The Walworth Beauty

Roberts’ novels are always full of rich and sensual description, and this is no exception. Two stories entwine across the years: in 2011, fiftysomething Madeleine sells her City of London studio and moves to the other side of the river where, in 1851, family man Joseph Benson traipses around researching the lives of Southwark prostitutes for Henry Mayhew (the famous social researcher and author) when he meets the enigmatic Mrs Dulcimer. Roberts makes a not-particularly-lovely part of south-east London come alive with the sights, smells and tastes of Victorian England.

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