The New Life

The New Life

Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Hardback Published on: 12/01/2023
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Bookseller Reviews

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The New Life
Elegant and Bold
This is an excellent debut. Complex, believable characters and a surprisingly riveting plot all brought together by an elegant writing style. I think I'l... READ MORE
Aaron Myles
The New Life
Could This Be The Best Debut of 2023?
Let’s talk about sex. Following two men (based on the real-life authors of a 19th Century paper defending homosexuality) on parallel journeys of sexual aw... READ MORE
Steve at Trafalgar Square
The New Life
A modern classic
London 1894, John Addington is a respected writer and academic. He is middle-aged, married with children, and homosexual. His whole life, John has been try... READ MORE
The New Life
Absorbing, moving and informative
This is a great debut work of fiction from an author steeped in the world of literature and politics. So good, I devoured it in a weekend. A book about the... READ MORE
Huw  Chapman
The New Life
Quite Possibly Perfect
I have a lot to say about this book, and do hope you will indulge me. But for those without the time or inclination; please read this. It’s remarkably, res... READ MORE
John - Glasgow Silverburn
The New Life
A gem full of hope, reminding us that “We must live in the future we hope to create.”
‘The New Life’ is a book that looks to the future by showing us a story of the past. To me, the message of the book was that things may be difficult, and t... READ MORE
The New Life
Uncompromising and Bold
I predict that this is a novel that will go far. It has literary merit. It is bold and brave and tackles important subjects. It is loosely based on the tru... READ MORE
Katy Wheatley
The New Life
The most powerful debut I've ever come across
I could write so much about how much I loved this and what an important book it is for so many reasons, but the one word that keeps going round and round i... READ MORE
Violet Daniels


Shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2023 Two Victorian marriages, two dangerous love affairs, one extraordinary partnership. After a lifetime spent navigating his desires, John Addington, married to Catherine, has met Frank, a working-class printer. Meanwhile Henry Ellis's wife Edith has fallen in love with Angelica - and Angelica wants Edith all to herself. When in 1894 John and Henry decide to write a revolutionary book together, intended to challenge convention and the law, they are both caught in relationships stalked by guilt and shame. Yet they share a vision of a better world, one that will expand possibilities for men and women everywhere. Their daring book threatens to throw John and Henry, and all those around them, into danger. How far should they go to win personal freedoms? And how high a price are they willing to pay for a new way of living?

  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • ISBN: 9781784744694
  • Number of pages: 384
  • Weight: 584g
  • Dimensions: 241 x 163 x 35 mm

Customer Reviews

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The New Life
“We must live in the future we hope to make”.
‘New Life’ is one of the most accomplished and interesting historical debuts of 2023. It is about a book that is banned and declared obscene because of its... READ MORE
Emine at Bromley
The New Life
A moving and poignant LGBT novel
Tom Crewe expertly weaves artistic license with real life events and figures to create a moving and poignant novel. Describing the unconventional lives and... READ MORE
Laura Oliphant
The New Life
A very accomplished debut
Thank you to the publishers for this early review copy. This, in my opinion, is a very accomplished debut. Based on historical events, this is very much ab... READ MORE
Fiona Sharp
The New Life
Well researched, but over long
This novel was based on an interesting and obviously well researched topic, some of it rooted in fact. The first chapter was certainly attention grabbing, ... READ MORE
The New Life
Exceptionally written
What an exceptional debut novel The New Life is. I'm not sure if I can do it justice with my review. The characters are brilliantly thought out and you hav... READ MORE
Allison Valentine
The New Life
A talented author
Set in London in the late 1800s, this well researched and written book was fascinating. It includes references to actual gay people (inverts) of the day in... READ MORE
Nicola Pettitt
The New Life
A well told slow burn
"The New Life" by Tom Crewe is really well written, just a very slow burn. I had to put the book down, read something else and then come back to it. I'm ... READ MORE
Mel Pretorius
The New Life
The New Life by Tom Crewe is an beautifully well written debut novel. It brilliantly captures London in the 1890s, it's subject matter is compelling and th... READ MORE
Jim Hanks
The New Life
Fascinating and relevant to today.
The New Life is a fascinating novel, set towards the end of the nineteenth century in Britain. In Tom Crewe’s book we see it as a period of optimistic idea... READ MORE
The New Life
An outstanding literary historical debut novel
This extraordinary debut opens with a sex scene in a public place which instantly brought back the memory for me of watching the 1986 French film “Betty Bl... READ MORE
Phil Ramage
The New Life
A moving and memorable debut.
At the centre of ‘The New Life’ is the true publishing story of ‘Sexual Inversion’ by John Addington Symonds and Havelock Ellis, intended as a scientific a... READ MORE
Sarah D
The New Life
Stunning opening
Despite a stunning opening, this fictionalisation of the lives of Henry Havelock Ellis and John Addington Symonds did not hold my interest. I understand... READ MORE
Charles Bruce
The New Life
A fascinating historical story
“They walked, fitting in the cracks and gaps that opened between the men and women on the street.” In this short descriptive sentence, typical of many that... READ MORE
Daren Kearl
The New Life
Promising debut, could be more engaging
With thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for an advance review copy. Based loosely on a historical event, The New Life explores attitudes to homosexual... READ MORE