's iniquitous greed . . .
"River God" is the first of Wilbur Smith's fascinating adventure stories set in ancient Egypt about the land of the Pharaohs. Ancient Egypt. Land of the Pharaohs. A kingdom built on gold. A legend shattered by greed. Now the Valley of the Kings lies ravaged by war, drained of its lifeblood as weak men inherit the cherished crown. In the city of Thebes at the Festival of Osiris, loyal subjects of the Pharaoh gather to pay homage to their leader. But Taita - a wise and formidably gifted eunuch slave, sees him only as a symbol of a kingdom's fading glory. Beside Taita stand his proteges, Lostris, daughter of Lord Intef, beautiful beyond her fourteen years; and Tanus, proud, young army officer, who has vowed to avenge the death - at Intef's hand - of his father, and seize Lostris as his prize. Together they share a dream - to restore the majesty of the Pharaoh of Pharaohs on the glittering banks of the Nile.