Gentleman and Ladies
First edition
AuthorSusan Hill
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherHamish Hamilton (UK)
Walker & Co. (US)
Publication date

Gentleman and Ladies is a novel by English author Susan Hill, published in 1968, runner-up for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize.[1] It is notable in exploring themes of death, mental health, and elderly well-being, despite Hill's relative youth at the time of writing.[2][3]

Plot reception

The story begins at a funeral in the village of Haverstock and ends at a wedding. A stranger appears at the funeral of Faith Lavender, holding stolen snowdrops. Faith's two sisters and neighbours are perplexed by the man, and soon 'undercurrents of fierce emotion, that until now have been suppressed, reach the surface while the tensions rise'.[4]


In The New York Times, Hill's style is "Briskly impressionistic is better than its substance. Bits and pieces of life among these English senior citizens are sharply illuminated, but the book as a whole has the texture of a soap opera".[5]


BBC Radio 4 produced an adaptation of a radio play in January 1993 featuring Patricia Hayes, Stephanie Cole, Sian Phillips, Gwen Watford and Anna Cropper.[6][7]


  1. ^ Foreword to A Change for the Better, Penguin 1980 edition.
  2. ^ "Gentleman and Ladies". Fantastic Fiction. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  3. ^ James Hogg; Karl Hubmayer; Dorothea Steiner (1990). English Language and Literature: Positions & Dispositions. Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik der Universität Salzburg. ISBN 978-0-7734-0559-2.
  4. ^ Penguin 1980 edition, back cover
  5. ^ The New York Times, March 30, 1969, page 43.
  6. ^ BBC Radio 4 Extra: Susan Hill - Gentleman and Ladies Retrieved 25/9/21.
  7. ^ First broadcast: Thu 7th Jan 1993, 10:00 on BBC Radio 4 FM Retrieved 25/9/21.