According To Queeney and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £9.99
  • You Save: £0.01
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
According To Queeney has been added to your Basket
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

According To Queeney Paperback – 5 Sep 2002


See all 16 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£9.98
£1.34 £0.01
£9.98 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

According To Queeney + An Awfully Big Adventure + The Dressmaker
Price For All Three: £27.96

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (5 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349114471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349114477
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 282,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Amazon Review

In According to Queeney, a bold, often ribald and moving invention, Beryl Bainbridge takes the extravagant figure of Samuel Johnson, 18th-century scholar and wit, and brings his last 20 years to rumbustious life through the blunt and mocking observations of his mistress's firstborn daughter Queeney.

Hurtling her readers into small and great events in the company of Garrick and Goldsmith, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Fanny Burney and Boswell, the years spin by. Johnson's wearisomely quarrelling household in Johnson's Court draws him increasingly to the sublime excesses of Streatham Court, presided over by his adored Mrs Thrale (whose wifely duties include poultices to testicles). This odd ménage is gossiped about and gawked at as child births and deaths, comeuppances and flirtations, swallowed buttons and skirmishes on staircases reveal as well as obscure unpalatable shifts of affection to the ageing Johnson and the composed but outraged Queeney.

Bainbridge's handling of the troubled, demanding and contrite Johnson and of Queeney, first as child observer and then as reluctant adult correspondent, are especially vivid, quirky and captivating. And this creation of sheer delight is underlayed by a delicate attention to the vulnerabilities of the human heart. --Ruth Petrie --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A stellar literary event ... written with panache and an enviable economy ... the biggest risk of her literary life (Margaret Atwood)

This is a small, wise book of small prose miracles ... It is a larger miracle in this way: it makes us feel we see Johnson and his friends in unexpected and unfamiliar ways which are nevertheless convincing and authentic. I did not think anyone could do t (Andrew Marr, DAILY TELEGRAPH)

It is hard to think of anyone now writing who understands the human heart as Beryl Bainbridge does, or exposes its workings with more tenderness (THE TIMES)

This is a triumph, subtle, rich and heartrending...Anything worth reading is of course worth reading twice, and this is worth reading many times. (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 22 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
Having recently read a book about Samuel Johnson and his friendship with Richard Savage, I looked forward to reading this book about Johnson's friendship in his later life with Hester Thrale, who lived from 1741 to 1821, and whose writings are a vital source of information on Johnson's life. Her eldest daughter, another Hester (nicknamed "Queeney") was born in 1764 and died in 1857, and lived a full life, marrying the 1st Viscount Keith.

The novel begins with a prologue, though set in 1784 (after the main action of the novel), when a body is removed from a house to be taken for post mortem. At the time, the reader is not aware of who this corpse belonged to. The story then moves by chapters through the years 1765 to 1784, with the relationships of Samuel Johnson, Hester Thrale, Queeney, and their family and acquaintanced (including Johnson's household, Mrs Thrale's mother and other children, and more well-known figures such as David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith, Sir Joshua Reynolds and others) moving through the years. Interspersed between the chapters are brief letters from Queeney dated from 1807 onwards, addressed to Miss Laetitia Hawkins, daughter of Sir John Hawkins, a friend for some years of Johnson, and to Fanny Burney.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; I can imagine it would be a bit confusing in parts if you approached the book with no knowledge of eighteenth-century England, or of Samuel Johnson and his circle. But the writing is engaging, the story-telling captivating, and the characters conveyed empathetically, although you did feel that none of them came across as particularly loveable. Totally recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Gillian Caddy on 4 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
Bainbridge has researched her subject well - I came away feeling that I had learned something about the characters of a number of famous names - James Boswell, Joshua Reynolds, Fanny Burney, etc. However, the tale itself felt disjointed at times with the technique of switching between centuries (Each chapter is interspersed with a letter from the older Queeney, looking back on her family acquaintance). Johnson himself seemed an improbably unattractive character in temperament for a much courted lady to be chasing. In fact, most of the characters have very few endearing features.
It was a pleasing enough book, but not as enjoyable as I thought it could have been.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rich Ham on 7 Jan. 2002
Format: Hardcover
This was an enjoyable, well-written but ultimately baffling book. It seems like it might have been an experiment to see whether it's possible to write about Johnson in a 'Johnsonian' way i.e. digressive, moody and episodic; if so, it works pretty well. If not, then I'm a bit stumped.
Like a number of Bainbridge's other excursions into historical fiction, like Master Georgie or the Birthday Boys, one is left wondering why the author chose the particular times and characters she's writing about; she doesn't seem particularly close to them; nor do they act as universals, so oddly do they behave. Still, she's a great writer of sentences. Some of them still go on ringing through my head weeks after reading them.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Sept. 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is Beryl Bainbridge at the peak of her powers and it is a travesty that she has missed out on the Booker again. It is a dark tale of the complex relationship between Samuel Johnson and his friend and benefactor Mrs Thrale and is executed masterfully.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. BUTTERWORTH on 26 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
From the description on the back cover and extracts of reviews inside, I had high hopes of this book as a work of fiction based on real people and events from the late 18th century. In the event I found it rather dull. Characters appear without any attempt to explain who they were. Some of these are well known historical figures but in other cases it took most of the book to find out vaguely what their relevance was to Johnson's life. This would be fine for a reader who is an expert on Johnson, but for someone without that knowledge it was tiresome. A more serious criticism is that the book is a series of vignettes based on the last 20 years of Johnson's life and as such lacks a compelling story. I finished the book feeling that I had gained a little insight into the social history of the way Johnson and his friends lived, but not much else.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By taking a rest HALL OF FAME on 19 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
This is novel number 16 for Ms. Beryl Bainbridge. In addition to these she has written an additional 4 works. Of the first 15 novels, 5 have been nominated for the prestigious Booker Award, however it has never been granted to her work. If there is another writer who has had one third of their work nominated but not rewarded, I have not come across one. Many other awards have found their way to this tremendous storyteller; I hope the Booker Folks catch up.

"According To Queeney", demonstrates once again the ease with which Ms. Beryl Bainbridge can reach, both back into history and to some of the great players of their times, and not only grasp, but create wonderful new tales. The century of choice this time is the 18th, and she chooses the formidable Samuel Johnson as her focus. This person alone would be plenty for most writers, however she has added actor David Garrick, poet Oliver Goldsmith, novelist Fanny Burney, and artist Joshua Reynolds. Each of these people could fill their own book, and more than one has. The brilliance of this work is that the author manages to bring them all together, give them all they're due, and does so in a fairly brief 216 pages. She does not merely name drop or make a passing reference. She manages to make all of the various players memorable; however brief their words allotted may appear to be. The truth is they read with much greater length.

A young counterpoint to Johnson is the Queeney of the title. An extremely precocious child, she is a favorite of Johnson's as well as a talented young mind he seeks to cultivate. This same Queeney becomes a correspondent for a researcher investigating her memories of her young years, as they relate to her and her mother, the latter of the two who Johnson becomes emotionally attached to.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback