Adam’s Breed

Radclyffe Hall

Renard Press

Paperback

320pp

ISBN: 9781804470282

Fiction

Publication date: 25 April 2024

£8.99

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Gian-Luca has a rocky start in life, his mother dying in childbirth, his father unknown, and he is sent to grow up with his grandparents amongst an Italian immigrant community on Old Compton Street. He becomes a waiter, where he learns the value of hard work, and soon lands a promotion to head waiter in a fine-dining restaurant. He excels in this position, and it is not long before he meets Maddelena, to whom he gets married. It seems he has found a happy ending.

However, despite his marriage to Maddelena and his achievements in his work, he finds he is not happy, after all. Life loses its joy, and he comes to despise those he serves in the restaurant, seeing in the diners the ugly side of society. Disconsolate, he sets out to seek a more fulfilling life, and becomes a hermit, trying to reconnect with nature, and hoping to find peace outside of society.

Despite winning awards upon its publication, Adam’s Breed sank into obscurity following the censorship of Hall’s later novel The Well of Loneliness. An early example of immigrant narratives, yet still relevant today, it is time Gian-Luca’s stirring tale found its way back to the canon.