The Crimson Petal and the White meets Fight Club: A page-turning novel set in the world of female pugilists and their patrons in late eighteenth-century England.
Moving from a filthy brothel to a fine manor house, from the world of street fighters to the world of champions, The Fair Fight is a vivid, propulsive historical novel announcing the arrival of a dynamic new talent.
Born in a brothel, Ruth doesn’t expect much for herself beyond abuse. While her sister’s beauty affords a certain degree of comfort, Ruth’s harsh looks set her on a path of drudgery. That is until she meets pugilist patron George Dryer and discovers her true calling—fighting bare knuckles in the prize rings of Bristol.
Manor-born Charlotte has a different cross to bear. Scarred by smallpox, stifled by her social and romantic options, and trapped in twisted power games with her wastrel brother, she is desperate for an escape.
After a disastrous, life-changing fight sidelines Ruth, the two women meet, and it alters the perspectives of both of them. When Charlotte presents Ruth with an extraordinary proposition, Ruth pushes dainty Charlotte to enter the ring herself and learn the power of her own strength.
A gripping, page-turning story about people struggling to transcend the circumstances into which they were born and fighting for their own places in society, The Fair Fight is a raucous, intoxicating tale of courage, reinvention, and fighting one’s way to the top.
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|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.20(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Some folks call the prize-ring a nursery for vice. Boxing is talked against by all the magistrates and held up as unlawful and wild, even sometimes called unchristian. As I see it, those pious old smatchets are right, but what of it? Prize-fighting is all those things, but more, it’s beautiful. The sight of two people—for it’s not only men, you know, who take the ring—who’ve built their skills and their bodies, struggling together with nothing between them, no ball or stick, but only desperate force and the will to live—why, there’s the root of all mankind, the stuff of our lives played out. Till you’ve seen one pug, bare chest steaming in the frosty air, half blinded by his own blood, drop the other to his knees on the frozen turf and turn to roar to the sky, well, if you ain’t seen it, you can’t know. It brings you to the base of yourself; just the sight brings a bellow to the throat. Prizefighting is named “the noble sport” by the fancy crowding the ringside, and so it seems to me. Nothing much else in my life has been noble.
Excerpted from "The Fair Fight"
Copyright © 2016 Anna Freeman.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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What People are Saying About This
"A ripping fine yarn . . . . Thoroughly entertaining and highly recommended."—Library Journal
“The Fair Fight is a hugely exciting and entertaining novel, written with warmth, charm, authority and, above all, terrific flair. I loved it.”—New York Times-bestselling author Sarah Waters
“In sensuous, evocative prose, The Fair Fight wholly captures the spirit of 18th century Bristol's female pugilists and their patrons. An absorbing, bawdy tale of passion, class conflict and surprising friendship, it's a fabulous piece of writing.”—national-bestselling author of The Painted Girls, Cathy Marie Buchanan