First edition (UK)
George Braziller (US)
|1972 (UK), 1973 (US)|
|LC Class||PZ4.B162 Har PR6052.A3195|
Although completed in 1958 it was rejected by several publishers in the late fifties, one of whom wrote on the flyleaf of a first edition:
- what repulsive little creatures you have made the two central characters, repulsive almost beyond belief! And I think the scene in which the two men and the two girls meet in the Tsar's house is too indecent and unpleasant even for these lax days. What is more, I fear that even now a respectable printer would not print it!.
It concerns two schoolgirls spending their holiday in an English coastal town. Harriet is the older at 14 and the leader of the two. The 13-year-old unnamed narrator develops a crush on an unhappily married middle-aged man, Peter Biggs, whom they nickname "the Tsar." Led by pretty, malevolent Harriet they study his relationship with his wife, planning to humiliate him. Their plan quickly goes wrong, however, with horrifying results.
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