> Skip to content
  • Published: 1 July 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099531944
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $19.99

Half of the Human Race



'Half of the Human Race is the sort of novel one presses on a friend in a spirit of happy envy, confident of the fictional treat that lies ahead of them' - Evening Standard

Summer of 1911. English society is on the brink of change. The streets of London ring with cheers for a new king's coronation and the cries of increasingly violent suffragette protests.

Connie Callaway, fired up by the possibilities of independence, wants more than the conventional comforts of marriage. Spirited and courageous, she is determined to fight for 'the greatest cause the world has ever known'.

Will Maitland, the rising star of county cricket, is a man of traditional opinions. He is both intrigued and appalled by Connie's outspokenness and her quest for self-fulfilment.

Their lives become inextricably entangled just as the outbreak of war drives them further apart. Buffeted and spun by choice and chance, Connie and Will struggle against the aftershocks of war and the changes it wreaks. This is a deeply affecting story of love against all the odds.

  • Published: 1 July 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099531944
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Anthony Quinn

Anthony Quinn was born in Liverpool in 1964. From 1998 to 2013 he was the film critic for the Independent. He is the author of six novels: The Rescue Man, which won the 2009 Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award; Half of the Human Race; The Streets, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Walter Scott Prize; Curtain Call, which was chosen for Waterstones and Mail on Sunday book clubs; Freya, a Radio 2 Book Club choice, and Eureka.

Also by Anthony Quinn

See all

Praise for Half of the Human Race

Powerful and touching

Clare Clark, Guardian

Excellent and surprising... wonderfully rich... A thoroughly absorbing and moving novel and it is a testament to the author's adaptability and energy that he is equally at home writing about feminist civil rights, cricket, prisons, art and medicine. And love. Especially love. A good all-rounder indeed

Melissa Katsoulis, The Times

An exhilarating love story

Sunday Telegraph

What lights up Half of the Human Race is not only the Suffragist movement in all its glory and lunacy, but Quinn's affection for his cast... So often, historical fiction relies on research for its colour and depth of interest, but these are people who feel absorbingly real in their misunderstandings, jokes, troubles and passions...and this makes the novel equally interesting to both sexes...moving... compelling... satisfying

Amanda Craig, Daily Telegraph

Quinn's impeccable eye for detail, perfect pitch for the nuances of dialogue, and the quiet, understated passion that enlivens his writing combine here to make his considerable achievement seem effortless... The Rescue Man won prizes. Half of the Human Race should follow in its footsteps and establish its author as one of our most impressive novelists

Peter Stanford, Independent

This is only Anthony Quinn's second novel, but you would never guess it from the expert way he marshals his material, telling a human story in a literate, intelligent way... The real guts of the book can be found in the character of Connie. She is sprightly, impulsive, independent-minded... You really care what happens to her....an exhilarating love story

David Robson, Daily Telegraph

Enthralling... In effortlessly fluent prose, Quinn keeps you riveted until the very end

Simon Humphreys, Mail on Sunday

Beautifully constructed

Peter Wilby, Observer

Few books boast a suffragette heroine and a professional cricket hero but Anthony Quinn's second novel pulls off such a strange pairing because it is old-fashioned in a very good way... Quinn memorably foregrounds the humanity of the characters...and tells their stories wonderfully

Metro

A highly readable book about love, loyalty and integrity

Kathy Stephenson, Daily Mail

A seamless tapestry...The rhythm of rejection and understanding in Connie and Will's relationship is mapped out with care and precision. The permutations between them and sad, lonely and are explored with such exemplary meticulousness that you can't help but be touched

Adam Lively, Sunday Times

Thrilling

Financial Times

The Suffragette movement and pre-war country cricket might seem an odd couple for a novel but Anthony Quinn marries them perfectly in a nostalgic and compelling tale whose themes of love and friendship on and off the pitch will appeal to lovers of romance and cricket alike.

The Cricketer

An exhilarating love story

Sunday Telegraph

Trench warfare is vividly described: the agonizing wait for dawn, the despairing bravery of those going 'over the top', the futility, the waste, the sadness. Anthony Quinn tells this part of his tale faultlessly, and without a cliché... poetic.

Mary Blanche Ridge, The Tablet

Not just an exhilarating love story... a bold, impressive novel

Waitrose Weekend

With crisp prose and evocative description, Anthony Quinn's second novel embodies early 20th century Britain with aplomb and exhumes a political plight that still has great relevance

Eastern Daily Press

Set at the same time as E. M. Forster's novels, this intelligent antidote to Downton Abbey is written with wit, narrative craft and elegant prose.

Daily Telegraph (Five stars)

Quinn’s novel concerns the stalling romance between a suffragette and a cricketer, set amid war and middle-class Edwardian mores. This chalk-and-cheese couple and their stifling environment are equally well crafted

Holly Kyte, Sunday Telegraph

The characters are subtly drawn and the period touches, particularly the sporting passages, have an authentic ring

Simon Shaw, Daily Mail

Related titles