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The Lodger

3.34  ·  Rating Details ·  385 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
The first biographical novel about Dorothy Richardson, peer of Virginia Woolf, lover of H.G. Wells, and central figure in the emergence of modernist fiction

Dorothy exists just above the poverty line, doing secretarial work at a dentist's surgery and living in a seedy boarding house in Bloomsbury, when she is invited to spend the weekend with a childhood friend. Jane recent
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published June 2nd 2014)
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Louisa Treger H.G Wells had many lovers, and his wife, Jane, accepted them without protest, though I am sure they hurt her deeply. At the same time, there was a…moreH.G Wells had many lovers, and his wife, Jane, accepted them without protest, though I am sure they hurt her deeply. At the same time, there was a strong unbreakable bond between him and Jane - they couldn’t do without each other.
His lovers had to accept that Jane was an unnegotiable part of the deal - some found this harder than others. But his affairs were more than a casual fling - he was always searching for someone who would make him feel complete. He called this ideal 'the other half of my androgynous self I had lost and had to find again.’ Expecting so much, he was invariably disappointed.
In short, it was a complicated situation. Everyone involved gained something, but got hurt in the process.(less)

Community Reviews

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Kami Garcia, a New York Times bestselling author has been quoted while saying:

“We don't get to chose what is true. We only get to choose what we do about it.”

Louisa Treger, an English author, has portrayed the life and times of a writer named, Dorothy Richardson, who was the peer of Virginia Woolf, lover of H.G. Wells, and ultimately got stuck between the crossfire’s of her past and a new era of unconventional world where she desires to be a writer of modernist fiction, in her debut novel, The
Judy Collins
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press, Thomas Dunne Books, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

An emotional gripping and riveting debut novel, The Lodger by Louisa Treger, is a compelling journey of one woman’s struggle between a past, and a new—complex, fascinating, yet unconventional world.

Rather than summarize the book, I want to get right to the heart of my feelings of this incredible and engrossing debut, written with compassion and sensitivity.

Set in 1906, i
May 20, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it
I've been aware of Dorothy Richardson for a long, long time without ever reading her work.

When I was very young and Virago Modern Classics were a brand new idea I remember seeing the Pilgrimage, her thirteen novel series, collected in four thick volumes that had covers that were similar but not quite the same. They looked very important and rather frightening.

Years later, I looked at those four big books again and I learned how very significant Dorothy Richardson had been. That she published the
Martine Bailey
The Lodger is a wonderful fictionalized account of an important period in the life of Dorothy Richardson, ground-breaking modernist writer and contemporary of Virginia Woolf. Written in beautiful prose, the book begins with Dorothy’s atmospheric visit by steam train to Dorothy’s former school friend, Jane. Jane has married writer H G Wells but her role has shrunk to a kind of chaste enabler of the writer’s talent. Immediately we enter a fascinating England of contrasts: of genteel but seedy boar ...more
Jane Lythell
Dec 08, 2016 Jane Lythell rated it it was amazing

Dorothy Richardson, the central character of The Lodger, fascinated me. She was a real person and Louisa Treger has done a brilliant job in mingling fact and fiction.
When the book opens in 1906 she is living in near poverty in London, working as a dentist's secretary and living in an attic room in lodgings. In spite of this hardship she has the most refreshing attitude to the freedom of her life. She glories in her long walks around London and in her ideas about people.
She resists two marriage
Amberle Husbands
I received a copy of The Lodger as the result of a Goodreads giveaway. The novel was a quick read, with a deceptively simplistic writing style that dragged me from one chapter into the next over and over again. The atmosphere of poverty and grime in this story looms heavily the entire time, taking just as central a role as any of the characters do.
The romantic relationships seemed fatalistic, to me, and didn't even seem to surprise the main character all that much when they appeared, blossomed,
Louise Beech
Nov 25, 2016 Louise Beech rated it it was amazing
I devoured the gorgeous words of this debut novel on numerous gloomy bus trips to work, and was transported to the early 1900s, to London, to an era of extreme sexism, and Dorothy Richardson, later a peer of Virginia Woolf and a central figure in the emergence of modernist fiction. Through an illicit relationship (a variety, in truth) and through poverty, she begins to write. The book is a beautiful mix of fact and fiction, the kind where the research is so well done that you barely notice it. I ...more
Debra Martin
Jan 23, 2016 Debra Martin rated it it was amazing
THE LODGER is an impressive debut for Ms. Treger. She weaves fact and fiction seamlessly in this story about 20th century writer Dorothy Richardson. Dorothy is determined to live freely on her own accord without being stifled within the bonds of marriage, but freedom has its price--hunger, oppressive loneliness and drudgery of another kind as she lives barely above poverty. It's no wonder that Dorothy falls under spell of H.G. Wells, the husband of her oldest friend. She struggles with her loyal ...more
Jantine Kampes
Dec 17, 2015 Jantine Kampes rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley
The characters were described awfully, in such a way that they were all quite unlikeable, except Benjamin - a man I mostly pitied. The moment the book fully described the main character having a missed abortion I could not read on; having had one myself it was too painful, even while I did not like Dorothy. I'd have loved to know this before I started to read, I hadn't taken up the book if I had known it would appal me this much.

I received a free copy through Netgalley in return for an honest re
RoseMary Achey
Oct 29, 2014 RoseMary Achey rated it liked it
The Lodger is a historical fiction based on the actual life of Dorothy Richardson. Richardson was a writer in Victorian London. This account deals with the period where she begins her writing career.

The Lodger has shades of Sarah Waters The Paying Guest ....there are several similarities. I will leave it at that, as to not give away any spoilers!

Sep 02, 2016 Jennalyn rated it it was ok
2.5 stars **
Honestly, I'm not quite sure how to review this book. If the purpose was to pique my interest in the real-life Dorothy Richardson and her work, then it was a resounding success. I went into this knowing nothing about Richardson and being far more familiar with the work of H.G. Wells (the "Bertie" of this novel with whom Richardson had a relationship). After reading The Lodger, I was curious about both Richardson's life as an independent woman at a time when such a lifestyle was disco
Tessa Arlen
Oct 20, 2014 Tessa Arlen rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity of reading an Advanced Reading Copy of this fascinating debut novel by Louisa Treger and I loved it.

The central character of The Lodger, Dorothy Richardson, earns her living as a secretary to a dentist. An unusual situation for most middle-class Edwardian girls, but Dorothy’s father is bankrupt and rather than live in genteel poverty, within the protection of her family, Dorothy moves to London to become a working woman.

Despite the many hardships of he
Claire Douglas
May 20, 2015 Claire Douglas rated it it was amazing

Before reading The Lodger I hadn't heard much about Dorothy Richardson – a modernist writer and contemporary of Virginia Woolf as well as lover to H.G.Wells. But this novel manages to successfully weave fiction and fact together to tell a story of what her life was like in the turn of the 20th Century, and how and why she became a writer. The author successfully tells a gripping story of the poverty Dorothy faces in grimy, foggy London, living in a boarding house with some colourful characters a
Allergykidmom's Book Reviews
Oct 21, 2014 Allergykidmom's Book Reviews rated it really liked it
This was a amazing read. I really liked the story. Every time I picked the book up to read, I felt this calming feeling as I went from one page to the next. The story takes you to another world and draws you in to the point to where you can actually visualize the people and the places they go. This to me, shows a really great author. One who truly knows how to write. Seeing how this is her first novel and realizing how great it is, I know she will have more great reads to come.

We are taken on a
Monique Snyman
Nov 29, 2015 Monique Snyman rated it really liked it
The Lodger by Louisa Treger is a debut novel that sets the tone for a promising writing career. Set in the 20th Century, The Lodger acts as both a biographical book as well as historical fiction, which makes for intriguing reading. Furthermore, there's a feminist undertone to this book; sexuality and independence are explored.
I've never heard of Dorothy Richardson before I read The Lodger, but I've done some research on her work and I must say that I'm rather disappointed in myself for not know
Sep 05, 2014 Kelly rated it liked it
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Louisa Treger's The Lodger has an interesting story on how it came about. Treger was looking for an angle about Virginia Woolf that hadn't been done before and came across something Woolf had written about peer Dorothy Richardson. She decided to delve deeper into Richardson's life, of which nothing much had been written about up to that point.

A major English writer in the early twentieth century, Richardson did not have
Mar 12, 2016 Emma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary
Ms Treger has written the most wonderful debut novel I have read in years. I love to read a first book, because to me they seem the most exciting - the blood, sweat and tears of producing your first book has to be intense, but I should imagine the most satisfying feeling when you hold a copy in your hands.

The story of Dorothy Richardson and her affair with HG Wells was a brilliant read. From the first page I was transported into Dorothy's thoughts, her feelings and desires. I found the affair wi
The Book Maven
Sep 29, 2014 The Book Maven rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
Like many a “New Woman”, Dorothy Richardson has decided to try to make her own way in the world, and comes to live in 1900s London. And despite the long hours at her underpaid job, despite the near-penury in which she lives, despite the loneliness, she is alive and independent and relying on no one but herself. And yet…emotional comfort (and physically comforting surroundings) come her way when she renews the acquaintance of an old school friend, now happily(?) married to the up-and-coming novel ...more
Lyndsy Spence
Apr 15, 2015 Lyndsy Spence rated it it was amazing
This atmospheric novel, which is based on the real-life affair between author and journalist Dorothy Richardson and HG Wells (or Bertie, as he was known) chronicles Dorothy’s life before she emerged as a central figure of modernist fiction among the Bloomsbury set.

Living just above the poverty line, working as a dentist’s secretary and lodging at a seedy boarding house, Dorothy escapes to the seaside home of her old school friend Jane and Bertie, Jane’s new husband. She becomes intrigued by Bert
Cheryl Harrington
Nov 16, 2014 Cheryl Harrington rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I was intrigued by the premise of this novel - biographical fiction about Dorothy Richardson, a woman who wrote ground-breaking novels at a time when most women had no voice at all, becoming "one of the most important writers of the twentieth century". Why had I never heard of her?

Author Louisa Treger delves into Dorothy's complex and passionate relationships with H. G.(Bertie) Wells, his wife and Dorothy's old friend Jane, and the free-spirited suffragette, Veronica. Treger's insights are keen
Christina Banach
May 20, 2015 Christina Banach rated it it was amazing
This beautifully written and fascinating novel reimagines a key period in the life of now-forgotten writer, Dorothy Richardson. Dorothy was a contemporary of Virginia Woolf and HG Wells, and, in fact, Wells plays an important part in the book. The story begins when Dorothy first encounters Wells, and charts their relationship from their first meeting and beyond. As well as throwing light on a little-known literary figure, and a bygone era, this novel offers an insight into the social mores of th ...more
Helen Stanton
Jun 11, 2015 Helen Stanton rated it really liked it
Dorothy Richardson had so very nearly been lost to us ! I became aware of her when doing a course on Virginia Woolf And Modernism recently. Richardson's books are now largely out of print but she is credited with writing the first 'stream of consciousness ' novel in the English Language . This is the centenary year of the publication of Pointed Roofs the first volume of Pilgrimage and fortunately word has it the novel series is to be reissued next year.

Treger first became aware of Richardson whe
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
I love when debut authors get their first book right. Set in early 20th-century London, The Lodger tells the story of Dorothy Richardson. Louisa Treger’s novel follows the story of Dorothy during her time at a lodging house in London. It's a powerful story. It is quite fascinating, well written and the characters are both vibrant and believable. Historical novels can either be a hit or a miss in my book. I felt like The Lodger was a hit! I feel like this is has the makings of a great book club p ...more
Tracy Shephard
Feb 19, 2015 Tracy Shephard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: done
This superb debut novel by Louisa Treger is exquisite. She has captured the relationship between Bertie and Dorothy beautifully while revealing the sadness that simmers. It is truly a beguiling love story.

The Lodger is a book that makes you feel something, whether that be anger, delight or anticipation, it is up to the reader to decide.

It is a captivating novel about self discovery that you will want to re-read again and again.

I loved it.
Martha Conway
May 05, 2016 Martha Conway rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was delighted to find this novel about Dorothy Richardson, an author I've long admired (we read her alongside Virginia Woolf in graduate school). This really brought her to life for me, and the story of her love affair with H.G. Wells, her friend's husband, was compelling and believable. Louisa Treger's prose is beautiful, too. Often I just stopped and read a sentence again, I liked it so much.

Highly recommended!

Laura Basirico
Nov 03, 2015 Laura Basirico rated it did not like it
Shelves: england
The story was vapid and poorly written; the protagonist was everything she professed to disfavor. If you are looking for a historical novel about famous literary figures and their love interest, I recommend The Paris Wife by Paula McLain and Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen whole heartedly. Do not waste valuable time on this particular novel.
Nov 12, 2014 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Louisa Treger's biographical novel about Dorothy Richardson's life enthralls as well as inspires. It provides an insight in the life of a forgotten literary pioneer, through thought provoking prose. Cannot recommend it enough. Looking forward immensely to the next novel by Louisa.
Sep 02, 2014 Ashley rated it liked it
I had a hard time with this book. HG Wells sounds like a hard person to like. The characters didn't seem filled out enough to care too much about. Kinda disappointed.
Kathy Davie
Oct 11, 2014 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
An historical fiction biography about a woman author at the turn of the twentieth century who changed how novels were written. How cool is that!

The events in the novel take place in 1906 in England, although Treger confesses at the very end that it’s a re-arrangement of what truly happened in Dorothy Richardson’s life. The events are essentially accurate at heart, which only makes me want to explore more about Richardson. I want to know more about her and her writings.

This ARC was provided by Ne
Gail M
Jan 02, 2015 Gail M rated it liked it
I liked this book, and I always like getting spoon-fed history under the guise of reading fiction.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 14, 2015 10:27AM  
Dorothy Richardson: Novels about DR 1 11 Jan 15, 2015 09:15AM  
The Lodger Is A Masterpiece 1 9 Oct 31, 2014 07:42AM  
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Born in London, Louisa Treger began her career as a classical violinist. She studied at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a freelance orchestral player and teacher.

Louisa subsequently turned to literature, gaining a First Class degree and a PhD in English at University College London, where she focused on early twentieth century women’s writing.

Married wit
More about Louisa Treger...

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