Illustrated by Finn Campbell-Notman
In 1956, Stevens, the ageing butler of Darlington Hall, borrows his employer’s car for a summer motoring trip, but his journey takes him further than he expects – deep into his own past.
Kazuo Ishiguro won the 1989 Booker Prize with this celebrated novel that movingly evokes the changing landscape – physical, political and emotional – of Britain between the wars. In 1956, Stevens, the ageing butler of Darlington Hall, borrows his employer’s car for a summer motoring trip through the south-west of England. Looking back on his long years of service, Stevens’s thoughts often turn to Miss Kenton, the young housekeeper with whom he formed a bond. The express purpose of his holiday is to ask her to return, but there are complexities to their relationship which Stevens cannot bring himself to acknowledge. As his journey unfolds, it takes him further than he expects – deep into his own past.
‘A triumph ... by turns funny, absurd and ultimately very moving’
The Second World War has ended and Darlington Hall, once a great stately home with 20 servants, is now reduced to a staff of four, shut up most of the year, its future uncertain. Everything Stevens has lived by, his perfect composure and unquestioning service, now appears to him in a different light. Lord Darlington has died a broken man and those left behind, those who put their trust in him, are facing the remains of the day. The 1993 film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson made the book internationally famous. This contemporary classic is a haunting elegy for lost love and mistaken causes, and for a vanished way of life, which with all its questionable class divisions, had an absorbing quality that compels attention. Finn Campbell-Notman’s illustrations, including a gold-blocked cover design, capture the novel’s elegaic atmosphere.
‘A dream of a book: a beguiling comedy of manners that evolves almost magically into a profound and heart-rending study of personality, class and culture’
Read more about the life and work of Kazuo Ishiguro
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Review by mbaker824 on 9th Jan 2016
"Just finished reading this book (the Folio Society edition) for the first time. Loved the story. The Folio edition is fantastic overall. The illustrations are very good, but I would have preferred ..." [read more]
Review by bochkov1980 on 28th Nov 2013
"Write your review about our edition here."