The Fair Fight

The Fair Fight

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
6
Born into a brothel, Ruth's future looks bleak until she catches the eye of Mr Dryer. A rich Bristol merchant and enthusiast of the ring, he trains gutsy Ruth as a puglist. Soon she rules the blood-spattered sawdust at the infamous Hatchet Inn. Dryer's wife Charlotte lives in the shadows. A grieving orphan, she hides away, scarred by smallpox, ignored by Dryer, and engaged in dangerous mind games with her brother. When Dryer sidelines Ruth after a disastrous fight, and focuses on training her husband Tom, Charlotte presents Ruth with an extraordinary proposition. As the tension mounts before Tom's championship fight, two worlds collide with electrifying consequences.
Publisher: London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2014.
Branch Call Number: HISTORICAL
Characteristics: 437 p. ;,22 cm.

Opinion


Featured Blogs and Events

A rollickin’ good yarn

After reading two bleak stories I needed a complete change. For this reason I chose an historical first novel by Anna Freeman titled The Fair Fight. It turned out to be a rollickin’ good yarn from beginning to end. When I read historical fiction I want to be transported to another time and place. I want true characters that I can commit to and stories I can believe in. I want real voices and … (more)

A rollickin' good yarn

After reading two bleak stories I needed a complete change. For this reason I chose an historical first novel by Anna Freeman titled The Fair Fight. It turned out to be a rollickin’ good yarn from beginning to end.
When I read historical fiction I want to be transported to another time and place. I want true characters that I can commit to and stories I can believe in... (more)


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
f
finn75
Nov 14, 2020

Brilliant historical novel exploring the stories and relationships of two very different sections of society as the sport of boxing brings them together. Most interesting of all is the relationship that develops between a brothel born female boxer and smallpox scarred lady of quality taught to live in shadows. I felt emersed in this world which is what I expect from a historical novel. Highly recommended

STPL_JessH May 12, 2020

So, this book would have had a higher rating from me, except that it is too long. I have no problem with long books; I have a problem with books that are longer than they need to be. The story doesn't really pick up until around the 200ish page mark. When it does pick up, it is absolutely excellent. If it were possible to condense the first 200 pages into about 50 and leave the last few hundred intact, the book would be stunning.

I mean, who knew?! Female boxers in 1799. I certainly didn't. I really appreciate the way the story lines intersect and the unique relationships the characters develop with one another. This whole book is a study on power. There are elements of a psychological thriller within what is clearly a very classic literary tale of old.

If you're looking for something new and yet oddly old-fashioned at the same time, look no further. The Fair Fight is the book for you.

b
brangwinn
Aug 15, 2019

I love reading. I learn so many new things. I had no idea there were female boxers in late 18th century England. The daughter of a madam finds she is very capable of defending herself against men, and earns a living through fighting. I loved this story because it is sort of Dickensian in its depiction of the seamy side of life. I have no idea how she was able to battle through such pain from a broken nose to broken ribs. The story is told by two different characters, Ruth, the boxer, and George, a homosexual who lives with a wealthy friend. Between the two of them, a vision of what England was like at the time of the American Revolution emerges.

r
racquetannie
Apr 25, 2016

A must read for lovers of 18th century historical fiction!

KateHillier May 27, 2015

I probably would have preferred it had the novel been limited to perhaps two of the points of view but overall it is a fine historical novel. I first became aware of this book thanks to the tagline about female pugilists. It seemed pretty hardcore and the story you come for is Ruth's. Ruth is brothel raised but knows she probably isn't going to end up one of the girls because of her looks. One day it is discovered that she can fight and one of the gents decides to take her on as a young novelty fighter. I could have read a whole book of just Ruth's story; it was fascinating and you could really hear and feel her voice. Instead of sticking with her story, though, you get Charlotte - the eventual wife of the man who takes Ruth. Charlotte's story is a sad one from the nobility side of things - she is scarred by smallpox and gets treated rather shabbily by her brother (who is painting in sheer adoration from another's point of view) who takes an interest in Ruth herself when they finally, finally meet.

It's a long haul, and I probably would have been much more content had the story just been Charlotte and Ruth but it's a really great read overall. Lots of historical detail, lively prose (you can tell that the author is slam poet), and story that keeps you reading despite any preferences of narrator.

u
Urbano
May 18, 2015

A hugely enjoyable read.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at My Library

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top