Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Belinda

Well I'm supposed to be reading Wolf Hall but every time I pick it up and look at that great long list of characters and all those family trees at the front of the book my heart sinks. I couldn't resist putting it aside to start Belinda and I think I'm going to have to blag my way through book group next week.

Desperate Reader posted a great review of Belinda a few months ago which inspired me to read it. I'm only a few chapters in but already there is cross-dressing, female duels, masked balls and secret rooms!

The cover illustration features a taffeta gown made of gold coloured silk in the Polonaise style of 1774 from V&A Images. Isn't it fabulous?

14 comments:

Frances said...

Beyond fabulous! That cover stopped me in my tracks when your blog opened. And the book sounds kind of yummy too.

even pretty girls need to read said...

OK seriously, now I really need to start reading her. At your first mention she got on my list and now I feel I need to go straight to the library! Thank you!

mary said...

Oh, don't give up on Wolf Hall. It's wonderful, far and away the best novel I've read this year.

lyn said...

I ordered Helen & Belinda after reading your post a few days ago. The power of the blog! I've been reading more about the 18th century recently so I couldn't resist. Wolf Hall is also wonderful. Don't be put off by the family trees or the fact that every second man's name is Thomas!

Steph said...

How can so many awesome things happen in this book and yet prior to your posts, I'd never heard of this author? Scandalous!

Love the cover. That would be enough impetus for me to buy it... ;)

bookssnob said...

Sounds fabulous! A very autumnal colour too. Good old V&A, I miss it.

I am so enjoying hearing about these early novels that I know I'd never have heard of without you!

Desperate Reader said...

I loved this book, all the cross dressing is great fun, I'd love to see it televised. Can't wait to see what you think by the end.

debbie bailey said...

I love your blog! And thanks for leading me to the Desperate Reader blog. Belinda has been on my "to read list" for years. I want to read Wolf Hall, too. Have you ever read Augusta Jane Evans? Her best is St. Elmo. Give her a try of you haven't already.

Shelley said...

I write about a time when a lot of your neighbors would have been wearing flour sacks, so when I look at dresses like the one on that cover, I always wonder: how on earth did they get in them, stay in them, escape them?

A Bookish Space said...

This sounds fabulous. You have convinced me that I need to read some Maria Edgeworth!

irisonbooks said...

That cover is beautiful! I have been meaning to read something by Edgeworth for a long time now.

Vintage Reading said...

Frances, lovely cover, lovely book. So much of Edgeworth reminds me of Austen.

even pretty girls need to read indeed!! My local library hold quite a few titles by Edgeworth and Burney, good to know they are still in demand.

Mary, 'fraid I've donated it to Oxfam books. One lady in my reading group loved it and two of us gave up. Historical fiction isn't my genre but I would read other books by Mantel.

lyn, oh dear now I feel bad for not persising with WH! Delighted that you are reading Edgeworth, please let me know your thoughts via blog or email.

Steph, the cover is great isn't it. Funny when I visited the V&A I managed to miss it! I can't understand why Edgeworth is so neglected today.

booksnob, I loved your posts about working at the V&A. I do like to coordinate my book covers with seasonal fashion!!

Desperate Reader, yes the campaign to get Belinda filmed or televised starts here!! I think Gwyneth Paltrow (remember she was brilliant as Emma) would make a great Lady Delacour.

Debbie, hi! I'm checking out the writer you mentioned. Fraid I gave up on WH.(blush)

Shelley, hi, Edgeworth wrote about poverty too, in fact I believe she devoted her later life to helping those suffering in the Irish potato famine.

A Bookish Space please let me know what you think if you do try Edgeworth.

Irisonbooks, I think Belinda may be one of my best reads this year along with the Emily Dickinson biog. Great book.

Carolyn said...

I just started reading Belinda this morning, after finding it in a used bookstore about a week or so ago and picking it up in part to your recommendation. You're right, she does read like Austen, with a lot more London goings on. I had a Fanny Burney on my shelves for years that I never got on with, so I'm glad I've tried a different author Austen read.

Desperate Reader said...

Gwyneth Paltrow would make a great Lady Delacour. Here's hoping :)