To be published in March 2020
Business as Usual by Jane Oliver and Ann Stafford is charming. It’s light, intelligent, heart-warming, funny, and entertaining. It’s deeply interesting for the descriptions of shopping in the 1930s, and for its unflinching descriptions of social conditions, poverty and illegitimacy.
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You can pre-order the paperback edition direct from us now (it comes with an exclusive bookmark) by adding it to your cart below. It will be posted to you to arrive shortly before the publication day.
UK: £12.99 (includes p&p)
Europe: £12.99 plus £5.00 p&p per order
Rest of the World: £12.99 plus £6.00 p&p per book
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Business As Usual was first published in 1932. It’s a delightful illustrated novel in letters from Hilary Fane, an Edinburgh girl fresh out of university. She is determined to support herself by her own earnings in London for a year, despite the mutterings of her surgeon fiancée.
After a nervous beginning looking for a job while her savings rapidly diminish, she finds work as a typist in the London department store of Everyman’s (a very thin disguise for Selfridges). She rises rapidly through the ranks to work in the library, where she has to enforce modernising systems on her entrenched and frosty colleagues.
Jane Oliver was the pen-name of Helen Easson Rees (née Evans, 1903-1970), a Scottish pilot and Second World War ambulance driver. She lived in Hampshire, and wrote many successful historical novels with Ann Stafford (the pen-name of Ann Pedlar, also known as Joan Blair). Business as Usual was one of their first books together.
Watch our video, in which we explain why this is a Selfridges novel, and how it’s about social history and the working lives of the early 1930s.