Cover image for Darcy's utopia
Darcy's utopia
Weldon, Fay.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 1990.
Physical Description:
235 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Eleanor Darcy, a woman of marginal genealogy and looks that play better than they should, is married to the economist to whom the Prime Minister listens. Determined to rip apart the old order and start fresh, Eleanor becomes the serpent--or angel--who whispers utopian visions in Julian Darcy's ear.

With the husband in jail for imperiling the financial structure of the nation, Eleanor grants exclusive interviews to two journalists, Hugo Vansitart and Valerie Jones. Though they seem more preoccupied with each other than with their elusive subject, their goal is the same: to capture the essence of Eleanor Darcy. Hugo is loking for truth and pragmatism in Eleanor's vision: Valerie is in quest of the woman's struggle.

From their diverse portraits, Eleanor Darcy emerges, and so does her remarkable vision--complete with shockingly sensible ideas about child-rearing, abortion, education, integration, fundamentalism, economics--and, of course, a new twist on that old story of the sexes.

Fay Weldon has once again skewered the conventions of modern society with wit and wisdom, shining her flashlight on the threadbare morals of modern life.

Author Notes

Fay Weldon was born in Worcester, England on September 22, 1931. She read economics and psychology at the University of St. Andrews. She worked as a propaganda writer for the British Foreign Office and then as an advertising copywriter for various firms in London before making writing a full-time career.

Her work includes over twenty novels, five collections of short stories, several children's books, non-fiction books, and a number of plays written for television, radio and the stage. Her collections of short stories include Mischief and Nothing to Wear and Nowhere to Hide. She wrote a memoir entitled Auto Da Fay and non-fiction book entitled What Makes Women Happy. She wrote the pilot episode for the television series Upstairs Downstairs.

Her first novel, The Fat Woman's Joke, was published in 1967. Her other novels include Praxis, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, Puffball, Rhode Island Blues, Mantrapped, She May Not Leave, The Spa Decameron, Habits of the House, Long Live the King, and The New Countess. Wicked Women won the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award. She was awarded a CBE in 2001.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

This amorphous but entertaining novel explores economics, politics and spirituality through the ruminations of a flaky/wise heroine. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

On the eve of interviewing the fabulous and elusive Eleanor Darcy, journalists Valerie and Hugo meet and shack up in a hotel on the dubious strength of Hugo's credit card. As Eleanor (nee Apricot Smith) expounds her utopian plans for religion, education, sex, and money, their spontaneous passion changes course. Weldon mingles tart social commentary and political satire in a novel that is both somber and very funny. The question and answer format is awkward, however; and the humor is very British. Weldon is the author of plays, nonfiction, and such novels as The Life and Loves of a She-devil. Buy this one where there is demand. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/90.-- Maurice Taylor, Brunswick Cty. Lib., Southport, N.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.