BookBrowse Reviews The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Thirteenth Tale

by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2006, 416 pages
    Oct 2007, 432 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book



A love letter to reading, a book for the feral reader in all of us, a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that we loved as children.

Setterfield's erudite first work of fiction has all the hallmarks of a classic gothic novel, including the creepy ruined house, long-kept secrets, a madwoman in the attic and a dabbling of ghosts, Set in present-day England it has drawn comparisons to novels by the likes of Daphne du Maurier, Wilkie Collins and Charlotte Bronte. Speaking in an interview shortly after The Thirteenth Tale was published, Setterfield says, "I read French literature almost exclusively for more than a decade, so when I left academia, I really wanted to go back to the English classics which I loved so much as a teenager. It was very nostalgic for me to write in that sort of style."

With short chapters often ending on cliff hangers, a female protagonist with a knack for cracking codes, and a large cast of eccentric ...

More about the author: The publisher's bio provides exactly two lines of information about Diane Setterfield, but happily BookBrowse has been able to dig up a lot more about one of the USA's newest "it" authors. Diane was born in Reading and grew up in Theale (both in the county of Berkshire in the South of England), she attended Theale Green School, and then Bristol University where she studied French Literature. She taught in various universities in England and also in France, where she lived for several years. The Thirteenth Tale is her first novel but she has had academic works published previously - about 19th and 20th century French literature, in particular about the works of André Gide (a French writer, humanist, and moralist who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1947). She is 43, and lives ...

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and "beyond the book" articles are part of the many benefits of membership and, thus, are generally only available to subscribers, including individual members and patrons of libraries that subscribe.

Join Today

Member Login

Library Patrons

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Comet Seekers
    by Helen Sedgwick

    A magical, intoxicating debut novel, both intimate and epic.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.