The Crimson Petal and the White

Out of Stock


by Michel Faber

A teenage prostitute ascends through the many layers of Victorian London society in this highly acclaimed “big, sexy, bravura a novel” (Janet Maslin, The New York Times).


London, 1870s. At the heart of this panoramic narrative is a young woman’s struggle to lift her body and soul out of the gutter. Sugar, a nineteen-year-old whore in the brothel of the terrifying Mrs. Castaway, yearns for a better life. Her ascent through the strata of Victorian society begins with the egotistical perfume magnate William Rackham. Infatuated with Sugar, William’s patronage brings her into the circles of his family and milieu: his wife who barely overcomes chronic hysteria to make her appearances during “the Season”; his mysteriously hidden-away daughter, left to the care of minions; his pious brother, foiled in his devotional calling by his lust for the Widow Fox; as well as preening socialites, drunken journalists, untrustworthy servants, vile guttersnipes, and whores of all stripes and persuasions.

Twenty years in its conception, research, and writing, The Crimson Petal and the White is teeming with life, rich in texture and incident, with breathtakingly real characters. “Cocky and brilliant, amused and angry, [Faber] is rightfully earning comparisons to observer extraordinaire Charles Dickens. . . . It’s hopeless to resist” (Entertainment Weekly).

Additional information

Book Condition

Used – Good




824 pages


April 7, 2011 by Canongate Books Ltd. First published April 10, 2002


Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Romance


James Tait Black Memorial Prize Nominee for Fiction (2003),
Premio letterario Giuseppe Acerbi (2010)

The Crimson Petal and the White


Out of stock