Category Archives: 19th Century

review: Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman

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Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman by Maria Hamilton Imagine Pride & Prejudice from the point in the book where Elizabeth Bennet declines Mr. Darcy’s marriage proposal at Hunsford, as he takes his leave and begins to wonder where he went wrong. This is the basis for this Austen variation, in which the characters come to the… Read more »

review: The American Heiress

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The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin During the Gilded Age, an American heiress named Cora Cash leaves Newport behind and travels to England with her title-hunting mother. A chance encounter with a Duke leads to a proposal that by all appearances seems to be a love match. Trouble begins even before the ceremony, but the couple moves forward with their… Read more »

review: Dracula in Love

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Dracula in Love by Karen Essex Mina Murray, a graduate and teacher at Miss Hadley’s School for Young Ladies of Accomplishment and fiancé to a promising young businessman, begins hearing voices, hallucinating and sleepwalking. Even more frightening she realizes that she’s being followed, perhaps stalked, by a well-dressed gentleman with seemingly good intentions. Not knowing how to handle the strange… Read more »

review: The Emperor’s Conspiracy

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The Emperor’s Conspiracy by Michelle Diener A smuggling operation during the Napoleonic era threatens to bring down the British government by depleting its gold and causing an economic catastrophe. In the middle of the conspiracy is Charlotte Raven, who is a wealthy ward but originated in the streets of London. Because she has links to the nobility and the commoners,… Read more »

review: For the King

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For the King by Catherine Delors After the French Revolution, when families were picking up the pieces of their scattered lives—loved ones dead, fled abroad or hiding from the new regime—two factions against Napoleon Bonaparte were actively plotting attacks and assassinations. The Chouans were royalists and wished to restore the monarchy, while the Jacobins were revolutionaries who did not support… Read more »

review: Claude & Camille

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Claude & Camille by Stephanie Cowell You don’t need to be an art history lover to enjoy this reimagining of Claude Monet and the life he shared with his muse and love Camille Doncieux. In a style that fits perfectly with the setting, Stephanie Cowell gives life to the very origins of the art movement known as Impressionism. Along with… Read more »

review: Shame the Devil by Debra Brenegan

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Shame the Devil by Debra Brenegan Fanny Fern, 19th Century American literary wit and prolific author, spoke out against inequality through her novels, weekly columns and collections. Though not quite a household name, she was one of the first women to demand a pre-nuptial agreement, started the idea that lead to copyright, and sarcastically coined the phrase, “The way to… Read more »

review: Caroline Bingley: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

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Caroline Bingley: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice by Jennifer Becton This continuation concentrates on the character of Caroline Bingley, who is sent by her brother back to their mother’s home in the north when she refused to apologize for her part in separating Charles and Jane. Along with a mysterious hired companion, Caroline’s journey took her many… Read more »

review: The Diamond by Julie Baumgold

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The Diamond by Julie Baumgold From British occupied India to the Kings of France, the Pitt Diamond – later named the Regent – saw many royal personages throughout its history. It was first discovered by a slave toiling the mines and slipped through several hands of thieves and vagabonds before finding its way to Thomas Pitt, Governor of Fort St…. Read more »

review: Longbourn by Jo Baker

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Longbourn by Jo Baker Pride and Prejudice through the servants’ eyes—this is the story of the life of Sarah, the maid in charge of the laundry and other various chores of the Bennet household, coinciding with the events from Austen’s original. Sarah began as an orphan from the ‘poorhouse’, taken under Mrs. Hill’s wing and raised at Longbourn. Of an… Read more »