The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann

Regal House Titles
$19.95 - $29.95
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Expected release date is 3rd Oct 2023

Set in Gilded Age Boston, The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann tells the story of a successful woman author of romance and adventure novels who becomes a champion of women’s rights as she takes on the literary establishment and finds her true voice, both on and off the page. Everything changes for Victoria when she goes against her publisher’s expectations and abandons her frivolous style to tell her own story. She loses her income, her husband, and her standing with her publisher as she joins the legions of hard-working women who have been her most faithful readers. As she fights on behalf of these women, her new young Harvard-educated editor becomes her unexpected ally, while he himself dares to become a more liberated, modern gentleman. The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann shows writing and reading as acts of defiance that can liberate us from narrow, constrained lives, and how revision in life and revision on the page are intimately entwined.

Praise for The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann

“How could I not fall in love with Victoria Swann, the wildly successful lady author who is determined to escape her best sellers? Although she never leaves Boston, Victoria’s story is as full of dangers and dragons as one of her novels. Surely all readers will want to find the bookshop where she works and join the Swann book club? The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann is a captivating and delicious novel.”

—Margot Livesey, author of The Boy in the Field

“Witty, intelligent, and exuberant, The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann is a love letter to all of us who cherish books, writing, and writers themselves. It's also an engrossing and empowering historical novel of liberation that reminds us, with deep resonance, of the many ways in which we are still not free."

—Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men

“Virginia Pye's novel invites us into a distant era that—in its depiction of the challenges faced by women of letters —seems hauntingly familiar. But Victoria Swann persists—and prevails! The story of her undoing is generous, fierce, and inspiring. “

—Jennifer Finney Boylan, Co-author (with Jodi Picoult) of Mad Money

"Virginia Pye has written a novel as full of vital ideas about truth, progress and how to live with intention as it is with wild romps and charming encounters. The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann may be set in Gilded Age Boston, but it's a celebration of readers, writers and bookstores everywhere."

—Elizabeth Graver, author of Kantika

“Boston on the cusp of the twentieth century and its vibrant literary world are rendered in evocative detail in this entrancing ode to how books can save us. As Victoria navigates her place in society, she learns to live and write her truth at a time when women are mostly unseen and unheard. Filled with grace, charm, and an acute sense of place, The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann shows us the power of stories to connect, heal, and reveal our hearts.”

— Marjan Kamali, author of The Stationary Shop & Together Tea

“At the heart of this insightful novel lives Victoria Swann, a wildly popular author who yearns to jettison the unrealistic romance and adventure of her nineteenth century novels in favor of depicting the struggles of ordinary women, a topic not discussed in high society let alone portrayed in literature. As the scaffolding of her comfortable life begins to crumble, Victoria discovers the power of authentic relationships and the strength of her own convictions. At once an historic time capsule and an entirely modern tale, The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann had me cheering for its heroine straight through to the final page. You’ll love it!”

- Katherine A. Sherbrooke, author of Leaving Coy’s Hill and The Hidden Life of Aster Kelly

"The Bostonians meets Writers & Lovers in Virginia Pye’s gossipy and substantive historical novel about women authors and book publishing. Compelling, fierce, and utterly charming, Virginia Swann is a literary heroine for the ages.” 

- Laura Zigman, author of Small World