In nineteenth-century Dublin, a woman reinvents herself as a man called Albert Nobbs to get a job as a hotel waiter. Complications ensue when she decides she wants to start her own business, settle down . . . and find a wife:
“Though she would continue to be a man to the world, she would be a woman to the dear one at home. With a real partner, one whose heart was in the business, they might make as much as two hundred pounds a year – four pounds a week! And with four pounds a week their home would be as pretty and happy as any in the city of Dublin.”
The 2011 film adaptation of “Albert Nobbs” features Glenn Close in the title role.
“For most of her adult life, the English-born Albert has disguised herself as a man in order to make a decent wage in nineteenth-century Dublin. A waiter at Morrison’s Hotel, she has lived the life of a ‘perhapser’ – a person without an established identity, sexual or national. Rootless and lonely, Albert endeavours to find a spouse among the brutal chambermaids at the hotel. Her doomed effort to secure domestic happiness is at once sad and absurd, poignant and darkly comic.” – Sewanee Review
“A little-known masterpiece of the short story.” – Adrian Frazier, author of George Moore, 1852–1933
“The story is remarkable for its frank treatment of gender roles . . . for its evocation of place and character, and for its frequent humour.” – Vincent Woods, RTE Radio
“It’s an absolutely wonderful story . . . It’s terribly moving, terribly affecting, not sentimental in any way.” – John Banville
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
George Moore (1852–1933) was an Irish author and dramatist whose writings influenced James Joyce. His novel Esther Waters is also available from Swift Editions.