Paperback review: Valentine Grey, By Sandi Toksvig


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The Independent Culture

In Valentine, this novel's 19th-century heroine, Toksvig has created a fabulously rebellious woman. “Why must you be so adventurous, Valentine?” her gay cousin, Reggie, chides as she falls off a horse.

She will go on to be far more adventurous than that. After Reggie's reluctance to leave for the Boer War, which he must fight, she dons his uniform for a cross-dressing quest in a tale reminiscent of the lifestory of army surgeon, James Miranda Barry. A warm, fluidly told story of heroism and closet homosexuality.