Tipping the Velvet Kindle ´ Tipping the eBook Ó

Tipping the Velvet [Read] ➲ Tipping the Velvet ➮ Sarah Waters – Thomashillier.co.uk This delicious steamy debut novel chronicles the adventures of Nan King who begins life as an oyster girl in the provincial seaside town of Whitstable and whose fortunes are forever changed when she f This delicious steamy debut novel chronicles the adventures of Nan King who begins life as an oyster girl in the provincial seaside town of Whitstable and whose fortunes are forever changed when she falls in love with a cross dressing music hall singer named Miss Kitty Butler When Kitty is called up to London for an engagement on Grease Paint Avenue Nan follows as her dresser and secret lover and soon after dons trousers herself and joins the act In Tipping the eBook Ó time Kitty breaks her heart and Nan assumes the guise of butch roue to commence her own thrilling and varied sexual education a sort of Moll Flanders in drag finally finding friendship and true love in the most unexpected placesDrawing comparison to the work of Jeanette Winterson Sarah Waters' novel is a feast for the senses an erotic lushly detailed historical novel that bursts with life and dazzlingly casts the turn of the century in a different light.


About the Author: Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters is a British novelist She is best known for her first novel Tipping the Velvet as well the novels that followed including Affinity Fingersmith and The Night WatchWaters attended university earning degrees in English literature Before writing novels Waters worked as an academic earning a doctorate and teaching Waters went directly from her doctoral thesis to her first novel.



10 thoughts on “Tipping the Velvet

  1. La Petite Américaine Cash App: $Covid2020sucks La Petite Américaine Cash App: $Covid2020sucks says:

    It's not often that I like a book so listen up and listen wellIf someone had given me the bare bones outline of Tipping the Velvet and suggest I read it I'd have kindly told them to piss off I have a job a kid to raise and an already low tolerance for contemporary fiction A book about cross dressing lesbians in Victorian England wouldn't spark enough interest in me to get past the title pageSilly me Good thing I thought that tipping the velvet was a reference to the theater hint it's not and mistakenly believed I was buying a book about East End actresses This mistake was a blessing and this novel renewed my faith in modern fiction Tipping the Velvet carries a variety of themes that have bored me since my first Women's Studies classes in college identity cross dressing gender roles and sexuality Yet alongside these nearly foreign concepts were the universal themes found in all great works of literature passion lust betrayal scandal violence redemption and love So what did it leave me with? A book that shot a breath of life into all of those tired old themes A book I couldn't put down and not just for the positively raunchy and at times touching sex scenes that had me blushing to my hairline No What kept me hooked was the astoundingly good writingWhen describing being backstage at the theater after a performance I caught a glimpse of ladders and ropes and trailing gas pipes; of boys in caps and aprons wheeling baskets manoeuvring lights I had the sensation then and I felt it again in the years that followed every time I made a similar trip back stage that I had stepped into the workings of a giant clock stepped through the elegant casing to the dusty greasy restless machinery that lay all hidden from the common eye behind itWhen telling us about a dirty mirror we're told that the small looking glass was as cloudy and as speckled as the back of an old man's handWhen discussing the ways of her tyrannical lover There is a way rich people have of saying 'What?' The word is honed and has a point put on it; it comes out of their mouths like a dagger coming out of a sheath That is how Diana said it now in that dim corridor I felt it pierce me through and make me sag I swallowedYeah Writing like that will keep you up at night The hot sex scenes? The bizarre gender roles that previously would have left me uninterested? The story itself? All just added bonuses This chick could write about paint drying and make it fascinating She makes cross dressing hooking and other ahem unmentionables ; seem completely exciting alive and blessedly normal I love it Finally A work of fiction that doesn't suck or make me feel like I've gotten dumber by the time I've finished it KICKED ASS


  2. Matt Matt says:

    “Have you ever tasted a Whitstable oyster? If you have you will remember it” Sarah Waters Tipping the Velvet Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet is the gay Victorian epic you didn’t know you needed in your life From its unsubtle opening come on to its sort of pedantic ending this is Charles Dickens with a twist That twist – I don’t think this is a spoiler – happens to be a really specific description of a strap on dildo In my reading life I don’t think I’ve come upon something like this before Likely I wouldn’t have but for a bit of luck By way of background I’m a straight white male living in the conservative heartland of America who likes reading about the Civil War and drinking cheap white wine chilled with ice cubes Just so we understand each other I drink that wine out of a huge plastic wine glass that can almost be classified as a novelty Thus when Sarah Waters sits down to write her novels I am likely not the intended audience for which she spins her yarns Possibly I am the furthest thing from it Nevertheless great fiction transcends all bounds In other words despite being classified as “gay fiction” this is really just great fiction a premium example of sublime storytelling My first experience with Waters was at the end of 2014 with her novel The Paying Guests Intrigued by the marvelous reviews and the promise of a little of the between the sheets action for which she is famous I picked it up Despite being far less risué than I might have imagined – or hoped if I’m being honest – it was an engrossing reading experience This led me by happy accident to circle back to Waters’ first novel Tipping the Velvet Tipping the Velvet is a huge messy fun saga the aforementioned Dickens spiced with some of Michael Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White and than a dash of My Secret Life Imagine Pip from Great Expectations except Pip is a headstrong lesbian who leaves his family and Magwitch is a rich widow in the market for a cross dressing sex slave That just about explains this sprawling picaresue take on the classic coming of age story Set in the 1890s Tipping the Velvet is narrated in the first person by Nancy “Nan” Astley a young woman born and raised in Whitstable Kent where she works in her family’s oyster restaurant Waters gets points for many things Subtle symbolism is not among them When Nan opens her story she has just begun to fall in love – from afar – with Kitty Butler a masher who sings popular tunes while dressed in men’s clothing at a nearby theater Nan goes to watch Kitty every chance she gets Eventually Nan becomes her dresser Later they become friends Soon enough like every plucky Victorian era protagonist Nan leaves home to follow Kitty to the big city She gets on stage She becomes Kitty’s lover She meets with some successAnd at some point there is a bump on the road and Nan’s real adventure begins This is a book that I almost gave up on Like The Paying Guests it starts slowly And I mean real slow The most fundamental part of a story is conflict and Waters who is a deliberative writer carefully setting the stage and piling on details keeps the road smooth for a long time Just over 150 pages or less But once Nan’s newfound life gets a little shakeup the rest of the novel’s pages move at a much uicker pace There are unforgettable supporting characters uniue set pieces there is a bacchanal that trumps every party scene in War and Peace and a wonderfully recreated London full of gritty tactile details Take for instance a description of a boarding room that Nan comes to inhabit The room to which she led me was cramped and mean and perfectly colorless; everything in it – the wallpaper the carpets even the tiles beside the hearth – having been rubbed or bleached or grimed to some variety of gray There was no gas only two oil lamps with cracked and sooty chimneys Above the mantel there was one small looking glass as cloudy and as speckled as the back of an old man’s hand The window faced the MarketAll I really saw however was the bed – a horrible old down mattress yellow at the edges and blackened in the middle with an ancient bloodstain the size of a saucer – and the door The bed for all its rankness seemed at that moment wonderfully inviting Tipping the Velvet is crammed with descriptions like this from dance halls and back alleys to swank mansions and late 19th century gay bars Which is why it can be just as exasperating as it is thrilling It is a London vaguely familiar from other novels but peopled with a heretofore hidden gay community It can be a bit exhausting all the detail Once the story starts careening however as it does around the halfway point it becomes impossible to put down The plot rambles propulsively from one extreme episode to another I don’t want to spoil all the surprises except to repeat there is a dildo and it is given a word painting that really imprints the thing in your mind Since I know you are wondering There is sex within these pages This should not surprise since the title is slang for cunnilingus Some of the sex is mildly graphic Most of it however is contained within one extended seuence late in the book You’ll know what part I’m talking about when you get there Believe me you’ll know Nan is an engaging narrator and an incredibly drawn character I’ve often found first person narrators to be under written ciphers a vessel through which to view the novel’s world Not here Nan is never overshadowed by the fascinating supporting cast she keeps running into She is complex and often unlikeable often really unlikeable She abandons her family and essentially forgets about them She tries to drag people out of the closet kicking and screaming She is sexually aggressive and utterly selfish At times she doesn’t seem worthy enough to warrant our continued attention In the end though the roundedness of her personality the good and the bad makes her arc all the moving Nan has a lot of different experiences – singer prostitute housekeeper activist – and she earns every bit of happiness she garners There are things I didn't love here The plot is so expansive and digressive that it can feel directionless This coupled with the slow beginning is enough to try one’s patience Towards the end Waters also gets a little preachy Nan gets caught up in the labor movement and we are treated to a slew of harangues that abruptly curb Nan’s hedonistic impulses I bought the conversion but just barely and mostly because Waters had stored up some goodwill with me Waters also hits certain themes hard particularly the need to be true to your own identity Tipping the Velvet is kind to those “toms” who boldly and openly live their lives while pitying characters – such as Kitty – who want to keep their sexuality a secret It’s a rather cruel dichotomy especially given the setting Ultimately I was rewarded by sticking through to the end I’m always searching for the mythical “novel to get lost in” I did not expect to find it in a lesbian bildungsroman but that is exactly what happened I’m not in school any There aren’t any teachers telling me what to read I pick my own books except when my book club picks them and if I don’t like it I don’t read the book and pretend I did I have a definite literary wheelhouse – a comfort zone Of course if you do the same exercise with the same muscle over and over you plateau Every once in a while I try to shake things up to dip outside what I obviously like and try something different Sometimes that leads me to struggle with the canonical classics Other times it leads me to Sarah Waters Reading Tipping the Velvet with its new spin on old motifs is like wandering a familiar city and finding a brand new part of town


  3. Maureen Maureen says:

    Nancy Astley was born in Whitstable Kent in the late nineteenth century She's from an ordinary hard working family and from a very young age she helped in her parents fish restaurant shucking oysters until her fingers were red raw with the icy cold water used to keep the oysters fresh but it was all she knew and she was happy with her life She was loved by her parents and siblings alike but when she entered her teens the bright lights of a nearby music hall began to call to her She loved the variety acts that performed there but the momentous night that she watched a male impersonator named Kitty well that was to be the night that saw her turn her back on her loving family and take her into a world that would put dear old coastal Whitstable and the Astley family firmly in the past This is a story of girl meets girl as Nancy and Kitty begin a new life together amidst the bright and sometimes not so bright lights of London and its music halls The author is truly gifted and describes the sights and sounds backstage that made me reminisce about my visits many years ago to the City Varieties in Leeds in the north of England built in 1865 it's a theatre that is as authentic a music hall as it's possible to get these days However I digress so onto the storyline Nancy wants much from Kitty but Kitty is afraid that people will discover the fact that they are lesbians let's not forget this was the late 1800's Eventually Nancy will move onto another relationship one that is both abusive and destructive and which sees Nancy used as a cross dressing sex slave but not before she spends a spell as a prostitute albeit dressed as a male and performing sexual acts for other males I know I seem to have mentioned sex a lot and some of these scenes are uite explicit but they are rightly included as they play an important part in the storyline however for some of the characters relationships were secondary to the sex within said relationship so it was difficult for me to have much empathy with themWhoa what a crazy mixed up life Nancy and her friends lead but the author makes this an irresistible read and even though they're a narcissistic bunch they make for truly interesting subjects All in all a very enjoyable romp that brings Victorian England with its staid and stuffy views very much to life Thank you to Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group UK for my ARC I have given an honest review in exchange


  4. Fabian Fabian says:

    Call this the lesbian version of Maurice Girl meets girl then another one then another Odd that in the late 19th century England so many lesbians would all be out and about strolling the dirty streets Even odder still that the heroine of the novel happens to stumble upon them all This took considerable research I'm sure and how cool is it to get this particular point of view? The biggest mistake however was to give the narrative the first person touch making Nan King into a Bella from Twilight type ie clueless trite sometimes all too selfish girl which eradicates any form of elegance that would have transformed this novel into something much better Plus although it doesn't take too much imagination to guess what the title actually means not until page 400 does the title finally make sense the primary reason I read this I believe had much to do with that strange title


  5. Robin Robin says:

    Oh gag I have SO many problems with this book What the hell was this supposed to be anyway? I will go through the possibilities Historical Fiction Set in the late 1800's in stuffy Victorian England we meet Nancy a young lady who falls fast and hard for another young woman performing in a theatre Yadda yadda yadda they're a couple Yadda yadda yadda Nancy is shocked that her sister doesn't accept this Yadda yadda yadda Nancy meets and beds pretty much every female that subseuently crosses her path If the character has a vagina Nancy is sure to be 'tipping the velvet' with her in short order I'm not sure if Sarah Waters meant this to be historically accurate but I just can't believe that it is in any way Young people in THIS century have a hard time coming out But Victorian Nance is loud and proud? And never seems to suffer because of it? I just didn't see this as authentic to the time at all aside from the costumes Romance It does tick off this box I suppose with Nancy's 500 pages of pining for Kitty And all the sexy girlgirl scenes But then dear god please explain the ENDING to me which was so very politically earnest I forgot what book I was reading A socialism rally with every single lesbian in London in attendance? Literary Fiction Sarah Waters is a decent writer It's because of her storytelling that I finished this book But I just couldn't take it seriously Was I meant to? I'm so confusedIn addition to all these complaints I really disliked the main character Nancy didn't endear herself to me at all She turfs her family thinking about the various men's suits she wears than her parents and siblings She mistreats her friends She CHOOSES to work the streets and isn't in the least bit damaged by itThe I think about it it occurs to me that than anything this is a re write of history giving voice to relationships that certainly DID happen in the 1800's but no one talked about I can get my mind around that but somehow it doesn't raise my appreciation of this book much


  6. Tatiana Tatiana says:

    As seen on The ReadventurerWell I definitely have never read anything like this before I dare you to read this book's synopsis and not get curious at least a little bit The moment I set my eyes on a short description of Tipping the Velvet on the 1001 Must Read Before You Die Books list I knew I had to read it Cross dressing lesbians kept women music hall singers renter boys I mean what's not to like?First and foremost this is a book about lesbians my first and written by one at that so as far as the relationships in this novel are concerned they are authentic in my mind I don't know about you but I just hate it when straight authors write gay books particularly erotica What can they possibly know? I found myself uite ignorant of how such relationships work Lesbian relationships contrary to my uneducated beliefs can be as abusive and destructive as the heterosexual ones And of course there is lesbian sex A few fairly explicit scenes but the book doesn't turn into an overly gratuitous trashfest Second in spite of its scandalous premise the book is historically accurate It comes as a shock to find out that there was a whole strata of women exploring their homosexuality so freely in 1890s After reading Edith Wharton's novels where women are too afraid to even get a divorce it is a revelation to know that there were society women who kept female lovers and organized orgies This however doesn't mean that in this book women go around doing whatever they please Waters accompanies Nan's erotic adventures with a solid social context same sex relationships have to be secret women known as toms are stigmatized there is a legal punishment even I personally found this book very interesting An imperfect but strong debut It is erotic without being vulgar well researched but entertaining well written without being boring The only negative thing I have to say about it is that it takes a while for the story to pick up steam The first 130 pages are a little dull but after that the novel is impossible to put down Needless to say Tipping the Velvet won't be my last Sarah Waters novelPS Due to the naked women on the cover this edition is a little challenging to read in public


  7. Amanda Amanda says:

    LESBIAN SEX SCENESI knew that's all you wanted to hear about I'm going to go on with my review but you're welcome to stop reading now that you know the juicy stuff And no I will not go on to describe in dripping detail any of the aforementioned LESBIAN SEX SCENES For shame I knowSo anyway a while back my friend Coventry had piles and piles of books she was giving away and this was one of them Seeing that it was written by Sarah Waters I nabbed it immediately and placed upon my shelf waiting for just the right time to read what I was sure would be a delightful sapphic treasure I'd read another of Sarah Waters' books a couple years back and it was perrrrfet image error


  8. Kelly Kelly says:

    It appears that currently the most common criticism of this book on goodreads is that it seems formulaic Perhaps I am behind the times but when did elouent lesbian coming of age stories set in England 200 years ago become so commonplace as to even HAVE a formula?Ultimately this is a love story embedded in a fluid tale of heart pounding and heart breaking moments over the course of Nan's life Either the girl gets the girlboy in the end or the girl doesn'tpredicting the ending with a fifty fifty shot at getting it right does not make a book formulaic IF however anyone who accuses this book of being so standard actually said to themselves in the first chapter well I bet this innocent oyster girl winds up falling in love with a crossdressing vaudevillian entertainer who will shortly be introduced as a characterand after that love affair goes awry approximately midway through the story she will probably have to turn to dressing as a male prostitute who gives handjobs to old men to make ends meet then I stand corrected Personally my internal magic eight ball didn't predict any of that


  9. Stacia (the 2010 club) Stacia (the 2010 club) says:

    I feel like I've been repeating other people's speeches all my life Now when I want to make a speech I hardly know howIf you are fretting over how to tell me you are leaving I am fretting I said over how to tell you how I love you; over how to say that you are the world to me 35 stars This was my first foray into the writing of Sarah Waters According to my friends I have been missing out on some great lit Now I'm no longer out of the loop Tipping the Velvet follows a young lady named Nan over the course of several years We start with the early stirrings of her new found sexuality as she finds herself gazing adoringly upon a young female performer dressed in male clothing The story continues throughout the various changes in her life which force her to take a long internal look at not only how she views the world around her but also at how she views herselfThis is my first experience with historical lit that subtly invokes moments which remind me of an artistic erotic painting sensual moving yet not completely garish The story of Nan is about than just who she chooses to love The sexual moments are merely one small part of a girl who is on the road to her own self discovery The writing was absolutely beautiful I loved Ms Waters' descriptions of the setting the clothing and the characters Little details were captured vividly in my head even such insignificant things as when Kitty went to kiss Nan's hand and Nan drew it back out of fear that her hands would smell like the oyster liuor which came from her time of working at her parent's seafood house The way that it was described almost made Nan even that much charming as if she were different in her own very special way by having an uncommon occupationOne thing that I love to read about in books is when the story comes full circle Every event in Nan's life shapes who she is in the next moment Every event ties to the previous I often talk about moments in time this is a glimpse into the life of a girl who shared several rare moments with several rare and original personality types This is part of what made the story specialIf you're looking for a traditional romance story this will not be the book for you However if you're looking for a story about a character finding oneself you might enjoy the journey of Nan King


  10. ☙ nemo ❧ ☙ nemo ❧ says:

    why read charles dickens when you can read sarah waters


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