Thistle Publishing

The Lodger

Dorothy exists just above the poverty line, doing secretarial work for a dentist and living in a seedy boarding house in Bloomsbury, when she is invited to spend the weekend with a childhood friend. Jane recently married a writer hovering on the brink of fame. His name is H.G. Wells.

Wells appears unexceptional at first. But then Dorothy notices his grey-blue eyes taking her in, openly signalling approval...

Tormented about betraying Jane, yet unable to draw back, Dorothy free-falls into an affair with him, discovering passion, treachery, and the high price of breaking society’s rules. In the process, she finds her voice as a writer.

The Lodger is beautifully intimate novel that weaves fact with fiction to tell the story of Dorothy Richardson, forgotten peer of Virginia Woolf and literary pioneer. It is both an introduction to a significant writer, and the powerful story of one woman tormented by unconventional desires.


‘This is a sparkling debut full of passion and verve. Louisa Treger has written an enthralling historical novel about unconventional love, unrecognised genius, and the courage to turn heartbreak into art.’

Historian and broadcaster Amanda Foreman

“A captivating and tender journey through the sexual explorations, loves and betrayals of Bloomsbury's Dorothy Richardson.”

Frances Osborne

“A gripping debut about creativity, forbidden passions and what happens when you break the rules. Dorothy Richardson is a heroine for our time.”

Daisy Goodwin

"The Lodger is an evocative, beautifully written first novel. Set against the backdrop of the early 20th century, Louisa Treger conjures up her characters and the turbulence of an era when women were fighting for emancipation with conviction. Dorothy Richardson’s journey to finding her own literary feet through her illicit relationship with the novelist, HG Wells, is moving and revealing. A very accomplished debut novel."

Lucinda Riley

"Louisa Treger has taken us into the heart of Dorothy Richardson's life choices through a vividly imagined novel, more compelling than any biography."

Michael Sherborne, author of HG Wells: Another Kind of Life

‘Treger’s writing flows easily and the book is impeccably researched, making this an enjoyable read. Dorothy Richardson may not be a household name, but Treger’s novel does a fine job of showing just how compelling her life was in this novel full of passion, history and literature.’

Kirkus Reviews

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