Jane Gardam’s funny and wise masterpiece, reissued with a new introduction by Nina Stibbe
Filth, in his heydey, was an international lawyer with a practice in the Far East. Now, only the oldest QCs can remember that his nickname stood for Failed In London Try Hong Kong. Long ago, Old Filth was a Raj orphan – one of the many young children sent ‘Home’ from the East to be fostered and educated in England.
Jane Gardam’s novel tells his story, from his birth in what was then Malaya to the extremities of his old age. In doing so, she not only encapsulates a whole period from the glory days of the British Empire, through the Second World War, to the present and beyond, but also illuminates the complexities of the character known variously as Eddie, the Judge, Fevvers, Filth, Master of the Inner Temple, Teddy and Sir Edward Feathers. ‘Beautiful, vivid, defiantly funny’ The Times’This novel is surely Gardam’s masterpiece…
On the human level, it is one of the most moving fictions I have read in years’ Guardian’Sharp, humane, generous and wonderfully funny, she is one of our very finest writers’ Hilary Mantel’Old Filth has stayed with me for years… I can’t think of anyone who achieves so much with so few words’ Sathnam Sanghera