This romance set in Regency times
inspires with its beauty, settings and
endearing characters who follow on
from the favourite book of “These Old Shades”
which was set about twenty years previously.
The charm of the earlier characters cannot
fail to amuse and entrance the reader with
their various quirks and foibles.
Lady Fanning, with her two children who
are remarkably alike in temperament to herself and her husband
when they were younger, Lord Rupert with his
carefree attitude and his Grace, the Duke of Avon
and the Duchess with her engaging personality, who enlighten the story. The Duke's old friend,
Sir Hugh Davenant, also puts in an appearance.
The story is evolves around Miss Mary Challoner and the Duke's son,
the Marquis of Vidal.
An unlikely romance ensues after many adventures
and misapprehensions. Miss Mary's own father had been disinherited
by his own father for marrying her mother and Mary, being a little
different from her mother and sister did not wish for the same consequence
to happen upon the Marquis, who wishes to marry her.
The story is set in a time where propriety in all things was of the highest importance
in society. Respectability and being seen to act in a proper manner did take
precedence over actions and how people were seen to live their lives.
The story is lively and amusing. The characters are so authentic and also likeable.
It is a pleasure to read this book and follow the whims and fancies of the characters
and their journey to France.
There is also humour in the story and wonderful descriptions given on the page of the sea,
the horses, the towns, the inns and balls. It is a wonderful and intoxicating novel to read.
Descriptions of the characters give substance to the story and Miss Mary Challoner was an
unlikely character, seeming to be staid and strait-laced but also well educated.
It is a captivating story which appeals for the romance of the situation.
unexpected circumstances at one time Miss Mary Challoner found herself travelling in France
without her abigail and luggage which was seen to be not at all appropriate and without
assistance at an opportune moment she would have found herself in a dire predicament.
It is wonderful to read of the manners and way of life of Regency times where it is
so different from today and the expectations of society were so very exacting in modes
of dress and customs. Fencing and duelling also came into play.
The Regency setting gives the book an added charm for all
of these different modes of conduct and expectations.