As the shadows lengthen over the June grass, all England is heading for Epsom Downs’ high life and low life, society beautifies and Whitechapel street girls, bookmakers and gypsies, acrobats and thieves. Whole families stream along the Surrey back-roads, towards the greatest race of the year. Hopes are high, nerves are taut, hats are tossed in the air. This is Derby Day. In this rich and exuberant novel, the mysteries pile high, propelling us towards the day of the great race, as we wait with baited breath as the story gallops to a finish no one expects.
D. J. Taylor is a novelist, critic, and biographer whose Orwell won the Whitbread Prize for Biography. His most recent books are Kept, Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation, Ask Alice, and Derby Day, which was nominated for the Booker Prize and was selected as a Washington Post Best Book of the Year.