250 pages, paperback
Emotionally paralysed by grief at her husband’s death, Lady Franklin, an eligible young widow, unburdens herself to Leadbitter - a gallant, hard-bitten ex-soldier who has invested his savings, and himself, in the car he drives for hire - as he takes her on a series of journeys. He in turn beguiles her with stories of his non-existent wife and children thereby weaning her from her self-absorption, but creating for himself a dream-life with Lady Franklin at the heart of it. Half-hoping to make his dream come true, Leadbitter takes a bold step which costs him her company and her custom and brings the story to a dramatically unexpected end.
was made into a film starring Sarah Miles and Robert Shaw in 1973; the movie was the Cannes Festival co-winner of that year.
The New York Times review of the 1973 movie adaptation of The Hireling.
A preview of the first biography of L.P. Hartley, A Foreign Country by Adrian Wright, available through Google Books.
‘LP Hartley possesses a genuine interest in problems of moral discrimination and a concern for human and civilised values that make it possible to relate him at his best to the tradition represented by Henry James, inherited perhaps by way of EM Forster.’
‘One of the best novels he has produced … at least as good as The Go-Between.’
L P Hartley - Leslie Poles Hartley was born in 1895 and died in 1972. He was educated at Harrow School and Balliol College, Oxford. His eighteen novels include The Shrimp and the Anemone, The Sixth Heaven, Eustace and Hilda (which won the 1946 James Tait Black Memorial Prize), The Go-Between, The Boat, The Hireling, The Brickfield, Poor Clare, The Love Adept and My Sisters’ Keeper.
Jane Feaver - Jane Feaver was born in Durham in 1964. After reading English at university she worked at the Pitt Rivers Museum and then in the poetry department at Faber and Faber. She is the author of one novel, According to Ruth, which was published by Harvill Secker in 2007.