Tipping the Velvet

Tipping the Velvet

A Novel

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9781573227889
  • 480 Pages
  • Riverhead
  • Adult


“Erotic and absorbing…Written with starling power.”—The New York Times Book Review
Nan King, an oyster girl, is captivated by the music hall phenomenon Kitty Butler, a male impersonator extraordinaire treading the boards in Canterbury. Through a friend at the box office, Nan manages to visit all her shows and finally meet her heroine. Soon after, she becomes Kitty’s dresser and the two head for the bright lights of Leicester Square where they begin a glittering career as music-hall stars in an all-singing and dancing double act. At the same time, behind closed doors, they admit their attraction to each other and their affair begins.
Tipping the Velvet

Tipping the Velvet

Sarah Waters


Lambda Literary Award – Winner
Ferro-Grumley Award – Winner
New York Times Notable Book – Winner
Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize – Winner
Betty Trask Award – Winner


“Wonderful…a sensual experience that leaves the reader marveling at the author’s craftsmanship, idiosyncrasy, and sheer effort.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Compelling…Readers of all sexes and orientations should identify with this gusty hero as she learns who she is and how to love.”
“Delectable…written in roguishly lilting prose filled with the sights, sounds, and stenches of London street life.”
The Seattle Times
“Erotic and absorbing…Written with starling power.”—
The New York Times Book Review
“Glorious…an exceptional debut.”
The Boston Globe