The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman

The Fair Fight

Anna Freeman

Set in the filthy backstreets and bawdy houses of Georgian England, this rough and earthy historical romp is the antithesis of the world of Jane Austen’s genteel heroines. Be willing to get down and dirty among the feisty women and likely lads working as bare-knuckled street fighters, in a desperate game of survival, with few winners.


The interior of the boxing tent was thick with people. Granville kept a tight hold on me and together we followed my brother and Mr. Bowden as they pushed us a path through the crowd. At length I was able to see the stage, on which there was a square of ropes, strung upon poles. We had not long to wait before two figures ascended there and faced each other with fists raised. This I had expected; that one of them might be a lady boxer, I had never in my life imagined. She made an indecent figure; her flannel petticoats had been pinned up and above her boots she was wholly naked to the knee. Her stays had been loosened. I could not stop staring at her. Her assailant was a great brute of a man; surely, surely, they could not really be meant to fight?

  • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  • Sedition by Katherine Grant
  • The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

Books with similar mood

Smaller and Smaller Circles

E H Batagan

Black Water

Louise Doughty

Spike It!

Chris Niles

The Hate You Give

Angie Thomas

The Brittle Star

Davina Langdale


Karl Marlantes

Black Water Rising

Attica Locke

Station Eleven

Emily St John Mandel

Valentine Grey

Sandi Toksvig

King of Swords

Nick Stone

Once Upon a Time in England

Helen Walsh

My Enemy's Cradle

Sara Young

The Last Crossing

Guy Vanderhaeghe

Fires in the Dark

Louise Doughty

The Mulberry Empire

Philip Hensher

Maps of the Soul

Ahmed Fagih


Christos Tsiolkas

The Lost Word

Oya Baydar

Faithful Place

Tana French

The Outcast

Sadie Jones

Dangerous Love

Ben Okri

The Sea on Fire

Howard Cunnell

Into Suez

Stevie Davies


Nick Stafford

Under Fishbone Clouds

Sam Meekings

Street Boys

Lorenzo Carcaterra


Ilka Tampke

The Girls

Emma Cline


Barney Campbell


Cathi Unsworth


Wu Ming

The Association of Foreign Spouses

Marilyn Heward Mills


Peter Temple

Show Me The Sky

Nicholas Hogg


Dave Boling

Love is Strange

Joseph Connolly

I'll Go to Bed at Noon

Gerard Woodward

Wrong as Two Left Feet

Teddy Hayes

The House of Dust

Paul Johnston

The White Family

Maggie Gee


Giles Foden

The Bullet Trick

Louise Welsh

A Cosmology of Monsters

Shaun Hamill

Dark Side of the Moon

Les Wood

Burial Rites

Hannah Kent

The Blindman's Garden

Nadeem Aslam

Saying Nothing

Catherine Broughton

The Collaborator

Mirza Waheed

A Different Sky

Meira Chand