THE FAIR FIGHT is a pulsating historical novel set within the world of female pugilists and their patrons in late 18th-century Bristol.
It's an unputdownable story which takes you from a filthy brothel to the finest houses in the town, from the world of street fighters to another of champions.
It is about fighting your way to the top - and not only with your fists.
Alive with the smells and sounds of the street, THE FAIR FIGHT is a major debut with incredibly wide appeal, was the winner of the Tibor Jones Page Turner Prize 2013 and has been optioned for TV by the BBC.
Published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson (Bristish Commonwealth), 28/08/14
and Riverhead (North America and Canada) 14/05/15
“the deeper driving force in the novel isn’t a person at all; it’s female anger, exploding in hot, driving fists and sustained by secret friendships. The women keep us reading, yet Freeman is too good a storyteller to reduce ‘The Fair Fight’ to a feminist tract... That’s the trick Freeman has pulled off. Her novel, though written in a fashion long past, feels quite natural and free. She has taken the late 18th Century, language and all, and pummeled life into it. ‘The Fair Fight’ breathes, shouts and sears, confident in its form and bold as brass in its execution.” - The New York Times
“An absolutely phenomenal book... Anna Freeman’s The Fair Fight is a dynamic and colorful work of historical fiction. Eighteenth century England opens its brothel and manor doors as each character takes the stage in this exciting novel." - The New York Journal of Books
"Freeman has a brilliant ear for the demotic language of Ruth's world, conjuring a world of "beefy culls", misses, fibs (punches) and opening the door to the brothel itself, hung with sour-smelling silks. An 18th-century rollercoaster of double-dealing and drama, this is gripping stuff, a wild ride" - The Independent
"Forget simpering maids and needlework, Anna Freeman's cracking debut is bawdy, bloody and boxes very clever... a lively, rambunctious read, chock full of melodrama, double dealing, knock out blows, feints and a slangy earthy language of cullies, pugs and bullies.It captures Bristol street life brilliantly and niftily sets the scene for a memorable set of characters who are prepared to gamble everything to gain hope and some form of happiness, even in the most challenging of circumstances." - The Sunday Express