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Angela Carter's novel is about twins Nora and Dora Chance, the illegitimate daughters of renowned Shakespearean actor Melchior Hazzard. The whole of the book is set on the day of the twins 75th birthday, which also happens to be Melchior's 100th, and incidentally the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth.
Disowned by their father the twins are brought up by Grandma Chance, and start a career in the musical halls as dancers from an early age. Throughout their whole lives their father has never acknowledged them as his daughters, preferring to kid himself that they are the daughters of his rake hell twin, Peregrine. The relationships in this book are quite complicated and it would have made more sense to print the "cast" list at the front of the novel rather than on the last page. The book is written very well, with cynical humour. After finishing it, I wondered why I hadn't read this book earlier, as it is not a recent publication. As with other works of Carter's; I can quite honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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