Georgian

#Review The Scandal Of George III’s Court by Catherine Curzon @MadameGilflurt #TheScandalOfGeorgeIIIsCourt #Georgian #History #NonFiction @PenSwordBooks

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I have the pleasure to share with you all my review of The Scandal Of George III’s Court by the hugely talented Catherine Curzon, grab a cup of tea and maybe a biscuit and delve into to some scandalous Georgian history.

From Windsor to Weymouth, the shadow of scandal was never too far from the walls of the House of Hanover. Did a fearsome duke really commit murder or a royal mistress sell commissions to the highest bidders, and what was the truth behind George III’s supposed secret marriage to a pretty Quaker? With everything from illegitimate children to illegal marriages, dead valets and equerries sneaking about the palace by candlelight, these eyebrow-raising tales from the reign of George III prove that the highest of births is no guarantee of good behaviour. Prepare to meet some shocking ladies, some shameless gentlemen and some politicians who really should know better. So tighten your stays, hoist up your breeches and prepare for a gallop through some of the most shocking royal scandals from the court of George III’s court. You’ll never look at a king in the same way again…

Well, this is an eye opener for sure! Whatever you originally thought of the Georgian Court will be completely shadowed by the reality of what went on within this scandalous family. And what a family, phew their exploits made me shattered just reading about them. If you think the Borgia’s were scandalous, wait until you meet the Georgians, this lot were in a league of their own.

I have been reading Catherine Curzon’s work for a few years now and I have loved every word she has written, but I am ashamed to say this is the first of her non-fiction books I have. What! How can that be? Definitely a lapse on my part, which will be rectified!

This reveals the scandals that went on though the court of King George III, and believe me this lot were a hoot. With ‘unsuitable’ marriage, a flurry of mistresses and illegitimate children popping up all over the show, secret marriages, heir sand the spares running around causing scandal at every turn plus a whiff of murder. This family was doing it all, you see this is what happens when TV hasn’t been invented yet, people get up to all sorts.

I love the way this is written, the history side is backed up with sources which are easily accessible for everyone (Check out the bibliography for a list of research sites and books which can be accessed) and then there is the notes in the back which are very illuminating and gives further background to each of the chapters. The thing that I particularly love about this, and what kept me glued and turning the pages was Ms Curzon’s incredibly entertaining writing style, there is a real wit which at times had me giggling away into my cuppa – I did get a few odd looks from the family 😉 especially while reading the ‘Carry On Cumberland’ chapter, which is one of my favourite chapters. So good!

Another of my favourite chapters, has got to be ‘Perdita And Pickle’ which is all about two Drury Lane actresses; Mary Darny Robinson and Dora Jordan – anyone who knows me or follows my posts won’t be surprised that I became completely and utterly engaged with a chapter all about two women who in all essence were regular women forging a path for themselves. I loved this chapter and getting to know these two fascinating women, especially Dora, who knew that she wasn’t an absolute beauty until you saw her legs. She chose to wear breeches – yes, I know, scandalous and you will have to read the book to find out why, but I do I like this lass.

Overall, this is a brilliant! The writing – which is of no surprise given this is Ms Curzon we are talking about, is flawless. It’s fun, engaging, ridiculously addictive and thoroughly entertaining. It’s a history lesson, but not at all like yawning though an old school lesson where the teacher drones on and you fall asleep right at the good bit, no! This is something between Horrible Histories, Time Team (Don’t judge, I know what I’m on about) and a Lucy Worsley documentary (I know wrong era, but you get the drift). This one of those books which once you start, you won’t stop until you turn the last page. When that happens you’ll feel rather out of sorts and wondering where your next Georgian Scandal fix is coming from. Do you think we should start of a GA meeting? ‘Georgians Anonymous’ for all of us who are now addicted to this rather scandalous era of British history.

Scandalously brilliant and thoroughly recommended for everyone who just loves a romp through history.

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you Rosie!

The Scandal Of George III’s Court can be purchased from Amazon and Pen and Sword Books.

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Audiobook Review – Salt Hendon Collection: A Georgian Romance Boxed Set by Lucinda Brant

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Salt Bride
Salt Hendon Series Book 1

When the Earl of Salt Hendon marries squire’s daughter Jane Despard, Society is aghast. But Jane and Lord Salt share a secret past of heartache and mistrust. Four years on, they are forced into a marriage neither wants; the Earl to honor a dying man’s wish; Jane to save her stepbrother from financial ruin. Beautiful inside and out, the patient and ever optimistic Jane believes love conquers all; the Earl will take some convincing. Enter Diana St. John, who has been living in a fool’s paradise believing she would be the next Countess of Salt Hendon. She will go to extreme lengths, even murder, to hold the Earl’s attention. Can the newlyweds overcome past prejudices and sinister opposition to fall in love all over again?

Set in the opulent world of the 18th century aristocracy, Lucinda Brant delivers another delicious 18th century romantic experience. High drama, witty prose, a deft palette of historical detail, and a weave of subplots will keep you mesmerized from beginning to end.

SaltRedux
Salt Hendon Series Book 2

Jane and Salt—four years of Happily Ever After
Sir Antony Templestowe—four years of Exile
Lady Caroline—four years of Heartache
Diana St. John—four years plotting Revenge
The time has come…

How does a brother cope with life knowing his sister is a murderess? How can a nobleman have the life he has always wanted when a lurking evil consumes his thoughts and haunts his dreams?

What will it take for good to triumph over evil?

My View

I started reading/listening to “The Salt Hendon Collection” with an open mind, I have tried audiobooks before and I have always been skeptical, as I have never really enjoyed them as I do a regular book. But I am not one to give up on something without at least giving it a secret chance and as the lovely Lucinda Brant so generously offered me a complimentary copy, how could I refuse? So I gave Audiobooks their second chance.

As much as I want to say I loved every moment of this, I hate to say I didn’t. It has nothing to do with the brilliance of the story because the overall plot is fabulous, I have heard so many good things about Brants work and I do agree that she is an exceedingly talented author. The way she entwine’s the characters personal lives with a fast and intriguing plot is superb and I cannot say a single bad thing about her writing.

It’s the same with the narrator, Alex Wyndham. He is a sensational story-teller, his articulated voice is like pure velvet. The way the simplest words just rolls off his tongue can make any woman melt, if I was watching him on the stage or Television, then I would be swooning. His ability accentuate each individual character is pure brilliance, he could read the phone book and still make it could sexy. But, unfortunately even his refined and cultured tones couldn’t save it for me.

The issue wasn’t the story or the narrator, but the Audio version itself. When I’m reading a regular book I become transported to the era, I am living and breathing the story along with the characters, I just didn’t get that same sense with the Audiobook. I couldn’t visualise the characters or the scenery, I couldn’t understand or relate to them and get their personalities like I usually do, all I got from it was the wonderful Mr. Wyndham’s voice in my head telling me a story.

I know without a doubt that if I read this as a regular book, then I would become emersed into the Georgian era and love it, because it has all the ingredients of a great story. For me this particular way of reading it, didn’t work.

I always hate giving negative reviews, but I abide by my own rule, that I will always be honest in my reviews. For those that do like an audiobook they will adore “The Salt Hendon Collection” but this has just confirmed that audiobooks aren’t for me, but I am going to get the book version of this and I am going to read more of Brants work as I want to get to know the characters and plots.

Overall the Audiobook experience didn’t work for me, but Lucinda Brant is definitely an author I am going to read more off.

This was a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Review : The Mistress Of Blackstairs by Catherine Curzon

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Everyone thought she was dead…

In 18th century Covent Garden, Madam Moineau, is the mistress of Blackstairs, an establishment catering to the finest clients in London.

The mysterious, veiled lady of Paris was better known in the past as a former courtesan and went by the considerably less exotic moniker of Georgina Radcliffe, or Georgie to her friends.

In the winter of 1785 two men appear in Madam Moineau’s life.

Rogue artist Anthony Lake has recently returned from Europe. Lake is on his own assignment, searching the streets of London for the daughter he only recently discovered he had fathered.

He learns that the child’s mother is dead, brutally killed and Anthony finds himself on an unexpected mission to avenge his ex-lovers’ murder.

Nearly ten years after he left Madam Moineau, then known as Georgina, for dead, Viscount Edmund Polmear returns to London.

He has a new fiancé in tow and is soon to be found around Blackstairs, seeking a further mistress for his own pleasure.

His sudden appearance is a shock for the victim that he believed he left for dead, forcing Madam Moineau to face the horrors of her own past head on.

Anthony Lake and Madam Moineau’s lives become inevitably and inextricably entwined as they find themselves up against the fearsome and unforgiving Viscount Polmear.

Brief Summary

Artist, Anthony lake has returned to London with one thing on his mind and that is to find the daughter he never even knew existed, but now he does know of her he wants her in his life. He wants to be the father that he never got the chance to be while she was young and with her mother dead he is his daughters only relative, the only person to look after her and guide her. Or so her thinks!

He scours London for any word of his elusive daughter and while on his search he drops in at a coffee shop where he meets the most intoxicating and intriguing women he has ever met in his life, she is the flame and all men are moths to her beautiful light. She is the queen bee amongst her drones and he can’t get enough of her. Who is this veiled tantalizing creature?

Madam Moineau knows her little world better than anyone, she rules and she isn’t afraid to show her power, but beneath the veil she is a not just physically scarred young woman but a psychologically damaged one as well, after surviving a horrific assault from her husband, an attack that should have killed her she has reinvented herself from Yorkshire Whore Georgina to the greatest Madam of the age, owner of Blackstairs Brothel she treats her girls with the respective that they would never had got anywhere else and she is hugely respected in return, amongst this she is also the adoptive mother of a young and rather out spoken girl named Molly. And so far everything in Her life is perfect. That is until a stranger turns up and turns her life upside down.

Georgina and Anthony have become embroiled in the same plot, they are both up against the same enemy a man who is worse than Satan himself, the snide, cruel and murderous Lord Polmear. A man who secrets Georgina knows and a man who would kill to have them buried.

My View

I have said it before and I am going to say it, yet again! I really like Catherine’s work, her writing draw’s you in, I love novels that have a lot of history and Curzon is a pro. I am always in awe of how cleverly she entwine’s historically accurate life and times with an entertaining fictional story where you become submerged into a dark and dangerous world. Curzon is a master of this.

Georgie is a great character, she is a genuinely loving women. She has been through hell and yet she hasn’t turned jaded or sour from her experiences. True, she is a little cynical of those around her; which can be understood and isn’t at all surprising. But she has so much love in her closely guarded heart and you really see that love when she is with young molly. Their relationship is so sweet and so natural that you get a real sense of who this woman real is under the facade of the Madam.

She is such a resilient women! A strong, brave woman who dragged herself from where the evil Polmear left her for dead and re-created herself into what she is today. She is remarkable, but then again she is from Yorkshire and I think we all know how remarkably resilient Yorkshire folk are 😉 to me she shines.

“Until Anthony held her she had almost forgotten how safe it could be in someone elses arms, so used to being strong for herself, that it no longer occurred to her that there might be someone else in the world who’s strength she might be able to rely on.
Only for them to let you down again in the end.
He almost had me for the fool.
I have no need for men, let him revel in his whores. He is gone from my life, forever and we shall be the happier for it, our home shall settle down once more.
And the Madam of Moineau shall reign over Blackstairs again”

Anthony has no idea what he has gotten himself into, he is a rare, good man in a world of scoundrels and villains. He wants to do right by his daughter, and you have to give him credit for that, he is charming and highly intelligent and he sees things so much more than others do. He saw Georgie and he knew she was special even from behind the veil.
A sophisticated and classy tale of two individual’s trying to do their best to make a life for themselves and amongst so much peril and danger there is a tantalizing love story where our too leads are just too stubborn in their own rights to see and accept what is staring them in the face.

Now I really loved The Star of Versailles and The Crown Spire; with it’s two handsome highwaymen was fabulous, but this just caught my attention! It pulled me in and I have to say that The Mistress of Blackstairs is my favourite of Curzon’s work. It is just flawless! It’s like a good cup of tea when made to perfection, brewed strong with the perfect amount of sugar. It’s rich and solid and the story flows fast and seamlessly.

An intriguing plot that has you guessing where in the world this is going to take you, For me this is an all out winner, a five out of five! It has got everything that I look for in a Historical book, fabulously gripping story, the history to back it up and characters that are so well-defined that they just jump off the page. This is why I read historical books.

Historically packed, entertaining and believable…Just superb!

This was a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Mistress of Blackstairs Ebook edition is out now and available on Amazon.