Home > Books > Fiction > Gay & Lesbian Books > T Gay & Lesbian Books > Tipping the Velvet - Sarah Waters

Tipping the Velvet - Sarah Waters

Product Information

Offers for Tipping the Velvet - Sarah Waters

Community Quote

'Tipping the Velvet', set in the 1880's during Victorian England, tells the coming of age story of 18 year old Nancy Astley, who is from a working class family that own an oyster restaurant. We join Nancy on her journey of self discovery, love and heartbreak as she embarks on a relationship ... Read review
1 offer for Tipping the Velvet - Sarah Waters   Sorted by: Price 

Similar offers for Tipping the Velvet - Sarah Waters »

1 to 1 out of 1 similar offers for Tipping the Velvet - Sarah Waters
Tipping The Velvet (VMC) - Sarah Waters

Tipping The Velvet (VMC) - Sarah Waters

The heroine of Sarah Waters's audacious first novel knows her destiny, and seems content ... more

with it. Her place is in her father's seaside
restaurant, shucking shellfish and  stirring soup,
singing all the while. "Although I didn't believe
the story told to me by  Mother--that they had
found me as a baby in an oyster-shell, and a
greedy customer had  almost eaten me for
lunch--for 18 years I never doubted my own
oysterish sympathies,  never looked beyond my
father's kitchen for occupation, or for love." At
night Nancy  Astley often ventures to the nearby
music hall, not that she has illusions of being
more  than an audience member. But the moment she
spies a new male impersonator--still  something of
a curiosity in England circa 1888--her years of
innocence come to an end and  a life of
transformations begins.Tipping the Velvet, all 472
pages of it, is as  saucy, as tantalising, and as
touching as the narrator's first encounter with
the seductive  but shame-ridden Miss Kitty Butler.
And at first even Nancy's family is thrilled with
her  gender-bending pal, all but her sister, best
friend, and bedmate, Alice, "her eyes shining 
cold and dull, with starlight and suspicion". Not
to worry. Soon Nancy and Kitty are off to  London,
their relationship close though (alas for our
heroine) sisterly. We know that bliss  will come,
and it does, in an exceptionally charged moment. A
lesser author would have  been content to stop her
story there, but Waters has much more in mind for
her  buttonholing heroine, and for us. In brief,
her Everywoman with a sexual difference goes  from
success onstage to heartbreak to a stint as a male
prostitute (necessity truly  is the mother of
invention) to keeping house for a brother and
sister in the  Labour movement. And did I mention
her long stint as a plaything in the pleasure
palace of  a rich Sapphist extraordinaire? Diana
Lethaby is as cruel as she is carnal, and even the
well- concealed Cavendish Ladies' Club isn't outré
enough for her. Kitting Nancy out  in full,
elegant drag, she dares the front desk to turn
them away. "We are here," she mocks,  "for the
sake of the irregular."  Only after some seven
years of hard twists and sensual turns does Nancy
conclude that a  life of sensation is not enough.
Still, Tipping the Velvet is so entertaining that 
readers will wish her sentimental--and
hedonistic--education had taken twice as long.
--Kerry Fried, Amazon.com

 Visit Shop  >
amazon marketplace books
Postage & Packaging:  £2.80
Availability:  Usually dispatched within 1-2 business days...

User reviews »

1-5 of 5 reviews Show most helpful reviews first Newest first


Tipping the velvet

AdvantagesGripping story

DisadvantagesDefinitely not for everyone

"...starting with the title as Tipping the velvet is a Victorian slang term for cunnilingus. Although this is made clear later in the story, if the reader didn't already know what it meant, they might be in for a bit of a shock. Although Nancy seems completely comfortable with her relationship with Kitty, the feeling is not returned. When a drunken man in the audience shouts abuse about being a lesbian, Kitty gets embarrassed and runs off stage. Within ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 8thingywhat...



AdvantagesWell written though others are better.

DisadvantagesToo graphic.

"I have bought every book that Sarah Waters ever published based on my experience of her exquisitely detailed book "Affinity", in which her written style was clear, and detail amazingly real. This book is more well known since it has been televised, although having just read it, I can only assume that the program could never actually be true to the book, unless it is on at an adult only time, since it's attention to detail is such that it proved a ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 3Phildude


Stays and staffs

AdvantagesGourgeouse read

Disadvantageshmmm cant thinkof one

"*Synopsis* This is the story of the self discovery of Nan a 1890s lesbian Oyster girl. The book tells of the coming out, loves and the losses of Nan as she leaves her Home and family in Folkestone and travels off to London with a Star act male impersonator Kitty Butler. *Review* This book is naughty but nice. A fascinating adventure through 1890s London. When I first started to read the book and the details of Nans love life and pursuit ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: helpful

Community Level 1Row26


Deliciously Naughty

AdvantagesNaughty but with plot and feeling

DisadvantagesA happy but predictable ending

"...Waters' books such as Affinity, Tipping the Velvet is more openly a lesbian novel, with the sexuality of the characters and love between Nancy and the women she forms relationships with being the main focus throughout the book. It's well written and deviously descriptive; there's love, betrayal, history, secrets, lies and deliciously naughty sex. What more could you want?! The book follows Nancy Astley a Whitstable oyster girl who, after meeting ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: helpful

Community Level 2surveysist...


Tipping the Velvet - Lovely.

AdvantagesSensitively written... quite sexy.

DisadvantagesSlow writing style.

"This was the first book I ever read by Sarah Waters, though I'd already seen the BBC adaptation. The story is about Nan Astley, an 'oyster girl' from whitby. During her teens, having been thoroughly disinterested in boys her age, she goes to the local theatre and sees Kitty Butler, a male impersonator. She takes a shine to her and goes to see her every night. Eventually Kitty notices her, and after a point invites Nan to go to London with her... ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: helpful

Show all 5 reviews

Sponsored links

Product Information for "Tipping the Velvet - Sarah Waters" »

Product details

Author Sarah Waters
Title Tipping the Velvet
Genre Gay & Lesbian
Type Fiction
ISBN 1573221368; 1573227889; 1844080110


Listed on Ciao since 02/10/2006

Products you might be interested in »

The Folding Star - Alan Hollinghurst

The Folding Star - Alan Hollinghurst

Fiction - Gay & Lesbian - ISBN: 1596910038, 0701159138, 0679436057, 0517172453, 009949051X, 0099476916

User reviews (3)

Buy now for only £ 4.13

Fingersmith - Sarah Waters

Fingersmith - Sarah Waters

Fiction - Gay & Lesbian - ISBN: 1573229725, 1860498833, 1860498825, 1844081656, 1573222038

User reviews (8)

Buy now for only £ 1.02

The Line of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst

The Line of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst

Fiction - Gay & Lesbian - ISBN: 0330483218, 1582346100, 0739464469, 033048320X, 0330442538, 0330436236, 0330427377

User reviews (2)

Buy now for only £ 1.64

Friday the Rabbi Wore Lace (Jewish Lesbian Erotica) - Karen Tulchinsky
The Abomination - Paul Golding

The Abomination - Paul Golding

Fiction - Gay & Lesbian - ISBN: 0375410554, 0330483315, 0330392670, 0330392662

User reviews (1)

Buy now for only £ 16.99

Affinity - Sarah Waters

Affinity - Sarah Waters

Fiction - Gay & Lesbian - ISBN: 1573228737, 1844085007, 1573221562

User reviews (5)

Buy now for only £ 1.86

Compare Tipping the Velvet - Sarah Waters to other similar Gay & Lesbian Books »

similar by Price (less than 5 GBP)
All of it
Maybe not for everyone (*)
characters, writing, plot
not a novel everyone would love (*)
Inspiring, memorable, prosaic
None none none (*)
similar by Title (First Letter) (T)
Weighty, but deservedly so
Weighty, but deservedly so (*)
Important as literature
Novel format not convincing (*)
Graphic, extremely humerous, sexy, there is a plot even
None (*)
similar by Author Surname (First Letter) (W)
Well plotted and written, evocative of the period and the traditional genre
Three part structure caused the sotry to stall slightly (*)
Beautifully written, wise choices.
Sometimes hard to read, the AIDS story has moved on a little. (*)
(*) Reviews by Ciao members

Are you the manufacturer / provider of Tipping the Velvet - Sarah Waters? Click here