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David Leavitt: While England Sleeps

David Leavitt: While England Sleeps

UK 1998, 309 pp., brochure,  15.95
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A haunting and evocative novel of England in the 1930s when the world was on the edge of chaos. At a meeting of republican sympathisers in London, Brian Botsford, a young middle-class writer and Cambridge graduate, meets Edward Phelan, an idealistic self-educated London Underground worker. They share a mutual attraction. Across the divisions of class they begin an affair in secrecy. But Edward possesses »an unproblematic capacity to accept« Brian and the love that dare not speak its name, whereas Brian is more cautious and under family pressure agrees to be set up with a suitable young woman. Pushed to the point of crisis, Edward threatens to volunteer to fight Franco in Spain. In »While England Sleeps«, David Leavitt, has precisely observed and portrayed the complexity of intimate relationships. He depicts the violent drama of war and forbidden love in a histroical novel of great resonance and breadth.
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