Old Filth

Front Cover
Penguin, Jun 1, 2006 - Fiction - 256 pages
2 Reviews
Book One in Jane Gardam's Old Filth Trilogy

Sir Edward Feathers has had a brilliant career, from his early days as a lawyer in Southeast Asia, where he earned the nickname Old Filth (FILTH being an acronym for Failed In London Try Hong Kong) to his final working days as a respected judge at the English bar. Yet through it all he has carried with him the wounds of a difficult and emotionally hollow childhood. Now an eighty-year-old widower living in comfortable seclusion in Dorset, Feathers is finally free from the regimen of work and the sentimental scaffolding that has sustained him throughout his life. He slips back into the past with ever mounting frequency and intensity, and on the tide of these vivid, lyrical musings, Feathers approaches a reckoning with his own history. Not all the old filth, it seems, can be cleaned away.

Borrowing from biography and history, Jane Gardam has written a literary masterpiece reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling'sáBaa Baa, Black Sheepáthat retraces much of the twentieth century's torrid and momentous history. Feathers' childhood in Malaya during the British Empire's heyday, his schooling in pre-war England, his professional success in Southeast Asia and his return to England toward the end of the millennium, are vantage points from which the reader can observe the march forward of an eventful era and the steady progress of that man, Sir Edward Feathers, Old Filth himself, who embodies the century's fate.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amy_marie26 - LibraryThing

Spoilers ensue: Old Filth, one Sir Edward Feathers, a venerated barrister (I think - I'm not positive of the distinction between solicitors and barristers) looks back over his very long, very English ... Read full review

Old Filth

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Gardam├ƒ┬»├‚┬┐├‚┬Żs impressive oeuvre runs to over 25 books for adults and children, including Whitbread Prize winnersThe Queen of the Tambourine andThe Hollow Land , but her latest has the freshness ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 20

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 21
Section 22
Section 23

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

Jane Gardamáis the only writer to have been twice awarded the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel of the Year. She is winner of the David Higham Prize, the Royal Society for Literature's Winifred Holtby Prize, the Katherine Mansfield Prize, and the Silver Pen Award from PEN. Her novels include:áGod onáthe Rocks, shortlisted for the Booker Prize;áOld Filth, a finalist for the Orange Prize;áThe Man in the Wooden Hat, finalist for theáLos Angeles TimesáBook prize, andáLast Friends, finalist for the Folio Award. She lives in the south of England, near the sea.

Bibliographic information