Beryl Bainbridge explores the British experience of the Crimean War through the adventures - and hidden secrets - of her enigmatic central character.

When George Hardy, a surgeon and photographer, sets off from the cold squalor of Victorian Liverpool for the heat and glitter of the Bosphorus to offer his services in the Crimea, there straggles behind him a small caravan of devoted followers: Myrtle, his adoring adoptive sister; lapsed geologist Dr Potter; and photographer’s assistant and sometime fire-eater Pompey Jones. All of them are driven onwards through a rising tide of death and disease by a shared and mysterious guilt.

The Booker Prize 1998
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Beryl Bainbridge

Beryl Bainbridge

About the Author

Beryl Bainbridge, who died in 2010, was a Booker Prize heroine. Although Bainbridge was shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, she never won. Some degree of correction occurred in 2011 when, after a public vote, her 1998-shortlisted novel Master Georgie won a one-off prize, The Man Booker Best of Beryl.

More about Beryl Bainbridge

Other nominated books by Beryl Bainbridge

According to Queeney
Every Man for Himself
An Awfully Big Adventure
The Bottle Factory Outing
The Dressmaker