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  • Three-a-Penny

  • By: Lucy Malleson
  • Narrated by: Lucy Scott
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Three-a-Penny cover art

Three-a-Penny

By: Lucy Malleson
Narrated by: Lucy Scott
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Summary

Three-a-Penny describes what it is like to be a woman in a man's world - about the ups and downs of earning a living as a writer in the 1920s and '30s.

Lucy Malleson wrote over 70 crime novels and was part of what is often referred to as the Golden Age of crime writing. But in order to be published she used a male pseudonym and successfully concealed her true identity for many years.

From the poignancy of the First World War and its aftermath to the invitation to join the infamous Detection Club, this rediscovered classic gives a fascinating insight into what life was like as a woman living and working in a largely male world during and after the First World War.

©2019 Lucy Malleson (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

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Lovely read

I heard the abridged version on R4 and was compelled to get the full version. So glad i did. Beautifully written and interesting, humbling and funny. Hope Audible gets more of her books.

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A Gem of an Audio-Book

I urge potential Audible listeners to take up this intriguing, surprising and extremely interesting audio-book; you will not be disappointed. The performer of this memoir is the impeccable Lucy Scott, who breathes real life into this forgotten book. She is also its wonderful advocate. For me, I was alerted to the memoir by hearing part of a BBC abridged reading (less than half of the book). As soon as I heard it I went searching both for an unabridged audio-book and a hard copy too. For some, it is the social history that might be the attraction, with an excellent charting of how WW1 and the depression shaped and depressed the lives of so many, including the author’s parents. For others it might be the struggle of a female author trying to break into a generally male dominated world, and being published and read. For me, it was the mystery of who this memoir writer was, or better said ‘is’ as her presence is so tangible. What made her, and do we ever get to solve what she was really like? Was she overly controlled by her mother, and thereby her life chances? Was writing her way simply to make a living, her escape from loneliness or a pure, driving passion that did not give out? Or both; you decide. The memoir appears sharp and honest: we can identify with many of her views, especially on the plight of others; we can laugh at the lengths she felt she had to go to in duping publishers that she was a male writer; we can feel sadness for her frequently critical view of herself, and her shy worrying, if true. But this is a memoir that was originally written under the name of one of her pseudonyms (Anne Meredith), not she, herself, Lucy Malleson. She was not known to the public by that name. Even so the memoir is testament to a woman who would write 70 published novels before she died, many well received. Lucy Malleson, - using whatever pseudonym - is probably the most under-rated authors of the ‘Golden Age of Crime’ - and what better evidence of her worth than being invited to join the ’Detection Club’, with its host of famous names including Agatha Christie, other than by Dorothy Sayers? If like me, this audio-book gets under your skin, you will soon find yourself searching for her novels (make sure you know the pseudonyms) to make your own assessment of her novelist’s craft. Equally you will likely search for other audio-books that Lucy Scott brings richly to life.

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