book cover of The Sailor\'s Return

The Sailor's Return

A novel by

In the summer of 1858 an English mariner, William Targett, returns to his homeland from a voyage to western Africa, disguising his black princess wife as a boy and pretending their young child, concealed in a basket, is a parrot. The amusingly preposterous beginning of The Sailor's Return gives little hint of the tragedies that lie in store. In a sleepy Dorset village Targett rents a pub and sets about building a life for his family, but the local residents and even his own relatives have other ideas. Garnett's story, first published in 1925, was the first significant work in British literature to feature a black female as a major character. This study in human pettiness and prejudice, delineated with a tragic power reminiscent of Thomas Hardy and T.F. Powys, has lost none of its power to shock and disturb, as events unfold to their stark and brutal conclusion. It is a story that, once read, is never forgotten.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Used availability for David Garnett's The Sailor's Return

Hardback Editions

December 1964 : UK Hardback

Title: Sailor's Return
Author(s): David Garnett
ISBN: 0-7011-0709-X / 978-0-7011-0709-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

July 2011 : UK Paperback

Title: The Sailor's Return
Author(s): David Garnett
ISBN: 1-908274-00-X / 978-1-908274-00-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: The Sundial Press
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   

June 1978 : UK Paperback

Title: The Sailor's Return
Author(s): David Garnett
ISBN: 0-14-004844-8 / 978-0-14-004844-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK