Every publisher’s list should have a book about a dog, and Flush is a delightful and unique classic by one of our greatest writers. A ‘biography’ of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s spaniel (1840-54), its direct inspiration was a new edition, in 1930, of the Brownings’ love letters in which ‘the figure of their dog made me laugh so I couldn’t resist making him a Life.’ Rather to Virginia Woolf’s dismay, Flush was a great popular success. Yet it is a surprisingly feminist book: ‘Although ostensibly about the taming of a pedigree dog, Flush addresses the way society tames and classifies women,’ writes Sally Beauman.
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