The Vet's Daughter

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The Vet's Daughter
First edition
Author Barbara Comyns Carr
Country United Kingdom
Publisher Heinemann
Publication date
Media type Print ( Paperback)
Pages 133 pp
ISBN 0-86068-163-7

The Vet's Daughter (ISBN 0-86068-163-7) is a 1959 novel by English author Barbara Comyns Carr.

The subject of the novel

The Vet's Daughter is the fictional tale of Alice Rowlands, the daughter of a South London veterinarian in the Edwardian era. Alice's father is a bully who rules their repressed house through terror. Alice's frail mother dies and is swiftly replaced in the family home by her father's brash and sexually savvy new girlfriend. The confusion and abuse heaped on Alice combined with her ultimate optimism lead to her discovering her own occult powers, with disastrous results. The quality of the writing and of that "innocent eye which observes with childlike simplicity the most fantastic or the most ominous occurrence" was praised by Graham Greene.[1]

The history of the novel

Barbara Comyns Carr dreamt the idea for The Vet's Daughter whilst on honeymoon in a Welsh cottage lent to her and her new husband by the Soviet agent Kim Philby in 1945.[2] The novel was not to be completed for some years and was first published by Heinemann in 1959. In 1978 the novel was used as the basis for the musical The Clapham Wonder, directed by Sandy Wilson. It was republished by Virago in 1981 and has been reprinted several times since then. The story was read by Susannah Harker for BBC Radio.


  1. ^ Comyns Carr, Barbara, The Vet's Daughter (Virago)
  2. ^ Comyns Carr, Barbara, Introduction to The Vet's Daughter (Virago 1981)

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