The Fair Fight
I sat before my tambour hoop but I did not sew. I thought of split lips, flying teeth and red blood on white linen. Born in a Bristol brothel, Ruth Webber, her toe upon the scratch, is ready to face all comers. Lady Charlotte Sinclair, scarred with small pox and bullied by her boorish brother, is on the verge of smashing the bonds of convention that have held her for so long. George Bowden, without inheritance or title, is prepared to do whatever it takes to make his way in the world. Let the fight begin ...
For fans of Sarah Waters and THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE, a vibrant, visceral tale of female boxers and their scheming patrons in Georgian Bristol. Includes reading-group notes.
The Fair Fight is a hugely exciting and entertaining novel, written with warmth, charm, authority and, above all, terrific flair. I loved it. SARAH WATERS (A) cracking debut... It is a lively, rambunctious read which captures Bristol street life brilliantly and niftily sets the scene for a memorable collection of characters who are prepared to gamble everything to gain hope and some form of happiness. -- Eithne Farry SUNDAY EXPRESS Anna Freeman's familiarity with this rough and raunchy period of history and her wonderfully imagined cast of characters, often down but never out, makes this a brilliant debut novel. -- Rose Wild THE TIMES This storming debut is fiction at its most absorbing. It'll be first in line for Freeman's next offering. -- Kat Poole STYLIST For lovers of the evocative historical romps of Sarah Waters and Michel Faber this is a visceral and funny debut. EMERALD STREET (Anna's) enthusiasm for the subject matter and her skill at creating powerful narrative voices are in strong evidence in this gritty, vividly evoked historical novel. Fans of Sarah Waters and Emma Donoghue, take note. DIVA MAGAZINE An accomplished first novel that reminded me somewhat of Peter Carey's Jack Maggs. -- NED DENNY DAILY MAIL lively and original THE SUNDAY TIMES Passion and pugilism ...(an) original, memorable debut novel. -- Nick Rennison BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE Freeman's first novel is shocking but a cracker. The writing is good and the characters totally believable. I loved it. -- LESLEY PEARSE SAINBURYS MAGAZINE This truly bears comparison with Michel Faber's THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE as first-time author Freeman (a performance poet who has appeared at Latitude and Glastonbury) brings the 18th century to throbbing life, in an immersive novel rich with extraordinary characters and a cracking plot. THE BOOKSELLER this highly enjoyable read that packs a punch. HISTORY REVEALED A brilliant, bold and unforgettable debut. Freeman transports us to a history we'd never have imagined and makes it viscerally real. NATHAN FILER The Fair Fight is, I think, just about the most well-written novel I have read in five years. The depiction of the situation and characters is very clearly done with great economy of effort. Even the title is clever. ..this is an excellent read, and one that will stay with you for a long time. -- Alan Fisk HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY
Anna is in her early 30s and a lecturer in creative writing at Bath Spa University, as well as a multiple slam-winning performance poet who has appeared at festivals and venues across Britain, including Latitude, The Eden Project Festival, Shambala, Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Bristol Poetry Festival and Glastonbury. She is also the author of a volume of poetry, GINGERING THE WORLD FROM INSIDE.