The King of a Rainy Country (Paperback)

The King of a Rainy Country By Brigid Brophy Cover Image

The King of a Rainy Country (Paperback)


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A delightful, queer quest for love, and a comic jaunt across Europe that’s “sharp, funny and clever, and fresh as new paint” (The Times).

When 19-year-old Susan takes a job with Finkelheim, the shady bookseller down the street from her flat in London’s grotty, bohemian Fitzrovia, she has no plan beyond making the rent and treading water till something better comes along. One day, however, leafing through the erotic books that are Finkelheim’s main stock in trade, she stumbles across a nude photograph of her old schoolgirl crush, Cynthia. At first she’s shocked, but then memories from seven years ago come flooding back, reigniting her ardor. Neale—her elusive flatmate and not-quite-boyfriend—is every bit as intrigued as Susan, so together they decide to track the angular beauty down. When they discover Cynthia is scheduled to make an appearance at the Venice film festival, the broke twosome embark on a package tour to Italy as travel couriers in charge of a bus-load of American oddballs who’ve scared all the other couriers off. After various detours, breakdowns, and a raid on the bus’s emergency brandy supply, they finally arrive in Venice . . . and that’s where things get really complicated.

More of a boost “than any Omega 3” (Ali Smith), and every bit as “unclassifiable as the sexuality of its characters” (The Telegraph), this—Brophy’s most autobiographical novel—is an incisive, off-kilter story about figuring out who to love, and how.
Brigid Brophy (1929–1995) was an acclaimed novelist, essayist, critic, and activist. She championed gay marriage, prison reform, pacifism, and vegetarianism, as well as campaigning tirelessly for the rights of both animals and authors. She published nine novels–of which The King of a Rainy Country (1956) is her second–as well as critical studies of Mozart, Aubrey Beardsley, and Ronald Firbank, her formidable intellect unhampered by being sent down from Oxford before she could take her degree. 
Product Details ISBN: 9781946022851
ISBN-10: 1946022853
Publisher: McNally Editions
Publication Date: June 10th, 2025
Pages: 272
Language: English
“This pitch-perfect novel, an inquiry into romanticism and disaffection, is witty, unexpectedly moving and a revelation again of Brophy’s originality. Entirely of its time, it remains ahead of itself even now . . . in its emotional range and its intellectual and formal blend of stoicism and sophistication.”
— Ali Smith

“One of the strangest and wittiest British writers of the past half century . . . A comet in her day.”
— Terry Castle

“There is nobody quite like her, no one who sees the world quite in her original way.”
— A. S. Byatt