The New Life

2023’s most powerful and daring new historical novel

Tom Crewe author

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Vintage Publishing

Published: 12th Jan '23



Available, normally delivered within 3-6 days.

Two Victorian marriages, two dangerous love affairs, one extraordinary partnership . . .

* Featured in The Observer 10 best new novelists for 2023 * 'Beautifully crafted' Sunday Times * 'Powerful' Telegraph * 'Virtuoso' Guardian * 'Brims with intelligence and insight' New York Times * 'Vivid and erotically charged' Daily Mail * 'A very fine new writer' Kate Atkinson


London, 1894. After a lifetime navigating his desires, John, married to Catherine, has met Frank. Meanwhile Henry's wife Edith has fallen for Angelica.

A shared vision for the future brings John and Henry together to write a revolutionary book in defiance of convention and the law.

Their daring book threatens to throw John and Henry, and all those around them, into danger. How far should they go to win personal freedoms? And how high a price are they willing to pay for a new way of living?

'Enthralling . . . I'm confident I have read one of the most beautifully crafted, lavishly imagined novels of 2023' Sunday Times

'Electrifying' Anne Enright

'Filled with nuance and tenderness . . . charting the lives of men and women who inspired not only political progress but an entire new way of living and loving' Colm Tóibín

This is a corker... one of the literary debuts of the year * The Times, *Books to Look Out For 2023* *
It is a pleasure to discover a young novelist with such a wise sensibility - and also, one who can construct such convincing characters. * Sunday Times *
The New Life is filled with nuance and tenderness, steeped in the atmosphere of late nineteenth century London, a world on the brink of social and sexual change. Tom Crewe's brilliant novel dramatizes the relationship between the visionary and the brave, charting the lives of men and women who inspired not only political progress but an entire new way of living and loving. -- Colm Tóibín
[Tom Crewe is] a very fine new writer -- Kate Atkinson
'Tom Crewe's virtuoso debut The New Life is one of the most embodied historical novels I have read . . . Lives and experience demand richer forms of storytelling, and this is just what Crewe has given us' -- Lara Feigel * Guardian *
An excellent debut . . . It's extraordinary to think that this impeccably crafted, lyrically phrased and muscular book is Crewe's first . . . a brilliant evocation of the radical politics of turn-of-the-century Britain * Michael Donkor, Guardian *
Emotionally vivid and erotically charged, The New Life brilliantly reveals a 'seething and boiling' world of 'loneliness and anger and lust,' as Crewe's complicated, compelling protagonists battle the restrictive mores of the day * Daily Mail *
Electrifying. Tom Crewe's forensic love of the physical puts the body back into history and makes the past a living, changing place -- Anne Enright
Powerful themes and lovingly polished prose . . . a fictional debut of rare quality and promise * Daily Telegraph *
Intense and precise . . . It is refreshing to find any contemporary novel, let alone a debut, which is first and foremost one of ideas * Financial Times *
[An] excellent new novel * Independent *
'[An] intricate and finely crafted debut novel . . . The New Life brims with intelligence and insight, impressed with all the texture (and fog) of fin de siècle London' * New York Times *
'Crewe distinguishes himself both as novelist and as historian . . . He has, more unusually, found a prose that can accommodate everything from the lofty to the romantic and the shamelessly sexy' * New Yorker *
Unflinchingly bold . . . Crewe's language is striking in its originality, his protagonists are colourful and passionate, and their principles are brilliantly drawn * i paper *
Sexy, cerebral and moving * Mail on Sunday *
'Atmospheric . . . Extraordinary . . . Crewe's taut prose is shot through with descriptive vividness' -- James Cahill * TLS *
Exhilarating . . . An adroit novel of ethics * New Statesman *
'Lyrical, piercing . . . The New Life is a fine-cut gem, its sentences buffed to a gleam . . . [Crewe's book] brims with élan and feeling, an ode to eros and a lost world, and a warning about the dangers ahead' * Hamilton Cain, Washington Post *
'Crewe deserves applause for his vivid scene-setting . . . There's much to admire in this meticulously researched, boldly envisioned debut' * Prospect *
'Nothing less than remarkable . . . A beautiful, brave book that reminds us of the terrible human cost of bigotry; this is a novel against forgetting' * Michael Schaub, Boston Globe *
'Rich and engrossing . . . blending the graceful ambiguity of literary fiction with the deftness of a page-turner . . . A smart, sensual debut' * Kirkus (starred review) *
A few established novelists continue to write first-class literary fiction on LGBTQ themes... The debut novel by Tom Crewe...reveals a new talent in the field. It is underpinned by extensive research... [with] a great story at its heart. * Literary Review *
The New Life drives with a satisfying pace and a pleasing sense of both conclusion and open endings... how impressive it is that Crewe has synthesised a coherent and compelling fiction from his elements * Critic *
Superb . . . Remarkably sensuous and intimate * Spectator *

ISBN: 9781784744694

Dimensions: 240mm x 162mm x 35mm

Weight: 609g

384 pages