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Introduction by Kim Adrian

Afterword by Stanislava Dikova




As It Was in the Beginning is a stunning example of Gertrude Trevelyan’s stylistic and imaginative daring. Taking place within the four walls of a nursing home private room, the book manages to encompass the entire span of one woman’s life. As Millicent, Lady Chesborough lays dying, her thoughts run backwards, through her romantic relationships and attempts to define herself, to her childhood and earliest memories.


Through her example, Trevelyan attacks the limited and inherently disempowering choices available to even the most privileged women in the first decades of the 20th century. A work of rare imagination and psychological insight, As It Was in the Beginning has been out of print for 90 years and further demonstrates the importance of Gertrude Trevelyan’s work in the history of the English novel.


'Compels one to go on reading by the admiration one feels for the author’s ingenuity and uncanny insight.' Leonora Eyles, Times Literary Supplement


'Exceptional conviction, reality and strength of writing.' Evening Express




Gertrude Eileen Trevelyan was born in Bath in 1903. She came to fame as the first woman to win the Newdigate Prize for best undergraduate poem at Oxford in 1927. Starting with Appius and Virginia in 1932, she published eight novels, her last being Trance by Appointment in 1939. Her novels Two Thousand Million Man-Power and William’s Wife have been reissued in the Recovered Books series from Boiler House Press.


Kim Adrian is the author of two books of creative criticism (Dear Knausgaard and Sock), and a memoir, The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet, which was a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist.


Dr Stanislava Dikova is a postdoctoral researcher and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Essex. Her articles and reviews to date have been published in the LSE Review of Books, The Modernist Review, and Feminist Modernist Studies.

As It Was in the Beginning

SKU: 978-1-915812-12-4
£14.99 Regular Price
£10.00Sale Price
Expected to ship by end of May
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