Annabel Abbs’ second novel tells the dramatic story of DH Lawrence’s elopement with Frieda Weekley, a married mother-of-three and German aristocrat, in 1912. Written from four narrative points of view, it explores Frieda’s preoccupation with freedom and the collateral damage wrought as she seeks a more meaningful life. Germany 1907: Aristocrat, Frieda von Richthofen, has married English professor, Ernest Weekley, and is living with him and their adored children in Nottingham. But a visit to her more liberated sister in Munich introduces Frieda to a new world of free love, passion and revolution. England and Italy 1912: Frieda meets the ambitious writer and son-of-a-coalminer, DH Lawrence. Their tempestuous affair unleashes a creative outpouring for Lawrence as Frieda becomes the inspiration for many of his characters. But for Frieda, fulfilment comes at a huge personal cost. The novel was selected as one of five novels for presentation to film directors at the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair, and is published by Two Roads in the UK, Hachette in Australia (2018), Einaudi in Italy, Hep Kitap in Turkey and Nouvion in Hungary (2019). You can hear Annabel talking about Frieda on Woman’s Hour here.
‘‘This effervescent novel follows the early life of the beloved muse of DH Lawrence… Annabel Abbs has written a wonderful portrait of an extraordinary woman.’ The Times Book of the Year, 2018
‘Annabel Abbs has done a superb job of chronicling Frieda’s early life.’ The Times Book of the Month. More here.
‘A lushly written novel, mischievous and testing… Exuberant…Compelling.’ The Observer. Full review here.
‘A convincing evocation of a remarkable woman.’ Historical Fiction Top Pick, Sunday Times
‘An important book … An incredible piece of storytelling.’ The Lady
‘Moving…Poignant… leaves readers with plenty to ponder, as novelists should.’ The Australian. Full review here.
‘Fascinating.’ Red Magazine.
‘Abbs’ sharp new novel … a nuanced layered portrait.’ Mail on Sunday, Best New Fiction.
‘Another absolutely superb novel from Annabel Abbs.’ Editor’s Choice, Historical Novel Society.
‘This historical novel is a brilliant example of its genre …Frieda is hard to put down thanks to its heroine’s audacity and strength…After spending three days with Frieda, I couldn’t help but admire her.’ Stylist Magazine
‘Compassionately imagined…’ Daily Mail
‘Fascinating…’ Good Housekeeping
‘An enticing and well-constructed story that is also a fine study of Edwardian social mores, female sexuality and political awakening. Frieda’s struggle to find her place in the world…is utterly compelling and also feels relevant to a modern audience. Glorious!” The Reading Agency. Full review here.
‘Abbs’ book brilliantly conveys the turmoil and anguish this choice (if indeed she felt she had any choice) caused Frieda, and recreates her complex, tumultuous inner world with skill, empathy and a refreshing lack of judgement.’ Viva Magazine
‘An outstanding novel…. glorious, vivid and immersive. For those who love literature and digging into the stories behind the stories, Frieda is an ideal read.’ Theresasmithwrites.com
‘A great read.’ The Reader (NZ). Full review here.
‘Fascinating, beautifully written and hugely gripping… highly recommended.’ The Book Bag. Full review here.
‘Emotionally intense . . . A gripping story’ Daily Telegraph Australia
‘A lush and absorbing portrait of a fascinating woman who refused to compromise on what really matters: to be known, to love, to be beloved. She, and all those connected with her, live and breathe in Abbs’ beautifully crafted novel.’ Polly Clark author of Larchfield
‘I loved this novel so very much. Abbs’ writing is glorious’ Melissa Ashley, The Birdman’s Wife