Tom Williams

A Day At The Races

Derby Day

By

Chatto & Windus 405pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

The Epsom Derby ‘makes a break in our overworked lives; and effects a beneficial commingling of classes’. So observed Gustave Doré and Blanchard Jerrold in 1872, and D J Taylor quotes them before the climactic chapter of Derby Day. It is one of many citations referenced in the novel: others include extracts from etiquette manuals, contemporary journalism and travel-writing, and all add up to showcase Taylor’s immersion in his Victorian setting.

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